What’s a Retweet?

If a Twitter message is compelling and interesting enough, users might republish that tweet — commonly known as retweeting. A retweet is like having someone forward your email, and retweets generally enchange the perceived value of the content.

When you ask someone to retweet your content, you are effectively asking them to endorse and share the content with their followers. It’s very much having them forward an e-mail.
http://www.retweetist.com/ is a website that monitors retweets.

There are several forms of retweet that are commonly used. Most commonly, “retweet @username”, “RT @username” or “via @username”, before or after the retweeted message. The @ mark is a common convention used to refer to a twitter user account, when used before the user name.

Less than one-fifth of 1 percent of retweets get over 100 retweets. Getting into that 1 percentile is an art and a science.

More than 95 percent of all initial retweets get fewer than five people retweeting in turn. There is an even smaller percentage of tweets that get retweeted more than 20 times and an even smaller percentage that get retweeted more than 100 times. If you get 100 people to retweet your original content post, you have hit what can be considered a home run.

Rodney Rumford, author of “Twitter as a Business Tool” and co-founder of www.TweetPhoto.com offers 12 reasons why requests for retweets fail:

  1. You don’t use the word ‘please.’ If you want help, you need to ask nicely. Use pls RT or please RT or please retweet.
  2. You use up all 140 characters. Leave at least 12 to 20 extra characters so that when people move your content through the retweet cycle there is room for another name or two to be added to the tweet.
  3. Your headlines are not compelling enough. Carefully craft your messaging so that it has a “headline” that allows people to immediately understand the content and value.
  4. You don’t have a call-to-action request. Tell people what you need or want them to do specifically and concisely.
  5. Your URL is too long. Use a link shortening service such as www.bit.lywhich allows tracking of everyone who retweets.
  6. You just don’t have the network size to get people to engage: Your network might be too small for the retweet to gain critical traction or people tend to ignore your tweets.
  7. You ask people to retweet too often. Build up some karma points by sharing great content; then you can ask for the retweet.
  8. You do not publicly and/or privately thank the peoplethat retweeted the content. People enjoy ego strokes and recognition. This is crucial in a social network such as Twitter.
  9.  You only ask for retweets when it primarily benefits you or your business. In social networks, you get out what you put in. Give people lots of great content that is not self-serving, so that when you ask for a retweet they are more likely to respond favorably to your retweet request.
  10.  You don’t have a tribe of loyal followers that you built a relationship with. Creating relationships with the people that you interact with is critical; they will want to help you and will readily retweet.
  11.  Your content lacks relevance. The content needs to be interesting to your target market in order for it to spread.
  12.  Your brand is not respected within the Twitter eco-system. You need to have your communication channel flowing and have a bit of history associated with your Twitter account.

Rodney Rumford is the author of “Twitter as a Business Tool” and co-founder of www.TweetPhoto.com. You can follow him on Twitter @rumford.

One thought on “What’s a Retweet?