How to Find Twitter Twits to Retweet Your Tweet!

Kevin Gibbons is the Director of Search at SEOptimise, a UK search engine marketing agency. Follow him at @kevgibbo or visit the SEOptimise blog.

A popular topic at the moment is the increasing importance of Twitter as a marketing and traffic generation tool. In the UK Twitter has been growing rapidly during the last 12 months and many people are now realising that micro-blogging is quickly becoming a very useful social media marketing tactic.

The Power of a Retweet

The following diagram helps to show the potential increase in reach when a message is retweeted:

So when I post a tweet it’s sent out to my 722 followers, if this contains a link it may send a handful of clicks, but this really is just the start of promoting a message. The real value is in the power of a retweet, this can potentially reach a far wider audience if retweeted, then maybe retweeted again and hopefully again.


If a tweet was picked up and retweeted by @problogger, for example, this would reach out to an additional 43,000+ followers, many of which are likely to retweet this themselves and hopefully create a snowball effect of RT messages across Twitter. It may also reach additional highly-followed users, such as Stephen Fry (as shown in the image above), helping to spread your message further. There will almost certainly be an overlap in users receiving tweets/retweets, but this also increases the chances of these users seeing your message as it could have been easily missed first time around.

How to find retweeting followers?

So how do you find new followers to RT your tweet? Firstly you should be tweeting the type of messages which your followers will take notice of. But you can take action to seek out new followers who potentially can help to retweet your messages too.

Bio Search – Find users in your industry by performing a query on Twitter bios on website’s such as Twellow. Also make sure you complete your bio using industry specific keywords to help ensure you get found by people searching for similar users to follow. Plus if you are trying to promote your own content try using the bio search to find bloggers and journalists who may be interested in writing about your latest posts.

Find users who like to RT – For example, if you’re looking to find users who will retweet your messages about SEO why not try searching for “RT SEO”? This will instantly show you users who have recently retweeted messages related to the topics you like to tweet about. These users may become very valuable in order to help spread your tweets to a wider audience.


Location Search – Find local users via an advanced search to help build relationships with Twitter users within your region. Try using top locational ranking tools to find the most powerful users with a specific location.

Analyse your traffic stats – View the full referral URL’s for traffic from Twitter, this way you can find the traffic sent from a user profile page and find the users who send you the most traffic. Make sure you are following these users and interact with them frequently.

Don’t use all 140 characters – Keep your messages as concise as possible, leaving more room for reweets and multiple RT’s without forcing people to edit your original message.

Retweet for others – Once you’ve identified the top users you want to connect with; you need to give them a reason to follow and retweet you. Quality content is key, but it may not be enough to get you noticed in the first place. Make sure you communicate with your targeted users and start retweeting some of their interesting tweets, this will help to improve the chances of getting them to follow you back and start to take notice of your tweets.

So those are my tips, what ideas do you have for increasing the visibility of your Twitter account and tweets?


  • March 16, 2009

    Cool tips but I think the most important is to leave some space for people to add at least a “RT @xxx” :)

  • March 16, 2009

    How would you view the full referral URL’s for traffic from Twitter?? I see that it would be useful, but have no idea how to approach it.

  • March 16, 2009

    Ugh. I don’t enjoy seeing a flood of RT’s in my stream. In my opinion, retweets are a new breed of spam.

  • March 16, 2009

    Excellent idea about searching for “RT “, Kevin.

    Darren Tweeted a link to one of my posts earlier in the week. During that day, my blog got 600 visitors from Twitter, and the message was retweeted over 100 times. I’d say most of that traffic came directly or indirectly because of Darren’s Tweet.

    I’ve found retweeting to be so powerful. In a sense, it’s a recommendation by a friend, and we all know people buy based on relationships, emotions and therefore recommendations.


  • March 16, 2009

    @richrecruiter – I’ve heard quite a few people say retweets are spam, but I really don’t see why people think that. When a friend calls you and recommends a mechanic, is that spam? When a friend forwards an email to you he enjoyed, is that spam?

    Retweets are just recommendations. Usually they’re recommended humbly and sincerely. Sure, you get a few people who intentionally DM people and ask for RT’s. Yep, those are spam. But 99.9% of people who RT, do so of their own accord because they enjoyed what they’re retweeting.

    I’d love to hear *why* you feel they are spam. :)


  • March 16, 2009

    I see this very differently. This world of Twitter is not just my own playground. It is a community connecting place and when you have a tribe together it is more about the group energy and desire first.

    RT is another form of validation as well as opportunity to spread information to help, inform and growth for the community.

    How wonderful is it that so many are willing to share their finds so that I do not have to scour the net each day for solutions. What amazes me even more is how I will want to know something and pop there is a tweet that takes me right to the answer. Talk about a law of attraction tool.

  • March 16, 2009

    RT’s are very important since they are only done when people believe the content is relevant, beneficial, and praiseworthy to name a few. RT’s are also important because that’s how it gets to other people who are looking for the content who otherwise may not receive it. Rt’s are also important because they validate your followers and this will keep a nice stream of relevant tweets streaming by.

  • March 16, 2009

    Not only are RTs the new spam but they also add so much to our carbon footprint.
    More RTs means more fossil fuels burned – needlessly – for the sake of a few twits.
    Don’t get me started with videos on youtube and so much more unnecessary data going round…

  • March 16, 2009

    @jamieharrop I have nothing against an occasional retweet. However, I see too many people (especially Tweetdeck users) that retweet 3, 4, 5 times or more an hour without any contribution of their own.

    I prefer to follow people that provide something original, rather than those that fire up Tweetdeck and simply parrot what others have said.

  • March 16, 2009


    Like everything, I guess there’s a limit to what is worthwhile.

    One of the things that got to me recently were the people who would write nothing but famous (or not so famous) quotes all day long on Twitter. Sure, one or two quotes a day are interesting, but when 40 people you’re following are writing ten quotes a day, it gets a little boring after a while.

    If what you’re talking about are the people who do very little else other than retweet, then I certainly agree with you. But a few retweets each day that genuinely share information the person enjoyed are a good thing, in my opinion.


  • March 16, 2009

    I have been trying to find a balance between tweeting freebies on my blog, interesting quotes or things I am reading online, a little about my day and life, and retweeting other twitter friends’ freebies, coupons and giveaway. I have only been on Twitter for a few months and am just starting to find twitter friends who will retweet some of my posts.

    I appreciate the info on finding “users who will retweet your messages”, I will definitely look into that. I am always interested in becoming Twitter friends with those interested in freebies, giveaways and coupons – and happy to to retweet!

  • March 16, 2009

    I can see how RTs could be used in a spammy way. RTing just to curry favor is not organic, and not very helpful to the community.

    That being said, this Twitter RTing is certainly one of the most incredible “spread the word” engines I have ever seen. The figures used in the example above are stunning when you thing about it. Say something useful, novel, important or even just clever, and you could get in it front of thousands of eyeballs nearly instantly. When has anyone ever had that ability?

  • March 16, 2009

    Thank you for your tips. I have often wondered how to get more retweets and now I know! I am a fan of retweets – it’s actually how I came across this post. While certain tweets may get RT’d more so than others and it can be annoying, I just choose to ignore them (just like I do with my spam email – from strangers and from my family and friends who just like to fwd things). Plus, I like the feeling I get when I see one of my tweets getting RT’d, especially if it’s from someone new who is following me. It’s like a virtual thumbs up or pat on the back and I’m happy to return the favor.

  • March 16, 2009

    Great article.

    Always agree that could have got some more info on how to analyze the traffic stats that was mentioned here. I think it is great to follow up with thanking the peeps that gives you a retweet. Also added a couple of new approached lately; 1. Also give a nice comment on their blog if they have one 2. If they retweet my on a Friday I will mention them through #followfriday or #MrTweet


  • March 16, 2009

    Thanks for the comments, I agree that Twitter can be great for receiving feedback and that RT acts as a method of recommending a tweet or link.

    For tracking I’m sure there are far more complex solutions but I use Google Analytics. This shows you all traffic from Twitter (drilled down to the specific landing page) and the full Twitter referral URL, this will be in the format of if clicked directly from a profile page.

    If you’re looking to analyse referals from RT’s of your own tweets I’d recommend using a URL shortening service which includes tracking. This way you could track clicks from all Twitter apps such as Twitteriffc and Twhirl too, in addition visits via, so it may be more accurate in tracking all traffic.

  • March 16, 2009

    If YOU have something you would like Retweeted, please tweet me at @retweet and if I like what I see I’ll retweet you. :)

  • March 16, 2009

    one day i’d like to see something i tweeted to be retweeted back to me, if not for anything other than knowing that some bit of information i sent out was actually useful enough to someone for them to pass it forward.

  • March 16, 2009

    You make my head hurt. You are the number one source I turn to for everything blog and twitter. I’m reminded there is so much out there, that I have not yet discovered. Thanks for rocking!


  • March 16, 2009

    Great Twitter Tips, as Twitter grows more and more is vital that we can learn and implement the proven actions to make Twitter a more valuable and useful community that it already has become :)

    Well Done,

  • March 16, 2009

    Well, I’ve discovered that if you comment on the link in your tweet, more people will click into it, and if they find it interesting, they would retweet it. But keep your tweet short though.

    In fact, you should keep your tweet as short as possible because a person might retweet a retweet.

    In conclusion,

    interestingness + usefulness + shortness + comment

  • March 16, 2009

    Thanx for the info! BTW.. I like to RT!

  • March 17, 2009

    Good re-tweets and Bad retweets. First off whether an RT is good or bad depends on who and what you follow. Examples
    Someone with a wide following of people who I would not follow Tweets something which contains a hash tag which I follow. Many followers RT it. Result I the same thing many times. I don’t want to follow those who RT because they just echo their hero and have nothing original to say. That’s a BAD RT.
    A good RT, someone I follow because they are a good enough judge of what is interesting sees what I have missed and gives it wider attention.
    How do you distinguish ? A retweet by someone with 2 followers of something by someone with 200,000 is almost certainly BAD. But when the original was by someone with 2 and the RT was by someone with 200,000 that’s probably good.

  • March 17, 2009

    Wow, I never thought about searching for retweeters. What an excellent idea. But generally I still think the best idea is that if you want to create evangelists, you have to BE an evangelist. This goes for retweeting, trackbacks on blogs, or giving favorable mentions on you blog.

  • March 17, 2009

    Thnk you i really dont like to RT but there are somtimes some eceptions.

  • March 17, 2009

    Great post … BUT

    I think retweets can be very annoying … in some areas the main part of the spam are retweets.

    But then again if you want to spread you content, then retweets are pretty usefull

  • March 17, 2009

    Generally I like to take the time to look at EVERY new follower’s website & tweets and when I find something that I consider others will also find interesting I’ll RT it.

    This can necessitate going through pages of tweets to find something appropriate * But I’ve found if you look long enough you’ll generally find a real ‘gem.’

    While agreeing that RTs need to be special and not overly used, my RTs mainly come from finding something special within many different people, rather than the Top Twits or Tweetdeck.

    As Michele @prosperitygal says, I also feel that an RT is a form of validation as well as an opportunity to spread information that will help to inform the entire community.

  • March 18, 2009

    Give more than you take is a good Twitter rule of thumb. I see RTs as a form of “kudos,” not spam, but of course there is abuse potential. Twitter is a community of sharing, so it makes sense that things that are valuable to users will get RT’d and make a few rounds.

  • March 22, 2009

    …so, no one answered yet – how do you search for these RT to see if someone is RT-ing you??

  • March 23, 2009

    Hi Annie, I would recommend using Twitter Search for either “username or “RT username” queries.

  • March 24, 2009

    I think Twitter is great but information overload is a big danger. I follow around 200 people, and these people post a lot of tweets and retweets. Most of these people are in the SEO and marketing business, and probably use twitter more than the average user – but still.

    Well I only follow the people I find interesting, and I somehow have to filter the information I get. And when the group retweets internally then this becomes rather a big task on its own.

  • April 5, 2009

    Like a few others have said, it seems that some frown on retweets. I wonder sometimes if it is because they don’t like the competition. You can’t assume that one person was able to reach everyone on Twitter with the first and only tweet. So, why not retweet, and in the process refer someone that doesn’t already have a following in the 5 digits?

    Some people are never satisfied. Now I’m seeing people use “via” instead of “RT”. Why?? It does exactly the same thing. It’s not cool to be like everyone else, so about the time the masses start catching on they need to change it to stay part of the ‘cool crowd’ that knows and understands Twitter much better than a newbie.

  • April 12, 2009

    A very straightforward post with some good tips. Thanks, Kevin!

  • April 13, 2009

    Great tips Kevin! Thanks for sharing.

  • April 20, 2009

    TwitterAnalyzer can show you your retweets, and even count the number of users exposed to each message… basically, its a tool for Twitter users to analyze themselves or their friends, but Twitter Analyzer takes the statistics data to a much higher level… (it is called by some Twitter users the “Google Analytics for Twitter users”) and rightly so, TwitterAnalyzer features more then 50 statistics measures displayed in 3D graphs and World Maps enabling surgical precision tuning of your twitter stream… you would discover many things about your or your friends Twitter presence… you can even share your statistics with your friends.

  • June 14, 2009

    Great tip, thank you

  • August 3, 2009

    Good tips! I find myself always editing tweets just to make them shorter!

  • July 8, 2010

    Nice post kevin i like your method to getting followers, and to growing your following on twitter.

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