10 Easy Ways to Get More Retweets

by 24 06/24/2013

Twitter offers a great way to extend your influence online: the retweet.

When used wisely, retweets often lead to more influence, more followers, and more web traffics. According to Statistic Brain, there are over 550 million active Twitter users as of April 2013, 58 million new tweets daily, and 135,000 new Twitter users every day.

What are all these people doing on Twitter? This infographic clearly shows that a big chunk of them are using Twitter (as well as other social media platforms) to learn about business brands/products/services.

Your potential reach on Twitter is huge. So is your competition. There are hundreds of thousands of other marketers just like you, competing for attention in the Twitter space.

Sharing good information and writing bold headlines are vital in winning the tweet-retweet war, but to maximize your odds, there are several other factors to consider.

Here are the collections of my experiences and online studies.

1. Tweet at the right time

Casting your tweets at the right time is perhaps the most important factor of all. After all, there is no point pushing out tweets when none of your followers are tuned in, right? According to Dan Zarrella’s The Science of Retweets, 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. EST is the best time to ask for a retweet.

Retweet Timing

But wait! There is no one-size-fits–all solution for this. Your followers may not be living in the same time zone as Zarrella’s study samples. That’s when Tweriod comes in handy.

Tweriod is a free Twitter analysis tool that analyzes where your recent 1,000 followers are from and recommends the most strategic time to send out tweets.

2. Ask for it

The easiest way to get a retweet is… well, ask for it. Do you know that by adding the phrase “Please Retweet,” you increase the chances of retweet by 160%?

Using call-for-action words on Twitter is just as effective as using “Click Here,” “Order Now,” and “Call 1-800-xxx-xxxx Today” in your sales copy — it works.

A few known effective call-for-action phrases for retweets are:

  • Please retweet
  • Pls RT
  • RT

3. Tweet links

One of the main reasons why people tune into Twitter is because they are looking for news updates or help in something.

Multiple studies have shown that news updates and instructional posts are two types of content people retweet the most. In other words, a tweet referring to an online resource or news updates has a higher chance to be retweeted.

It’s no surprise to see that in Microsoft Research’s Conversational Aspects of Retweeting on Twitter, 52% of the retweet samples contain a URL.

Next time, if you wish your tweets to be retweeted, embed a link in them.

4. Send out retweets more often than you promote your own tweets

Known fact: People who send out more retweets tend to receive more retweets.

Like everything in life, what goes around comes around. Chris Brogan practices  a 15:1 ratio when it comes to retweets — for every self-promotional tweet, he will help promote at least 15 tweets for his followers.

5. Avoid idle chit-chat or tweets about daily activities

Here are the 20 least retweetable words according to Dan Zarrella’s report:

  • game
  • going
  • haha
  • lol
  •  but
  • watching
  •  work
  • home
  • night
  • bed
  • well
  • sleep
  • gonna
  • hey
  • tomorrow
  • tired
  • some
  • back
  • bored
  • listening

Notice any trend here? Most (if not all) of these words are common-use words for conversations or to describe mundane activities.

Tweets using these words are simply a big turn off for retweets — c’mon, no one is interested in a tweet about your bedding time or what you are listening to on Sound Cloud — unless of course, you are Justin Bieber.

6. Use retweetable words

Dan Zarella’s study on over 30 millions retweets shows that the 20 most retweeted words are (in descending order):

  • you
  • twitter
  • please
  • retweet
  • post
  • blog
  • social
  • free
  • media
  • help
  • please retweet
  • great
  • social media
  • 10
  • follow
  • how to
  • top
  • blog post
  • check out
  • new blogpost

If you are trying to get more retweets, consider using these favorable words/phrases more often.

On top of the list, Dan also provides a great tool named The Most Retweetable Words Finder  — a free tool that helps analyze your specific topic and show you the top 20 tweetable words.

For example, when I type in “SEO,” the tool returned these words: #digg, #apple, #canon, #kaskus, #photography, #instagram, #bogor, #news, #garut, #lintasinfo, #nikon, #ios, #wikimotive, #campaign, #google, #well, #line, #drop, #fix, #mistakes.

These are the recommended words to use if you are casting SEO-related tweets.

7. Leave room for retweets

How often do you cancel a retweet just because you can’t add in your comment into the retweet message? Well, I bet it’s a lot.

Personally, I tend to add in a short opinion in my retweets, something like “Good read” or “Solid article.” If you are using all 140 characters in your tweet, your followers will need to edit your tweets before they can add in theirs and retweet.

And, that’s not cool.

People are lazy. Tweets that need extensive editing work simply get fewer retweets. Ideally, you should limit your tweets to between 80 – 110 characters.

8. Use #Hashtags

Use #hashtags. Just don’t use #toomuch #of #it #andmake #you #looklikea #spam or #extremelylonghashtags.

It’s a known fact that Tweets with #hashtags are more likely to be retweeted. In a Microsoft Research study of 203,371 retweets, 18% of them contained #hashtags.

Here’s sample of 10 original tweets on Crazy Egg Twitter Account.

CrazyEgg Tweets

I captured this screen when I was writing this article. Can you see the similarity? Crazy Egg, the pros who have all the advanced web metric tools and insider data, uses at least one #hashtag in almost all their tweets.

9. Tweet quotes

I don’t tweet quotes often, simply because I don’t like doing it. But that does not mean it can’t work.

Quotes are good for retweets, especially if they strike a chord with your followers. I witness the power of quotes every day on Twitter, as well as Facebook and Pinterest.

I see friends, acquaintances, and those that I am following retweet (or share or pin) quotes regularly and it never fails to attract more retweets and shares.

If you wish to build up your Twitter presence using quotes, try to dig up some great ones from the Internet. There are plenty of websites or blogs that collect series of quotes. And, it’s easy to find quotes using Google (just try “best quotes for [your topic]”).

10. Speak your audiences’ language

Before you post a tweet, consider the terms and labels people are using.

Google Trends is handy when it comes to localizing your language. For example, the term “cookie law” is more frequently used to refer to the new law that came into force in the United Kingdom in 2011 instead of “cookie regulations” or “privacy law.” Hence, when you tweet about this incident, it’s best to use the phrase “cookie law” in order to resonate with your followers.

UK Google Trend

Well, those were my 10 tips on how to drive more retweets on Twitter. What did I miss? What other methods do you use to win more retweets from your followers? Do let us know in the comment section below.

About 

Jerry Low is the a professional blogger who is passionate about SEO and web development. He writes helpful web development guide, Internet marketing tips and web hosting reviews at Web Hosting Secret Revealed. Connect and get more from him on Google+.

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24 COMMENTS

Punam Raut

Nice post Gerry!! all points are very important specially I like 7th point ‘Leave room for retweets’ cause sometime I too get irritated by editing the tweet & I cancel the RT. Keep posting :)

June 25, 2013 Reply

Carmen Rane Hudson

Awesome tips! I’ll have to see what I can do about getting closer to that 15:1 ratio. I mostly had always just RT’d stuff that I thought was interesting without taking a particular count of them, but this has meant I’ve done less RTing than I’d like.

June 25, 2013 Reply

Zulhilmi Zainudin

I found that the Call To Action of ‘Pls RT’ is very powerful line. I’ve tried so many times and it works well for me.

June 28, 2013 Reply

Jaladhar

Hi Jerry !
Thank you for sharing this effective post to boost up retweets. I got some important points to get more retweets and would like to replicate in my social media campaign. In this competitive internet marketing, Socail media has been playing vital role to boost up online sale. Therefore your ideas will be more helpful to capture some more visitors and increase sales also.

June 29, 2013 Reply

Alex Zemkus

Great post Jerry. Loved the one about leaving room for re-tweeting. Often I’ve gone to RT only to find there’s no room and then abandoned it. Also like the one about speaking your audiences languages, using what resonates with them.
Thanks,
Alex Zemkus

July 1, 2013 Reply

Noman Ali

Well how do i found my followeres area? Country, city

July 8, 2013 Reply

Anu S

Great post mate, I was just about to start a twitter account for my blog and I’m damn glad I found your post at the right time. I’ll hopefully use the tips you mentioned and get some retweets. By the way which is the tool you used to get the graph about twitter retweets and stuff or is it just for illustration purposes.

August 14, 2013 Reply

Michael Sadler

Thanks for this post. I noticed that my blog posts are getting favorited and not retweeted. I am assuming that favorited tweets are still helpful. But this will give me some things to try.

August 23, 2013 Reply

Akos Fintor

Twitter is my number one marketing tool, that’s where I get a great chunk of my traffic. You post helped my sharpen my marekting on there . thnx a bunch

November 12, 2013 Reply

Ali

Thanks for bring this post. Wud drop by in a while

January 24, 2014 Reply

Salman

Nice share Jerry :)

Tweeting at the right time with proper hash tags and retweetable words really helps in getting RT’s. BTW do you recommend joining twitter communities to get RT’s ?

January 31, 2014 Reply

Ownst

Very insightful and instructive article. Thanks for sharing.

April 21, 2014 Reply

    Kathryn Aragon

    Your welcome, Ownst. Glad you found it useful.

    April 22, 2014 Reply

    neil

    Ownst, glad you found it helpful. Thanks for the feedback :)

    April 22, 2014 Reply

Zugwalt

I like the fact about sending out a lot of tweets to recieve more tweets.

October 15, 2014 Reply

    Neil Patel

    Zugwalt, that’s the first rule of engagement. You have to give to get.

    October 15, 2014 Reply


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