Retweets are Twitter’s version of shout outs. They allow you to show appreciation for others by broadcasting their tweets to your followers. In return, others in your industry may want to share your tweets with their followers – provided your tweets are relevant and interesting.
The purpose of this article is to explain the basics of how to retweet and show you how a few simple tweaks can increase the chances of your tweets going viral.
Retweet 101: A Typical Retweet
Here’s an example of a standard retweet:
The components of this typical retweet are as follows:
- The “RT.” This stands for “retweet” and tells your followers the content of the tweet came from someone else.
- Credit to the person who posted the original tweet. To credit someone, simply insert the @ symbol before their username.
- A compelling headline.
- The URL you want your followers to visit.
This is the type of retweet you will most likely see when you click someone’s “tweet this” button or use the retweet button directly from Twitter’s website.
Retweet 201: How to Retweet for Maximum Impact
Although the retweet above is completely acceptable, you can make a few small changes to increase the odds that others will share it with their followers. The more others retweet one of your posts, the greater the chances it will go viral.
Take a look at the revised retweet below:
Here are 7 simple changes you can make to create a more powerful retweet:
- Move the headline to the front of the tweet. The headline should always be the first part of the tweet, because a strong headline compels people to read more.
- Include the names of others mentioned in the tweet. If the content that you are sharing mentions a fellow tweeter, include their username in your retweet. For example, the article in this tweet cites research from Social Media Examiner, so the retweet calls attention to their research. When you do this, not only will the person that you are retweeting see your tweet, but so will anyone mentioned in the article. They will be more likely retweet it to their followers and greatly expand the reach of your tweet.
- Keep the URL after the headline and interview credits. Remember to use a URL shortener that allows you to track your clicks.
- Move the RT and original username after the link. This credits the original tweeter without taking focus off the headline.
- Comment on the original tweet. People who use social media sites want to collaborate and share ideas. Don’t be afraid to add your opinion, show appreciation or share additional insights.
- Add a hashtag to define your tweet. Hashtags are used to categorize tweets for discussion. People follow hashtags related to their interests and industries. Include a hashtag at the end of your tweet, and more people in your industry will read it.
- Keep it concise. Twitter only gives you 140 characters for each tweet, so you must write concisely. If you want others to retweet your posts, leave enough room for someone to type RT and your username.
What about you? How do you encourage retweets? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments below.