Everyone’s Twitter stream is constantly updating with new tweets. As such, it’s easy for your tweets to get lost in the flow, making it even harder to get your well-crafted pithy tweets retweeted. While there are plenty of obvious, traditional ways of attempting to get your tweets retweeted – including using hashtags, writing short tweets that give people a chance to respond, posting photos and even outright asking for retweets – they’re not going to be as successful as more creative ways of using Twitter. If you really want to stand out from the crowd with your tweets, and in turn get retweeted, try these nine ideas.
Reach Out to Your Followers
Social media sites are all about community and reciprocity. While anyone can just send out a tweet asking for their followers to retweet their content, it takes more time – and care – to direct message your followers. When you do, ask them what content of theirs that they want retweeted. Sounds counterproductive? It’s not. When you retweet the content that your followers want you to, they’ll be more likely to check out your profile and retweet your content as a thank you. Then keep the reciprocity going and occasionally retweet their content again, or comment on their posts. For example, the San Francisco cruise line Red and White Fleet retweeted one of their followers – Berkely, CA musician Dan Casey – who was just thankful for the opportunity to perform:
The rewtweet is both a form of support and recognition. We can also work this tactic in reverse by seeing who already retweets us and returning the favor:
In this tweet, two relevant accounts are retweeting. They’re relevant because they’re both in SF tourism. These aren’t competitors – they’re enhancers, and supporting businesses that help your business is simply proper etiquette.
Anyone can send out a link within their 140 characters. But it takes real care to craft a great tweet with a link, and give a quick commentary on it too. Plus, if your opinion is on a hot topic, chances are someone else will have an opinion on it too. People will retweet your tweet to give their two cents too, and thus a social conversation is born.
I wonder if you could hydraulically jack up skyscrapers as an energy storage mechanism.
— John Carmack (@ID_AA_Carmack) September 30, 2014
Just don’t post anything absurd unless, of course, you’re Conan:
Show Your Personality
You are not a robot. Ergo, your tweets shouldn’t sound like they’ve been vetted and edited by company men (even if they really have been). Show off your personality, and that of your company, with every one of your tweets. Humor is especially helpful, as people will want to share the laughs with others by hitting retweet. Humor not your thing? That’s ok. Just don’t sound too staccato and robotic by always talking stats and such.
Sometimes a simple off-hand thought can break up the drudge of all the in-your-face clickbait tweets:
Don’t Always Talk About You
It seems counter-productive. After all, you’re on social media to establish your company and brand awareness. But the less you talk about yourself, the less promotional you’ll sound. Rather, use the 80/20 rule. 80% of your content should be interacting with others on Twitter, sharing links that direct people to websites other than yours, and talking about something other than you and your company. The other 20% can be promotional, and this is the proven way to be balanced on social media sites (so use this rule elsewhere, too).
By having 80% of your content not directly about you – but just your industry – you’ll be more interesting to follow, and retweet. Plus, people can still be directed to your website through your Twitter’s profile page.
Include Other People’s Twitter Handle
People love seeing their own name in a tweet, and when they do, they’ll be inclined to retweet, if only because it spreads awareness about themselves at the same time. Plus, @ mentions reportedly grow your following by 17% more than you’d expect. Another thing that helps this statistic? When you mention other people on Twitter who have an enormous following, because you might just be able to grow your following base too.
A solid tactic is one that Tim Bonner performs excellently. A mind boggling amount of articles are shared day in, day out, but it’s incredibly rare for authors to actually respond to their people who share them. Tim does this often and it always starts a friendly conversation.
In turn, we’re both more likely to retweet eachother. Since we’re already at that sharing level, establishing the same type of friendship with more followers can significantly improve retweet counts.
In other words, be trendy. At the same time, this doesn’t just mean checking out the top 10 trending topics on Twitter, which is what everyone is already talking about. Rather, check out Google trends to see how a particular topic is performing, and speak to that. When you’re more newsworthy – and in turn timely – people will be looking for content like yours.
Share Vine Videos
Photos are obvious tools to get retweets. But look toward other media to get even more attention. One particularly great piece of media for this is six-second Vine videos. They’re just the right length to grab someone’s attention while also keeping them interested in your page.
Vines are so effective on Twitter that hundreds of accounts have been created with the sole purpose of reposting themed Vines:
Incentivize Retweets With Rewards
This is one of the most popular and successful strategies there are on Twitter. When you create a social media contest, one way people can enter is to tweet your handle — or retweet your tweet announcing the contest. This also works so well because you can make the prize something your company already offers, meaning there’s little investment. A yogurt shop recently did this:
Tweet at the Right Time
Tools like Buffer can identify the best times for you to tweet. A lot of studies will say tweeting during the lunch hour, or after people get home from work are the highest peak times on Twitter, and as such, the perfect time to send out retweet-worthy tweets. But really, the peak times on Twitter will depend on your audience. Teens will be on at different times than say, Millenials, or Generation X. To really know when your followers are on — and to know when to send your tweets out — use services like Social Bro to analyze when your users are more active.
Twitter is a busy site with a lot of active users no matter what the time of day. To get the most out of the site, grow your follower base and in turn get conversions, get creative with your tweets. Think outside the box with how you write your tweets and even how you interact with the community. The more you do that, the easier it’ll be to get retweets.