Getting retweets is a combination of science and art. With millions of users competing for attention every minute; you need more than just work hard, you need to work smart.
To go viral in the Twitter universe, you need a sound tactic.
Actionable Advices, Tools, & Resources
The following list covers some of the most important elements in my Twitter success. If more retweets is all you want, I am sure you'll find it valuable.
- Ask for it. Have your family members, friends, and acquaintances to start the ball rolling.
- Use call for action in your tweets. Phrases like ‘Please retweet', ‘RT' and ‘pls RT' are proven words that get you more retweets.
- Tweet more on facts and meaningful quotes, people bite on those kinds of stuff.
- Tweet less on idle talks, gossips, and small chats. Don't just ROFL and Wassup me, say something useful.
- Tweet links. 52% of the retweet samples contain at least one link according to Microsoft Research. People get on Twitter to get updates or to learn something, so feed them that.
- Tweet trending topics. Use Twitter Search and Twitter Trending features to discover hot topics to talk about.
- Tweet breaking news (okay, this is a nobrainer).
- Tweet about Twitter (yes, that gets more retweets statistically).
- Tweet lists. Tip: tweet my 49 tips on how to get more retweets.
- Tweet WTF topic (yes, curiosity sells).
- Tweet the right labels. Use Google Trends to check if you are using the right terms in your tweets – cookie law is not the same as privacy law – use the right term if you wish to resonate well with your followers. Learn more in this simple privacy guide.
- Get as many relevant followers as possible. The more followers you have, the more likely your tweets are going to be retweeted.
- Interact with your followers and build trust. A simple auto-generated thank you note is fine, sending out personal message manually is better.
- State your retweet/follow back policy clearly on your profile to encourage interaction. See how Ted Coine does it here.
- Create a memorable title (good headline writing skill helps).
- Repeat your best tweets shamelessly – use tool like Tweet Old Post.
- Send out new tweets repeatedly to your followers.
- Better still, schedule and send out the same tweets in various time in a day or week. For example, Tim Ferris posts the same tweet 12 hours after the first in order to reach followers from different time zone.
- On timing, 2 pm to 6 pm EST is the best time to ask for a retweet.
- But not all Twitter users live in the same time zone. Tweriod helps track your followers and customize the best timing to send out tweets, make use of the tool. http://www.tweriod.com/
- The best days of the week for retweets are Thursday and Friday.
- Show that there's a real human behind the monitor, put up your personal photo on your personal Twitter account.
- Send out retweets more often than you ask for it. Chris Borgan follow a 15:1 ratio where he will promote others' tweets fifteen times for every self-promotional tweets.
- Don't just tweet the title of an article, add value to your tweets with your personal comment or summary of the subject.
- In the same time, leave room for retweets. Your tweet length shouldn't exceed 120 characters.
- Find the top 20 most retweeted words in your industry, use them more frequently in your tweets.
- Avoid common use words for conversations like ‘LOL', ‘hey', and ‘gonna'.
- Talk less about mundane activities. We are not your mom, no one is interested on what you are having for lunch.
- On tools, use Tweepi to manage your followers.
- Use TweetDeck to manage your Twitter interactions and streams.
- Use HootSuite in case TweetDeck is not your cup of tea.
- Use TwitPic. Most people are visual-oriented hence pictures tend to get more attention from the crowd.
- Use MentionMap to explore and learn more about your Twitter network.
- Use Twitonomy to understand your followers better.
- Use Twitterfeed to speed up your routine tweet operations (so you have more time to interact with your followers instead).
- Get more exposures, add yourself at Twellow.
- Track your tweets and outgoing links with bit.ly or su.pr. A/B test to get the best performing tweets.
- If you tweet more often on mobile, try out TweetCaster. It is the next (or, already?) big thing in Twitter.
- Use #hashtags more often.
- Promote others by using @mention. I do shout out for my followers regularly, something like “Please follow @userA @userB @userC etc” and it always bring back more follows and retweets. People normally tend to reciprocate others' goodwill, as the old saying give and you shall receive.
- Befriend with the connectors in your industry.
- Run a Twitter contest and ask the contestants to retweet your stuff (WebRevenue.co might be interested to be one of your sponsors, let's talk).
- Use Pay With A Tweet. Sell information products for the price of a tweet or ask for a donation in the form of tweets and retweets.
- Don't focus on selling. Take Twitter as a stepping stone in sales, direct your followers/prospects to your landing pages.
- Show numbers as numerals, “45” is better than “forty-five”. Data based on eye tracking studies indicate that numbers are better than words.
- Stop talking about yourself. There are only 1% of the retweets contain self-reference according to studies.
- Tweets clearly, write simple and direct words. Avoid being misleading or over-promise.
- Learn from someone who has done it, model his/her method. Tip: read Gina's 5 Easy Steps To Get 10,000 Followers.
- Last but not least, read Dan Zarrella's Science of Retweets. It's an old piece but there's gold in it – many of my advice here are based on Dan's statistics.
Over To You: Tell Us Your Retweet Tips!
Okay, those are my tips on how to generate more retweets. Now it's your turn: Share us your experience and tell us your retweet tactic! I look forward to your input.
Oh and hey, please don't forget to retweet this article to your followers, the Tweet button is just down there at the bottom. ;)