If you are a user of the newest rage, twitter, then you might have seen or heard a term called “retweet.” When someone retweets, it means that they are repeating someone else’s tweet. Usually, this form of passing on information includes giving the original tweeter credit. Before we can talk about this more, we need to tell you what a tweet is. A tweet is the name given to an update that you place on twitter. So, once you have posted your update to twitter, you have tweeted.
So, why might someone want to retweet your tweet?
Regardless of the reason, the end result is the same – the person(s) who retweeted your tweet wanted to spread the word. For example, I have retweeted an update from the Day of DotNetNuke® official twitter account. (Secret: I run that account as well.)
As you can see from above, the Day of DotNetNuke® posted an update to promote the event. In this case, Will Strohl (me), wanted to let all of his followers know about the event. In order to do so, he retweeted the original tweet. In it’s simplest form, this can be done by copying and pasting the original tweet, but most twitter applications facilitate this function as a feature. Regardless to how it’s done, the format is always the same:
As you can see from above, it is quite simple to retweet someone else’s tweet, but how can you increase your chances of your tweet being retweeted? Let explore some simple tips…
Be the First to Break News Few of us are reporters, but we all witness news, or news-worthy activity. For example, if DotNetNuke® releases a new version of it’s application, the first tweet about it is very likely to be repeated over and over. The gravity of the information your posting can sometimes be enough all on its own to encourage retweets.
Say Something Interesting We will not always have something that is interesting to others. For example, if you tweet about someone not holding the elevator for you, such an event is way too common to be retweeted. However, if the person who didn’t hold the elevator were Bill Gates, then you might have a retweetable tweet. Also, there are times when relevancy might do the same thing. For instance, if there is a hot topic going around at the time, and you post a funny joke about it, this may have a wildfire effect on twitter.
Include a Picture Sometimes, a tweet is very likely to be retweeted, only if it included a bit more information – such as a picture. For example, if you went to the grand opening of a new restaurant by Emeril Lagasse, that alone is not retweetable. But if you were to have a picture in your tweet of you standing next to him, that is likely to be retweeted. There are many picture services that help you do this, such as YFrog, and TwitPic. This can be taken another level these days with services like 12 seconds, where you can tweet video.
Pay Attention to the Length of Your Tweet Twitter only allows 140 characters of content to be posted at a time. Twitter usernames are allowed to be up to 15 characters. Keeping that in mind, if you tweet 138 characters in your latest update and someone wanted to retweet it, then they would have to try and edit your original tweet. Most people will not do that. In general, you want to keep your tweets down to 120 characters to not discourage folks from retweeting your update. This allows people to just click a retweet button somewhere, and they do not have to worry about editing your update. Most twitter applications will put the retweet in the format mentioned above.
Ask for the Retweet Sometimes, you already know that something you are saying is important, or you simply want the extra exposure on that tweet. Many people simply need that extra little nudge to retweet your update. You’d be surprised at how many of your followers would do this if you just ask, “Please RT,” at the end of your tweet.
It’s that easy… Just be short, interesting, and leave room for folks. That’s some basic advice to get retweets on twitter.