Being retweeted increases the exposure of your ideas or company to potential followers so it’s more than a boost to the ego. Before we get down to the nitty gritty, let’s be clear: the following tips will increase the chances of you getting retweeted, some quite significantly, but you still have to have something worth retweeting. So, content is still king. Leo Widrich at Bufferapp.com did an experiment and found that Tweets are more likely to be shared if they contain actionable tips, news, fresh research or are about your followers.
1. Be Funny. If retweets are gold, a Tweet that people find funny enough to share is the mother lode. I like the one written for the PG Tips account which parodies the popular Pussycat Dolls’ song: ‘Doncha you wish your boyfriend was hot like tea?’
2. It’s All About You. ‘You’ is the word that crops up most in retweets so use ‘you’ and ‘your’ if you want to increase the likelihood of being retweeted. The word that occurs least in retweets is ‘game’ followed by ‘going’, ‘haha’, ‘lol’ and ‘but’.
3. Get the Timing Right. Tweeting when the most people are reading might seem the most obvious factor. For business blogs, that’s between 12 and 4pm. For the rest it’s 5pm when we finish working. However people engage 19% more at the weekend according to research by Dan Zarrella.
4. Use an Image. According to Shopify’s research on viral Tweets, your tweet is nearly twice as likely to be retweeted if it contains an image, especially one using pic.twitter.com.
5. Add a Link. Almost 70% of retweets contain a link, says Shopify’s research. Put anogther way, a tweet with a link is 86% more likely to be retweeted. This may seem like bad news if the link is to someone else’s interesting website but it’s good news if it’s yours. When you use links, shorten them- by far the most popular shortener is bit.ly.
6. Use a #Hashtag. Using a recognisable hashtag leads to approximately twice the level of engagement.
7. Length is Important. 100-115 words is the optimum length for retweeting success. Short Tweets are the least successful.
Bonus Tip: Say Please. Asking for a retweet is very effective, especially if you say ‘please’. Dan Zarella found that 50 percent of tweets with the phrase ‘Please retweet’ were retweeted compared with the 10% figure for tweets that didn’t. Put another way, saying ‘please retweet’- and spelling out ‘retweet’- gives your tweet 23 times higher chance of being retweeted.
This blog was written by Paul Seven Lewis, owner of the marketing consultancy The Lewis Experience based at Hampshire Workspace, and former Head of Marketing and Operations at The Mayflower Theatre. You can connect with him on Google+ and LinkedIn.