Home Skip The URL When You Post In A Crisis

Skip The URL When You Post In A Crisis

Marketing rules for increasing engagement and retweets may not work in emergency situations, according to new research.

Marketers and social-media veterans say to always include a link in tweets to offer additional information and, at the same time, play on the psychology that the information is more useful. The post with a link is more likely to be shared, according to conventional wisdom.

But a study by Chinese researchers Zhiming Liu, Lu Liu and Hong Li of Beijing University and published in most recent edition of the academic journal Internet Research suggests those links may get in the way, at least when trying to spread a message during an emergency situation.

Analyzing microblogs during two natural disasters, the researchers concluded that people online in those situations are often using Twitter and similar services along with other media. Even when reading a post with new information, most people reason that an accompanying link will take them to information they they’ve already seen.

The study also found different kinds of emergency microblogs were shared, each depending on the sender’s experience with the platform.

Long-time microbloggers are more likely to share objective tweets (“Nine people have been injured.”) while people newer to microblogging were more likely to share subjective messages (“I’m shocked that it happened.”). 

The study echoed earlier research that found source trustworthiness, source expertise, and source attractiveness all contributed to the likelihood of retweeting a message. 

Ross Hudgens, a digital-marketing consultant, said many people on social networks have an immediate urge to break news online, which has implications for governments also trying to spread information. 

Hudgens said emergency-services workers microblogging about an urgent situation tend to see a greater percentage of their messages shared and retweeted after the public’s “initial ‘find’ itch has been scratched.”

After the first wave of messages, official notices get more attention, he said. 

About ReadWrite’s Editorial Process

The ReadWrite Editorial policy involves closely monitoring the tech industry for major developments, new product launches, AI breakthroughs, video game releases and other newsworthy events. Editors assign relevant stories to staff writers or freelance contributors with expertise in each particular topic area. Before publication, articles go through a rigorous round of editing for accuracy, clarity, and to ensure adherence to ReadWrite's style guidelines.

Get the biggest tech headlines of the day delivered to your inbox

    By signing up, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Policy. Unsubscribe anytime.

    Tech News

    Explore the latest in tech with our Tech News. We cut through the noise for concise, relevant updates, keeping you informed about the rapidly evolving tech landscape with curated content that separates signal from noise.

    In-Depth Tech Stories

    Explore tech impact in In-Depth Stories. Narrative data journalism offers comprehensive analyses, revealing stories behind data. Understand industry trends for a deeper perspective on tech's intricate relationships with society.

    Expert Reviews

    Empower decisions with Expert Reviews, merging industry expertise and insightful analysis. Delve into tech intricacies, get the best deals, and stay ahead with our trustworthy guide to navigating the ever-changing tech market.