How I get ReTweets on Twitter

CopyBlogger has a post up on 5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter. If you follow me on Twitter, you know that Twitter is now the top referring site to my blog (roughly 13% of my traffic for 2009 comes from Twitter). And when I am active on Twitter and getting RTs, I usually pop up near the top of whatever list of 'Top Retweeters' you want to check.

So I have noticed a few things in addition to Dan's list on getting RTs, that I think are working for me. Here's some ways that I think my tweets are getting RTed.

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, and I see that as a 'withdrawal' that I am making on the capital I have with my followers. So to make up for that withdrawal, I also have to share valuable posts from OTHER people.

3 - Topic matters. If I link to any post concerning Twitter or Social Media, odds are much higher that it will be RTed. But this works both ways, not only for my posts, but for others. It trains me to help me see which topics my followers are interested in. So when I see another blogger writing about these topics, I link to them on Twitter.

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. And I think it makes the people whose tweets I RT, more likely to RT mine.

5 - I don't purposely 'try' to get my links RTed. I'm not interested in having any of my tweets 'go viral', I just want to share valuable content with my friends. If I was just trying to get RTs, the way I used Twitter would change, and I'm not willing to do that.


Now I will say again that Twitter is the top referring site to this blog and I LOVE seeing the extra traffic. But...I want that traffic to be as a byproduct of my producing value for the people I interact with on Twitter, not because I am *trying* to get traffic. That's an important distinction to make because if you start actively trying to push traffic to your blog from Twitter, you change the way you use Twitter. For me, letting the RTs happen organically works best.

Anyway, this is what seems to be working for me as far as getting my tweets RTed. What works for you?


posted by Mack Collier @ 8:16 AM,

9 Comments:

At 9:49 AM, Anonymous Craig Sutton said...

I do retweet articles that I have read and feel like people would have interest in. No obviously that doesn't mean my followers will necessarily feel the same so how do you judge what to RT? Do you read every article you RT first?

I think this is a great post, and I will RT it :)

 
At 9:57 AM, Anonymous @TomMartin said...

Mack -

Funny, I have been running a little test to see what links get the most clicks when I tweet them... #1 by far was a beer commercial. Why did it get the most clicks? Because it was the most RT'd of the bunch. Why was it the most RT'd - I think largely because it was "funny" and my tweet made it seem "really funny" so folks took a sec to check it out. As it was funny, they then RT'd as a way to share a laugh with their following.

To expand on this RT post - why do you think followers will RT a post you or someone else has RT'd?

What I've noticed is that if the person RT'ing the tweet has a strong tribe, then that person's followers are more likely to RT than a person who has a week following.

Also, I have found that if the person who is RT'ing adds an emotional comment like OMG, Must Read, or something that indicates a true love of the content, their followers are more likely to RT.

Thoughts?

 
At 10:02 AM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

Craig, yes I try to read everything I post to Twitter. Sometimes I can just scan and I know the topic will be interesting (like a study), and go ahead and link that.

Tom I personally tend to remember who RTs my posts, and I want to say 'thank you' by RTing their posts, if I can. So it makes me more likely to RT a post they have written. I think other people feel the same way.

Honestly it just goes back to wanting to share interesting stuff with my followers. I really to appreciate their attention, and feel a need to 'reward' that attention by giving them interesting content. It's a way of saying 'thanks'.

 
At 3:26 PM, Blogger Gavin Heaton said...

Chances are that if I find something interesting, then one of my followers will too. And vice versa.

It's the way that "social judgement" works (an idea I am working on at the moment). And Twitter is a great example.

 
At 6:21 PM, Anonymous Joel said...

RT is something i am yet to work on, the problem i primarily have is that by the time i get to visiting twitter there may be 2 or 3 pages of updates so i will quickly read through and open the links of interest, but then i find it hard to find which connect to each other.

 
At 2:22 PM, Anonymous Ike said...

You left out a VERY important one:

KEEP YOUR TWEETS UNDER 120.

Others might be too lazy to edit you to fit in the retweet.

 
At 2:35 PM, Blogger Mack Collier said...

"You left out a VERY important one:

KEEP YOUR TWEETS UNDER 120."

Yep that's a biggie. But again, I dont think about getting my tweets RTed, I just try to share good stuff. But you should def try to shorten it if you can, great reminder.

 
At 11:46 AM, Anonymous Ricky C said...

Sorry but i'm not using twitter so often so i don get many follower at the moment as i'm not really interested and rarely login. But your tips no. 1 - 3 are definitely true and it works

 
At 4:45 AM, Blogger Mels Brushes said...

w do you 'retweet'?

 

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