10 Tips to Get Re-Tweeted

The return on investment of time spent posting messages on Twitter is directly related to the number of qualified impressions those messages make. One key to increasing Twitter impressions is to have followers retweet your message to their followers; hence, retweets become an important tactical goal. Researchers and astute students of Twitter user behavior have made observations about tweet characteristics that result in retweet activity. Below are 10 things that you can do to get retweeted more:

1. Provide value. People will retweet information they find valuable and feel compelled to share with their followers.  Tweets with hot news, or expert advice and commentary on a trending topic have a much higher chance of having that information retweeted.

2. Don’t dumb down. Shortening a message to 140 characters doesn’t mean that you have to “dumb down” the message. Instead, tweeters must be much smarter about how we present information. Cut the clutter, cut the characters and create intelligent messages.

3. Talk to your followers, not at them. Good tweets that directly address followers will spur interaction and retweets. Studies have shown that “you” is the word that occurs in most retweeted posts. Simply asking “What would you do?” can help.

4. Give them what they love. Statistics show that social media users love lists and learning more about social media. Links to “Top 5” or “Top 10” lists are often retweeted as are social media tips and research findings. Find a way to present information in lists or present social media stats specific to your topic or industry.

5. Link up. 140 characters can draw interest and open the door to a conversation, but to truly tell a story, you must link to it. 70% of retweets contain a link while 20% of all tweets contain one. Try as we may, we can’t pack a whole story into one post. Draw a follower’s attention with a post and satisfy their curiosity by providing a link to the full story.

6. Keep track of the time. Retweets occur statistically more often on afternoons, evenings and weekends. In fact, the largest amount of retweets happen on Friday afternoons and evenings.

7. Keep it short and tweet. Use bit.ly or ow.ly to shorten links in tweets. Links created by these services are most often retweeted, likely because the services are newer and the new addresses they produce contain fewer characters. The least retweetable URL shorteners are the older and longer tinyurl.com and twitpic.com.

8. Don’t tweet too often.  Unless you are tweeting from an event or presentation, keep the frequency of your tweets down to one per hour. Tweeting multiple times within an hour greatly reduces the likelihood of being retweeted.

9. Get creative with language. Without wasting characters, use innovative language in your tweets. Not surprisingly, most retweets contain original words and information. While simplicity in a tweet is not necessarily the key, novelty is. Research has shown that retweets tend to contain more unique words.

10. Ask. If you have an important message that you would really like shared, ask your followers to help you get the word out. This will be most effective when used for altruistic or charitable causes. Posts with the words “please” and “please retweet” are highly retweeted.

Retweeting is a fundamental element of the Twitter experience. If you follow these tweeting guidelines on providing the best “retweetable” material, your Twitter following, credibility, and return on investment will increase.

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