By: @Garin Kilpatrick
Getting retweeted is a great way to extend your influence online.
Retweets lead to more traffic, more followers, and more clout.
As Tim Ferriss explains, getting retweeted is part art, part science.
To maximize your retweet potential your best bet is to have a catchy headline, clean grammar, and some cool content to drive your tweet home.
Write a bold tweet and there is a good chance that someone will retweet it.
Write a tactical tweet, and even if it lacks monumental importance, the science of retweeting will help it spread.
The tips below are a collection of my experience and research. Try them out for yourself and watch as your tweets are retweeted far and wide.
1. Install a Twitter button into your website/blog
Twitter recently launched the official Twitter tweet button, which I really like (you’ll notice it at the bottom of this post). Installing this button into your website makes it easy for people to retweet content on your page.
I like the official tweet button because it uses the custom url shortener t.co and because it gives you the option to suggest users for the person using it to follow after they tweet. You can grab one at: http://twitter.com/goodies/tweetbutton
2. Ask your friends to retweet you
If you have a tweet you want retweeted simply send a message to your friends asking them to retweet it for you.
“Hey there, Garin here, I just finished working on a comprehensive post about 35 ways to get more retweets and if you could share it for me I’d really appreciate it. Here is the link: http://t.co/cE9D6YE Cheers!”
You can message your friends with DM’s via twitter, with facebook, or even with good old email when asking for a retweet.
3. Repeat your best Tweets
If you worked hard on a blog post that you know deserves some attention don’t be afraid to tweet it out a few times.
When you repeat your tweet, mix it up. Don’t tweet the exact same tweet every time. Re-word your tweet and you will appeal to different people each time you tweet it.
There are now in excess of 100,000,000 tweets a day. It is harder than ever to get your tweets noticed these days, due to the sheer volume of tweets.
As long as you don’t spam, and add value, it’s fair game.
4. Tweet breaking news
If you tweet breaking news there is a good chance others will share this news as well, and your tweet might just spread like wildfire.
5. Say thanks!
When you start getting a ton of retweets it is difficult to thank everyone who retweets you, but if you notice that someone has retweeted you several times then take the time to say “thanks” and they will be more likely to retweet you again.
Thank these people for retweeting you and you will gain a new follower and friend that will probably retweet you again.
6. Get as many highly relevant followers as possible
The more followers you have, the more likely you are to get retweets.
7. Build Retweeting Relationships
Promote the content of others more than you promote your own content. The ratio that Chris Brogan uses is 15 x 1, and it seems to work well for him. Help others get their message out and they will be much more likely to do the same for you.
8. Include @mentions to those referenced in the post
Include the twitter user name of others in your blog post, and then send a shout out to them on twitter letting them know.
There is a good chance other people will retweet your post when they find out they are in the post you are sharing!
9. Use Tweriod for a Free Analysis of the Best Times to Tweet
Tweriod is a free Twitter analysis tool that analyses where the last 1,000 people who followed you are from and makes a custom recommendation about when you should tweet based on that.
The only problem with Tweriod is the more followers you get beyond 1,000 the less accurate it becomes at telling you the best time to send your tweets.
10. Time your Tweets During Peak Hours
Have too many followers for Tweriod to be effective for you?
Tweet between 2pm and 6pm EST for maximum effectiveness.
11. Schedule your tweets for maximum effectiveness
I use Hootsuite to schedule my tweets, but tweet scheduling is built into several twitter apps, such as TweetDeck and TweetAdder.
By scheduling tweets you can ensure that your content will be sent out during peak times for maximum exposure, even if you are not there to manually tweet it.
A tool called buffer enables you to schedule tweets at the best time automatically, without having to manually input the time you want to tweet.
12. Leave room in your tweet for RT and your user name
Many people (such as myself) still prefer to retweet using the classic style.
Make sure you leave enough room in your tweet for RT and your user name whenever possible, so as many people as possible retweet you.
13. Trending Topics
Trending topics are a powerful way to get into a stream of tweets that as many as thousands of people are tweeting about at once, and this can help a clever tweet go viral fast.
By tweeting about a trending topic you give your tweet greater exposure than it typically will receive. Some people use this tactic on a regular basis and those who do so with success are often retweeted hundreds or thousands of times and can pick up several thousands of followers in the process.
14. Use a Twitpic
Twitpic is the fifth most popular twitter application, and the reason is simple: it gets a lot of attention.
Tweet a cool picture and the odds are quite good that it will be retweeted.
15. Check out tweetmeme
The stories that are on tweetmeme are there because they have already proven themselves to retweet well.
Retweeting the hottest links on tweetmeme is a sure fire way to get your tweets noticed.
16. Tweet Great Quotes
Take a minute and dig up some great quotes.
Great quotes seem to always retweet very well for me, and I’m sure they will do the same for you.
There are plenty of quotes websites online, just Google “Best [Topic] Quotes” and you’ll certainly find some good ones.
17. Download Dan Zarrella’s free “The Science of Retweets” Report
The Science of Retweets is a free 22 page eBook by Dan Zarrella.This book contains all of the graphs in this post about retweets, and more.
18. Tweet Links
Based on data tweets with links tweet better than tweets without links. The reason for this may be largely due to the fact that tweets without links are often simple daily updates, which make no sense to retweet.
Do not misinterpret this data and think that tweets without links cannot retweet well. Some of my bolder tweets are on par, in terms of retweets, with tweets containing links to my most valuable content.
19. Build friendships with social media giants
If you can manage to build friendships with twitter giants you will benefit from their exposure when they talk to you, and if they retweet your tweets.
Some people with considerably fewer followers than me retweet my content all the time and when I notice this I often return the favour. Even though someone might have many fewer followers I still appreciate the help.
20. Use the most ReTweetable Words in your Tweets
22. Use the ReTweetable words finder tool
The Most ReTweetable Words Finder Tool will allow you to find the most ReTweetable words about your specific topic.
This tool will show you the 20 most ReTweetable words about any given topic. Simply enter a keyword (like “marketing”) and click analyze.
This tool only analyzes about 1500 tweets at a time, which may or may not return relevant results for you. I hope Dan builds out a more robust version of this tool in the future.
23. Include “Please RT” in your tweet
Some people are simply programmed to respond favorably to “please.”
Ask people nicely to help you and you may be surprised by the ground you are able to gain. Dan Zazarella has proven that there is data behind the effectiveness of this strategy.
If you use a tool like TweetAdder to really focus in on a highly relevant niche then you can taylor your tweets to suit the taste of your audience.
TweetAdder enables you to build connections with people based on keywords they have in their bio.
By following people who are interested in topics similar to the content you post there is a very good chance they will follow you back, and this is an effective strategy for building your network fast.
25. If you have WordPress install social sharing plugin
This plugin digg digg will allow you to easily install a tweet button or a tweetmeme button into every post and page. You can even select the “Ajax floating” option so that the buttons follow users down the page as they scroll. Digg digg is currently installed in this blog.
Another social plugin I use on this blog at the bottom of every post is called Sexy Bookmarks.
26. Run a twitter contest where contestants enter by retweeting
Twitter contests often go viral. Certain tweeters eat them up. The cooler the prize you are willing to give away the more likely people are to retweet your link.
You can use the twitter tool backtweets to keep track of everyone who has retweeted the entry link.
27. Get people to pay you with a retweet
If you have a digital product, such as an ebook or an Mp.3 you can use the service paywithatweet.com to offer it to free for any twitter user who sends out a retweet for you.
If you have great content to share this is a very cool way to get some viral exposure as you distribute it.
28. Give away something free
I have gotten tons of retweets on my free 7 day twitter eCourse. One of the seven days contains a module on “How to get more retweets.”
You can also give away a video course, an eBook, or any digital content. The higher the value of the gift you give, the greater your chances are of getting retweets.
29. Use bit.ly or su.pr for links
Bit.ly is the standard url shortener for twitter, and due to that fact it is highly familiar with twitter users, and it will get you the best click through rate.
Su.pr can get you more traffic by syndicating your content to StumbleUpon, which is a community of over nine million users. I know from experience that StumbleUpon can lead to large windfalls of traffic (to the tune of tens of thousands of visitors) so I do believe in StumbleUpon as a very viable source of traffic.
30. Use #Hashtags
Try using #Hashtags. Just don’t use #ReallyAnnoyingLongHashTags.
The most effective way I ever saw hash tags leveraged to promote retweets was when a company offered to donate $.01 to Livestrong everytime the hashtag #beatcancer was used. The hashtag went viral, was used thousands of times. For a few hundred dollars the became a twitter marketing success.
31. Use Backtweets
UPDATE: Backtweets was acquired by Twitter and is currently not available.
If you have a popular post that has gotten some retweets, there is a good chance that it will get retweeted by some people who will not mention your username.
Use backtweets to find everyone who has retweeted your link.
32. Check out this presentation by Dan Zarella
33. Give if you want to get
Promote others like crazy. Then when you throw your own content into the fray there will be many others ready to return the favor. Reciprocity is a powerful force.
34. Tweet more often later in the week
A good strategy to for attaining retweets is to Tweet your best stuff out during peak times.
The peak time for Twitter is after lunch. Between noon and 5 p.m. EST is when you will probably find that you get the most retweets.
The best days of the week for retweets are Thursday and Friday.
35. Tweet awesome content
Content is king, and awesome content naturally leads to a large number of retweets. Check out the twitter run @toptweets for an idea of the most successful tweets. Top Tweets algorithmically selects and retweets some of the most interesting tweets spreading across Twitter.
I have also curated a list called awesome content that contains the people who I have noticed share the most awesome content on a regular basis.
Cool content like this blog post is also great for retweeting .
Now that you know 35 ways to get more retweets go out and put them into action!
How do you get more RT’s? Let us know in the comments.
Oh, and one more thing: Please RT this post