Whatever your social media goals are, increasing the number of re-tweets (RTs) should be at the heart of your strategy. RTs expose your content to a new audience; help you grow your community and increase your chances of being featured by Twitter’s new algorithmic timeline. What many don’t realize is that RTs matter more than most other forms of Twitter engagement. A RT tells you that your content resonates with your community, and by regularly monitoring what content gets re-tweeted you’ll have a better idea how to build your social media strategy.
The tricky thing about trying to understand RTs is that there’s no one-size fits all formula that works for all communities [click to tweet]. There are, however, best practices for boosting Twitter engagement that are worth keeping in mind. We recommend testing a few of these strategies and monitoring the results carefully before you develop a strategy to increase the number of RTs. After two months of testing you’ll have a good idea of what works best for your community.
Tailoring your social strategy
Twitter communities are much like real-world communities. They’re unique, dynamic and they all have their own set of ideas and interests. One group of people may enjoy classical music while another may prefer hard rock. Try playing hard rock for the classical music lovers and you’ll see how quickly the room empties. The same is true of your Twitter community.
In order to get a good understanding of what makes your community tick, we recommend a two month testing period where you experiment with some of the most popular Twitter engagement strategies. These include things like using popular hashtags, engaging images and succinct tweets. At the end of the two month test period, you can use Twitter’s analytics to analyze that two month period and you’ll see what worked best for your community.
Popular strategies for increasing re-tweets
Here are some of the most popular strategies for increasing RTs. Have some fun experimenting with them, and then take the time to re-assess your strategy.
1. Keep your Tweets succinct
An analysis of 200,000 Tweets indicted that tweets between 120 and 130 characters had the most Twitter engagement. The shorter the tweet, and the more succinct the text the better.
2. Use hashtags
Research suggests that tweets with hashtags gets twice more Twitter engagement than tweets without any hashtags. Keep in mind, however, that you want to use no more than 2 hashtags per tweet. Using more than 2 hashtags per tweet has been found to decrease Twitter engagement, including RTs, by at least 17%.
3. Include engaging images
By including an engaging image you can substantially increase your Twitter engagement. One study found that the use of images increased all types of Twitter engagement, but it had the most significant impact on the number of RTs. On average, the inclusion of an image has the potential to increase RTs by 150%
4. Include quotation marks
Your tweet is 30% more likely to be re-tweeted if it includes quotation marks according to one study on Twitter engagement.
5. Pay attention to the words you use
The language you use matters. It affects how people respond and can determine whether or not they decide to RT you. One social media study found that tweets which included words like ‘please help’, ‘please retweet’, ‘please rt’ and ‘please’ among others.
What strategies do you use to increase the number of re-tweets? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below.
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