In this post Louise Doherty (@louisedoherty) shares a formula to help you increase the chances of being ReTweeted.
Being ‘retweeted’, the word to describe when one of your followers re-post one of your tweets, is a useful way of reaching a greater portion of the Twittersphere than you might otherwise be capable of reaching on your own.
Retweeted posts are generally indicated by adding ‘RT @username’ in front of the original tweet.
You might want to reach a wider audience for a number of reasons:
- To ask a question, perhaps for help or opinion (crowdsourcing)
- To share something prolific, amusing or newsworthy
- To promote something (an event, blog post or product)
- To interact with new people on Twitter (many of my new followers are as a result of being retweeted)
Unfortunately, without explicitly asking to be retweeted (which in my opinion always looks a bit desperate) you can’t physically make people retweet you. But I’ve discovered it is possible to increase your chances of being retweeted.
As part of my job as an in house PR at Fubra, who own HousePriceCrash.co.uk, OurProperty.co.uk and PetrolPrices.com, I created @housepricecrash, @ourproperty and @ukpetrolprices, and in running three Twitter accounts I noticed a common theme in retweeted tweets.
I’ve condensed my observations into a formula:
<140 – (username + 5) x interestingness = probability of RT
Ok, so it’s not totally mathematical – I do words not numbers – but it basically means that to increase your chances of being retweeted you only need to do two things:
- Keep your tweet short - All tweets must be less than 140 characters, but to be retweeted you need to allow space for an ‘@’ symbol, your username, the letters ‘RT’, and 2 spaces (one after RT and one after your username).
- Say something interesting – No one will retweet you just because they can, you also need to have something interesting to say! People should actively want to pass it on, because they’ve found it funny, informative or useful.
Pete Cashmore, CEO of Mashable, is the best example of this in action. The majority of his tweets are under 127 characters (the maximum length he can tweet to enable people to retweet him, given the length of his username) and he tweets about ‘all that’s new on the web’ – a subject the technologically enlightened Twittersphere clearly finds interesting. He’s retweeted several hundred times a day, as you can see from Retweetist.com – a site which ranks Twitter users based on the number of times they are retweeted.
There are of course other factors at play (the time you tweet, the number of followers you have, how much your followers respect or like you, to name a few) but by sticking to the formula above you will almost certainly increase your chances of being retweeted.
Try it out – and if you find this post useful feel free to retweet it!