When I see that one of my posts has been retweeted, instead of a “Thanks for the RT!” I often like to reciprocate with an RT of my own. This is often as simple as clicking the user’s profile, reading her tweets, and selecting an appropriate post to RT.
Easier said than done. Lately I have been having a harder time finding a tweet that I am comfortable sharing with my followers. Understanding that a retweet is an implied endorsement of the content and author, I am cautious about what I share.
On Tweet Deck, I can see the past 20 tweets of any user, which is usually several days’ worth for most people. I try to find something – anything – that my audience would appreciate, but often I come up empty-handed, forced to resort to, “Hey, thanks for your RT.” Blech.
Here’s how you can help me to help you (in other words, here’s how you can make it easier for others to retweet you and spread your message):
- Tweet quality content. This includes self-generated content as well as relevant articles from outside, reputable sources. Make sure you tweet your hottest blog posts at least once a week to give me greater opportunities to promote your best work.
- Tweet inspirational, witty, or insightful quotes. Remember, people want to be entertained more than they want to be informed, so a catchy quote is far more retweetable than an article.
- Keep your tweets to 120 characters or less. This way I can easily retweet your post without having to take the time to edit it. For example, my handle (@StreambankMedia) is 16 characters. Add “RT:” and a space, and you get 20 characters – so 120 total characters is the outer limit I can use if I want you to RT me without doing extra work. Better yet, if I make it 105 characters or less, you can add a quick comment. Leave enough room for others to spice up the RT.
- Be topical. Tweets about a current event or trends will catch my attention immediately. We all like to be a part of trendy conversations, and RTing a tweet about a hot topic is a great way to join in.
- Don’t litter your feed with a plethora of sales-y tweets. I can’t RT a program, course, or service you provide without knowing the content. Self-promotion is fine, but it must be only one component of your overall content strategy.
Another great way to increase your RTs is to be generous with your RTs yourself. The Twitter community on the whole is generous and reciprocal; if you want to benefit from some good RT lovin’, then pay it forward! And if you’re looking for ideas to crank it up a notch and show ultra-Twitter love to some of your favorite followers, here’s a good article for you.