How to get retweets

by Kristofer Mencák on February 3, 2009

CopyBlogger had a nice post, 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter, by Dan Zarella, which Mack on The Viral Garden followed up on, adding his own advice in How I get ReTweets on Twitter.

In short, Dans advice (some with a short comment by me):

1. Call to Action – The words “please” “check out” or “help me” seems to help.

2. Timing – between 9am and 6pm EST seems to work better.

I guess it is the same time interval in other time zones.

3. Links – about 70 % of retweets contains a link.

It feels like I am missing the comparison here. What I would like to see numbers on is how this compares to tweets in general. Retweets most probably have a higher percentage, but how much higher?

4. Social Proof – The likelihood of a tweet being retweeted increases dramatically each time it is retweeted.

This is almost exactly one of the things I wrote about in my previous post about retweets:

“…the retweet also reinforces the meme within the smaller network, as there is probably considerable overlap of connections within it. Receiving the tweet, and the following retweets, reinforces the meme through social proof. More people are paying attention to this particular idea, which makes us more likely to pay attention to it ourselves.”

5. Value – A lot of retweets are “How tos”, news, warnings, freebies and contests.

Mack’s tips are in essence these (comments by me):

1. I have a lot of followers. Which means that more people are going to see my tweets, and that obviously increases the chances of getting RTs.

2. I always link to my own blog posts while linking to other posts. This is done purposely. To me, it seems selfish to only link to my own content…

3. Topic matters. If I link to any post concerning Twitter or Social Media, odds are much higher that it will be RTed.
Context, hitting the right audience with the right message matters.

4. I often get requests from others to RT their post, and try to RT as many as I can. I’m happy to RT the posts as I can, I see it as my way of helping to ‘repay’ these people for RTing my links.
A perfect example of the rule of reciprocity in action.

5. I don’t purposely ‘try’ to get my links RTed.
It’s about valuable content, just like Dan also mentioned.

You should read both Dan’s and Mack’s posts for the fuller picture. Also take a look at Dan’s post on the ReTweetability Metric – connected to what I wrote about a lot of followers and authority.

Retweets are extremely interesting to watch, as they really are memes that have proven themselves to have viral potential.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Estelle Lee December 16, 2009 at 4:32 pm

I’m a newbie blogger and this is very helpful.

Thank you-

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Kristofer December 16, 2009 at 4:37 pm

Thanks! I hope you find more stuff here interesting. =)

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