John Haydon

John Haydon advises non-profits and small businesses how to implement inbound and social media marketing strategies with the social web.

13 Ways To Get Your Blog Posts Retweeted

What’s the big deal about getting retweeted? If you have a ton of followers who are engaged, and you’re happy, then why should you care if they retweet your junk?

If you’re using Twitter for business reasons, you should care. And here’s why:

  1. Measure Engagement
  2. Retweets are an indication of how engaged your followers are. If they aren’t retweeting any of your posts, chances are they don’t find them that interesting.

  3. Follower Attrition
  4. Some of the folks who are singing your praises now will be gone in six months. That’s because you can’t be all things to all people all the time (and you shouldn’t being trying to). People grow, they change and have different needs as time goes on. New people who follow you because of a retweet they saw will take their place. It’s not personal, it’s just business.

  5. Measure Content
  6. Getting retweeted is partially a function of good content. Or at least good headlines. ;-)

How To Get Retweeted

  1. Be Relevant - A survey conducted by Dan Zarrella found that people share content because they thought it was relevant for someone they know. In other words, try and stay relevant to topics your followers want to hear about.
  2. Write Pithy Headlines – On Twitter all we have is 140 characters. How would someone like Shel Silverstein tweet?
  3. Include links – Dan also found that retweets tend to have more links. 56.69% of retweets contain a link versus 18.96% of normal tweets.
  4. Add your own thoughts – One big limitation with Twitter’s retweets is that you can’t edit the tweet before retweeting. Tools like Seesmic and Tweetie give users a second option of “quoting” the tweet where you can edit it to your liking.
  5. Break News – Be the first to share breaking news on a topic. Know beforehand what might be newsworthy before it trends by creating a Google or Tweetbeep alert.
  6. Not About You - Dan also found that talking about the color of your underwear won’t get retweeted as much as talking about the color of Madonna’s underwear.
  7. Nurture Community – People that create trust with their community tend to be retweeted more than those who lack any connection to their followers. Don’t forget the really simple mind map I showed you yesterday to frame community development.
  8. DM a Retweet request – You can also send a private message asking for a retweet. This has to be used sparingly or you’ll quickly drain your social equity account. Also, make it easy and DM a link to the tweet you’d like retweeted.
  9. Use your iPhone – The Retweet app lists the top retweets. Retweeting the valuable posts sparingly will increase your exposure to new users.
  10. Embed Retweets – Put a “ClickToTweet” link in your email newsletters and particular blog pages. Read How To Get More Email Subscribers With Embeded Retweets for more info.
  11. Timing – Dan also found that 4:00PM is the when the most retweets happen. Especially on a Friday.
  12. Say Please – Dan also found that saying please also increased the likelihood that someone would retweet your post.
  13. Say Thank You – People like to be acknowledged when they retweet your post. Plus it’s just polite.


  • February 10, 2010

    Nice article! I think another good tip to add to the list is retweet others to return the favor or to increase the likelihood that the user will retweet you back. Of course, don’t retweet any old tweet; make sure it’s relevant and interesting to your followers as well.

  • February 10, 2010

    To be honest, I haven’t found anything interesting in this article. Most of these things has been already said, others aren’t really useful.

    But I agree with Diana – retweet tweets of others, and eventually they will start retweeting yours.

  • February 10, 2010

    Diane – good point! What goes around comes around. Thanks!

  • February 10, 2010

    Some nice points here John.

    I also agree with Diane.. Threat others like you want to be treated yourself on Twitter..

    Thanks for the tip about the Retweet app!

    And I am a fan of Mind Maps. So liked your little Mind Map here.

    Cheers.. Are

  • February 11, 2010

    I like your upfront acknowledgment of follower attrition being a natural process. I recently wrote a blog post cataloging some of the unnatural / inauthentic / non-organic processes I’ve seen used to attract followers: The Commoditization of Twitter Followers.

    I also like your focus on content at the outset:

    “Getting retweeted is partially a function of good content”

    And I suppose the “partially” qualifier helps explain why you’ve included some strategies that have little to do with the content. FWIW, I find the suggestion to “DM a Retweet request” strikes me as inauthentic, bordering on the cynical.

    Finally, I think the 4:00 sweet spot is interesting, given the global or at least national audience that many tweeters enjoy, and wonder how time zones might factor into effectively incorporating this strategy.

  • February 11, 2010

    Thanks, Joe!

  • February 11, 2010

    Great simple but effective tips, I find if you mention and reference other people, and even include relevant tweets in the article that can help

  • February 11, 2010

    I agree with joe on this one – I’m really skeptical if someone asks for a retweet. If the content is good people will share it, if not no amounts of retweet requests will help. The only exception I’d make to this us for charity campaigns – if the cause was worthy I think people would pass it on.

  • February 11, 2010

    Really great tips, John; I found several that I’ll try this evening. Thanks for the post!

  • February 11, 2010

    Forgive the question, but 4.00pm friday where?

    My 4.00pm friday AEST is 1.00am Friday US ET……. Time zones definately come into it. I’m in Australia and I’m going to bed when most of the US are getting up. There are more people interacting on twitter in the evening, which is obviously not the same time everywhere.

  • February 11, 2010

    Think of Twitter and all as another form of very short I.M. Use it that way and watch the magic happen.

    I feel this works well, you?

  • February 11, 2010

    Some good tips. Thanks!

  • February 11, 2010

    Great tips. But sometimes I think all these tips, doled by gurus, are good for promotion of gurus only.

    Unless people know you, they will not retweet your tweet even if it is of high quality and extremely relevant.

    People are busy. They simply don’t care unless they recognize your name. If they recognize your name, they will retweet every thing you post because they have read it in guru’s blog.

    And they hope if they retweet guru’s tweets, guru may take a notice and retweet their tweets. Alas, guru is busy. He does not know you.

  • February 12, 2010

    I loved these tips, building respect and ‘likeability’ and having something relevant to say can be hard to get across in 140 characters. I’ll definately look into a few of these tips a little more.

    Good stuff

  • February 12, 2010

    When I look over the Tweets I have received, I look for two things…my Twitter Id and Re-Tweets. I put value in those because someone put enough thought, at least most of time, into reading a Tweet and feel it has enough value or interest to pass along to their followers.

  • February 12, 2010

    @Glenn – That brings up a good point. Your Retweeted Twitter ID is no longer visible under mentions.

  • February 12, 2010

    @sarachapman – I’m also skeptical, but only if the user retweets too much.

  • February 14, 2010

    So can you do all 13 in a single tweet? :-D

  • February 16, 2010

    The 4:00 sweet spot is most interesting. It a perfect set up for scheduling RTs with Social Oomph. Good reader question about time zones.

    As a social commentary, it’s sad that people have to be reminded to say please and thank you.

    “Adding your own thoughts” or “your voice” is key since so much of the Twitter content is rehashed anyway. “Your voice” is the endorsement and brand you seek.

    Also, don’t forget, the best way to nurture relationships is to add value and extend conversations with your comments.

    Twitter @JohnBergdoll

  • February 19, 2010

    Excellent tips! Thank you. I was particularly fascinated by the 4:00 PM tidbit. I wonder if there are certain days of the week that are best for tweeting as well…

  • February 19, 2010

    I luv this, my blogs can reach a new audience and get more readers.
    thank you for sharing this @johnhaydon.
    I should make my posts more interesting and fascinating.

  • February 28, 2010

    Cool article! Thx for the Retweet app tip 8D

  • March 3, 2010

    Gr8 post John. But I’m surprised you neglected to mention one of the most important tactical points to getting retweeted.

    Keep your tweets to 120 characters or less (depending on the length of your twitter handle). If someone has to edit your tweet they are much less likely to retweet it.

  • March 3, 2010

    120 characters or less is a great tip. Didn’t know that. Much appreciated.

  • March 3, 2010

    @b_WEST – I did overlook that one, didn’t I. Thanks for bringing it to attention in the comments, Chris!

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