{{ searchResult.published_at | date:'d MMMM yyyy' }}

Loading ...
Loading ...

Enter a search term such as “mobile analytics” or browse our content using the filters above.

No_results

That’s not only a poor Scrabble score but we also couldn’t find any results matching “”.
Check your spelling or try broadening your search.

Logo_distressed

Sorry about this, there is a problem with our search at the moment.
Please try again later.

I’ve touched upon this subject before but thought I’d compile a post specifically aimed at bloggers / writers / content creators.

Many brands are investing in content like never before. They use blogs and social networks to attract traffic, and to encourage people to share their posts.

So what do they need to think about to try to increase the amount of sharing on Twitter?

TIMING

The art of timing your tweets is one of the most important factors in driving retweets.

Tweet at the right times

This is probably the most important point. There’s no point pushing out tweets when your followers aren’t tuned in to Twitter. 

Find out the best times for you to tweet by using tools like Tweroid and Socialbro. Create a publishing schedule with emphasis on ramping up your activity during the most popular times.

Retweet yourself

I used to think it was spammy to post the same tweet twice, albeit at different times of the day. Now, for brands with a global audience, and for bloggers, I consider it good practice. 

It may make sense to share content more than once to appeal to people in different territories. Your followers won’t mind so long as you space out the tweets (we typically wait seven or eight hours, to hit new timezones at peak times). 

The alternative, for brands / bloggers with an international presence, is to create specific Twitter accounts for specific territories (something I’ll explore in more detail soon). 

Avoid publishing tweets in batch

You should always try to leave enough space between your tweets. Publishing three tweets in the space of a minute isn’t a good idea (even your most ardent follower might think twice before sharing three of your tweets in quick succession). Use the Buffer app to stagger your tweets.

CONTENT

It goes without saying that the key to success is to produce compelling content, but what exactly do we mean by that? What actually works?

Be useful / helpful / informative

Readers are likely to share a blog post if it has helped them in some way. They’ll also be more inclined to remember you / your brand, and some of them will become new followers. 

Entertainment-orientated posts are good too, especially on Friday afternoons when the brain is shutting down for the weekend (although this, for us, isn’t a peak time for Twitter activity).

Fill the gaps

It is always a good idea to consider the uniqueness of your content. A quick scan around on Google is normally enough, though I’ve also found Twitter Search to be helpful in seeing what’s out there. 

If there are similar posts then figure out how to position yours so it is different enough from the rest, to encourage sharing beyond your own network. 

Internal linking 

It’s really important to point readers at other articles that you have published in the past. If they read two articles, rather than one, then you’re doubling the chances of a retweet (as well as reducing your bounce rates / increasing your page impressions). 

Internal linking is great for SEO too. People will share (interesting / useful / entertaining) content regardless of how they find it. 

Understand the value of in-depth content 

We’ve found that news stories have high bounce rates, while meatier posts are much stickier and have a longer shelf life. They attract the highest number of retweets, while also driving readers deeper into our site.

Write fast, edit slow

There is a link between the time spent crafting a post and the amount of retweets it will generate. I believe in the write fast, edit slow mantra: try to crank out 80% of a blog post in 20% of the time, and then spend the other 80% of your time finessing the post, finding examples and reference material, backing up posts with stats, hunting for internal links, and generally tidying things up. 

Lists FTW

People love to skim read, and – partly because of that - they love lists. Last year a large proportion of our most popular (and most shared) content was list-based. And here I am, writing another list…

Avoid errors

It is all too easy to write an article, publish it, and then head out for lunch. Given that thousands of people may read it I think it’s really important to check and doublecheck your work. And then check it some more.

I typically edit an article at least half a dozen times after it has been published. I’m primarily concerned with grammar and formatting, but it goes without saying that your facts must be watertight. You don’t want people to share your post on the basis that it is inaccurate, ridiculous or embarrassing.

Check out my 23 useful rules for online writing, for more pointers.

Bait!

Linkbait, socialbait, hatebait, statbait… there are plenty of types of ‘bait’ to use in order to attract people to your website. Try to avoid baiting people just for the sake of it, as it can produce a negative reaction. 

Learn the 12 sharing triggers

Last year I wrote a post that outlined why people share videos. Videos can be filed under triggers such as ‘shocking’, ‘unbelievable’, ‘controversial’ and ‘uplifting’. These triggers apply to other forms of content too. Tick one or more boxes to increase your chances of success. 

HEADLINES

Headlines are hugely important...

Witty vs descriptive?

Descriptive headlines work best for search, but I am increasingly of the view that unorthodox headlines stand out from the crowd on the social platforms like Twitter (much in the same way that they used to stand out on Google News). A headline that possesses verve should generate a higher clickthrough rate than one that looks flat.

We know that social media platforms are increasingly affecting the search results so there may be more to life than writing headlines purely for Google. I recently explored ways in which Google might make sense of social signals on Twitter.

The ‘65 character rule’

I always try to abide by the 65 character rule when writing headlines. The idea is to leave enough space for people to append a tweet with their own comments

Adjectives FTW

It is a very good idea to use adjectives in headlines. They’re persuasive and can give your headline a distinct tone of voice. 

They are also great for retweets, as sometimes it appears as if the retweeter has inserted the adjective into the headline (sometimes they do, if you omit them). Powerful.

Question-based headlines

These can really help to kickstart a debate and / or provide some much needed answers (which can form the basis of new posts). Questions can be great for search too, as many people use them as search queries.

Use the right labels

Consider what search queries people are using before determining what headline to use. Google Trends can help you with this.

For example, we can see that people have been searching for the term ‘cookie law’ in the past year, even though the EU e-Privacy Directive is a much broader ‘privacy law’ (cookies are only part of the story).

As such we’ve used ‘cookie law’ as a label, for blog posts and reports on this subject. 

TWITTER ETIQUETTE

There's more to life than endlessly talking about yourself on Twitter... 

Cultivate relationships

Building out your network is one thing, but the degree to which people will take notice of you is likely to be dependent not only on the quality of the content you create, but also on whether you are an active member of Twitter. 

Do you answer questions? Do you involve yourself in conversations? Or is Twitter simply a way of pushing out links?

We know what makes people tune out on Twitter… think about what makes them tune in. Advocacy leads to sharing.

Share other people’s content

This is a good way of getting noticed, especially by influencers who may return the favour. Mix it up: don’t just talk about yourself.

Quality control

Monitor what people say in their retweets. I’m not so bothered about the quantity of retweets, but I do care about the quality

If you are consistently seeing “rubbish post” appended to retweets, rather than “great post”, then consider tweaking your content strategy, to create the right kind of content for your audience.

What did I miss? What other tips do you have to drive retweets on Twitter? Do let us know in the comments section below...

Chris Lake

Published 28 May, 2012 by Chris Lake

Chris Lake is CEO at EmpiricalProof, and former Director of Content at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter, Google+ or connect via Linkedin.

582 more posts from this author

Comments (26)

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Avatar-blank-50x50

SEO Devon

Great tips thank you. I'd never thought about retweeting myself, altho I guess there's a fine line between over doing that tho!

over 4 years ago

Michelle Goodall

Michelle Goodall, Online PR/Social Media Consultant at EconsultancySmall Business Multi-user

Chris, some great tips here. I'd add that the 'anatomy' of your tweet is also important, i.e.:

- Where do you place that link in your tweet - where is your hotspot? start, middle, end?
- Is your tweet actually retweetable without any effort (120 chars or less allows for RT+Username and character spaces)
- Is it readable?
etc

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Howie at Sky Pulse Media

I like your tips. The one I have an issue with is about frequency. If you tweet something once based on people's feed volumes you will be lucky is 1-4% of your followers will see it. So I used to be afraid of spamming followers but now it is pretty much impossible to even have a tweet seen never mind spamming anyone.

For a brand or a blogger that hopes to have a link or info seen by a decent number of their followers they should Tweet at least 4 or 5 times spaced out during the day. That should get about 10-15% of the followers seeing it.

This is no different for Facebook. As we accrue more and more connections we will see less and less of our feed as a total percentage of the feed. Just because I add more connections doesn't mean I have the time to read more tweets or facebook posts.

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Trustico

This is a great article, working at a multinational and being in charge of the social media side I am embarrassed to say that sometimes I forget that my target audience is in bed.

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Katie Camacho

Hi Chris,
I found this article very useful. It is a scary world when it comes to social media but tips like yours make it much easier to attack and results driven. Thanks!

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Joan Liley

I really liked the concise list of things to do and why,backed up with tools to facilitate the actions in this article.

I've just really started to use Twitter and a lot of the points raised on headlines,feeling strongly enough for the subject, have all been part and parcel of 'my' reasons for retweeting and having the 'space' to comment after the 65 characters :)

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Russell O'Sullivan

Hey Chris

One great point you have touched upon here, Twitter Etiquette... its different when there is a content hub style publishing house aka Econsultancy, where there are loads of really great regular contributions. All to often though companies, bloggers etc seem to go on about me me me... it really is nice to see companies retweeting, sharing content and forming those relationships which become essential.

thanks

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Deborah Peters

Great in depth post on content sharing and etiquette! TY Chris

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

bravomedia

Great tips of getting retweets, I used Buysocials.com to get followers and some retweets for fast result.

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Cody

The tips were great. Anyone would like to get more tweets and these information would really make a big difference to the number of tweets.

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Felicia Corrine

I loved reading your blog. You have clearly explained how to make the most of Social media. The tips are very useful.

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Sharon Thomas

Great article. The list of things or the tips are provided sound great. Thankyou.

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Carlota

Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It's the little changes that make the most important changes. Many thanks for sharing!

over 4 years ago

Oliver Ewbank

Oliver Ewbank, Digital Marketing Manager at Koozai

Great post. Twitter is a great way to build up a credible list of users you can re-market to. Another useful tool to use is Tweet Spinner.

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Elaine Fogel

Hey, Chris, don't you mean "edit slowly?" :)

over 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Patrick Gribben

Hi Chris,
Thank you for your advice and suggestions. Any thoughts about twittering in other languages?
Patrick

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Tarun

Really great tips.There are many things from this blog which can help to enhance my twitter strategy.Especially the references you have provided are much appreciable.Thanks for sharing Chris

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Sarah Evans

"I used to think it was spammy to post the same tweet twice, albeit at different times of the day. Now, for brands with a global audience, and for bloggers, I consider it good practice." Me too! I used to just tweet a blog post once and then hope people saw it, now I retweet my own tweets a few times at different times of day, over a week or two. It's had no adverse effects and has meant my posts can reach a larger audience.

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Paul

Great pointers on the article. It would be great to see some real world examples on how they have successfully used the points above in action

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Bee

Fantastic post! A lot of useful points I'll be considering when posting on Twitter or blogger. Thanks!

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Jon Leon

This is a really good article. Great tips are backed up with solid arguements. I would disagree with the tip on avoiding grouping tweets. A stream of 10 is too many, especially when retweeting but 2 or 3 can help grab attention. Other then that, really great!

about 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Buy ReTweets

I think the simplest way to get retweets is to simply buy them. I don't think there's an easier way out there.

almost 4 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

David Yeager

I started to notice my twitter connections had grown to a decent hobbyist size and decided to get more serious about it. I just realized this article had become my little strategy guide as I read it for the 5th or 6th time. As far as the buying retweets comment, I agree completely. If you have resolved to the fact that you have nothing of value to say and nobody likes you, by all means... go buy what millions are freely giving. In doing so just realize that you are passing up an education on how to persuade the modern consumer, a lesson far more valuable than a few backlinks.

over 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

sasha l

these are all good ways of getting retweets I used Backlikes.com for retweets and for getting more followers

over 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Mahesh Sharma

Very nice tips to get more retweets. Thanks!

over 3 years ago

Avatar-blank-50x50

Matthew Jones, Owner at Windows In Wales

Great tips especially Tweriod for finding the best times to achieve the highest reach as possible. Combined with Buffer it's a great tool to have in your Social Media tool arsenal.

over 2 years ago

Comment
No-profile-pic
Save or Cancel
Daily_pulse_signup_wide

Enjoying this article?

Get more just like this, delivered to your inbox.

Keep up to date with the latest analysis, inspiration and learning from the Econsultancy blog with our free Daily Pulse newsletter. Each weekday, you ll receive a hand-picked digest of the latest and greatest articles, as well as snippets of new market data, best practice guides and trends research.