On Twitter, one of the best ways to acquire followers or have your content reach a larger audience is by getting retweeted by others. Having rock star status and a large existing following, like Guy Kawasaki, helps increase your chances of being retweeted, but this is by no means a prerequisite. The everyday blogger, small business or marketer with an average following can still achieve retweet hysteria by following a few simple tips and guidelines.
Here’s how to get retweeted like a rock star (or Guy Kawasaki):
ALWAYS Share Great Content
You have 140 characters to get creative and shine. Make every letter, number and symbol count. Understand who your followers are and make sure your tweets are meaningful and of interest. If your audience does not find your content interesting or relevant, they’re not going to click that retweet button. Below are several examples of high quality tweets that spoke to the appropriate audiences:
Tweet at Optimal Times of the Day
You need to post updates and share content when your audience is most active on Twitter. If this is at 2:00 ET on a Wednesday, you better be ready to tweet at that time. There are plenty of tools out there that work by analyzing your followers and finding out the perfect time for you to tweet, which makes it easier to schedule updates accordingly. My favorite is Tweriod. Here’s an example of when my Twitter audience is online during the weekdays and when my tweets might get the most exposure:
Use Link Shorteners
Nothing wastes tweet real estate like placing a full URL into your post. Having a long string of words, numbers and letters is also unsightly. For clean-looking, retweetable posts, shorten your URLs. My favorites are Google’s goo.gl and Bitly.
Participate in Twitter Chats
Twitter chats are a great way to connect with others around specific topics, events and so on. If you actively participate and tweet with quality, there’s a good chance you’ll be retweeted. I try not to miss #SITSSharefest presented by The SITS Girls on Saturday morning. Here I’m able to sync up with fellow bloggers on topics of interest and also share my favorite posts of the week. They’re often retweeted because 1) they are of value to other Sharefest participants and 2) I actively retweet other #SITSSharefest posts and updates. Quid pro quo, my friends.
Tweet Breaking News
If you catch wind of a breaking news story before anyone else, tweet about it! I did this a few months ago when I thought we had an earthquake here in Maine. My post was retweeted a number of times and received a lot of response because I was the first one to question the possibility of an earthquake on Twitter.
This one is sure to cause some controversy, but one of the most effective ways to connect with another person is through emotional contact. Online that can be achieved with emoticons. Don’t be afraid to use them “selectively” when tweeting. A simple :) can humanize your post and cause a reaction (such as a retweet) from your audience.
Never Post in All Caps
I still don’t understand why there are some people using all caps in their tweets. This is the online equivalent to yelling! It’s okay to place a word or two in all caps for emphasis, but never commit the cardinal sin of capitalizing every damn character. It’s annoying, will quickly get you unfollowed and will hardly ever score you a retweet.
Quote Me on This
Quotes are cool, but you’re not Martin Luther King, Jr. or Steve Jobs. Post quotes sparingly as they are becoming overused in social media. Opt for quotes that are recent, from living persons and have not been frequently shared or tweeted. Use magazine articles, newspapers and websites to find relevant and timely quotes that your audience will appreciate. Perfect example – relevant, from a well-known (rock star) blogger:
Leverage the Recognition of Influencers and Experts
Every industry and market has certain influencers that have gained widespread recognition. If you find something an expert has blogged about or written that would resonate with your audience, tweet about it! Be sure to include “via @INFLUENCER” (replace INFLUENCER with Twitter user name) in your tweet to give them attribution and let others know that the info is from a credible source.
Getting retweeted on Twitter is both an art and science. It takes time and experimentation to master. Keep experimenting with what works and what doesn’t and soon you’ll get it right.
What tactics and strategies have you used to effectively get retweeted? Share them in the comments below!