How to Make Your Tweet Retweetable
By Dan Blacharski
Updated September 26, 2017
A strong social media campaign depends on providing compelling content and giving readers a reason to share it. Incorporating Twitter into a campaign can deliver big benefits: When you write tweets meant to be retweetable, the viral potential can result in a growing list of loyal followers. The brevity of the format can be deceiving, though. Like any message, a tweet needs to be written with care, and a Twitter blast requires as much strategy and forethought as does a complete Madison Avenue campaign.
Mechanics of Retweeting
Making your tweets retweetable is largely a function of good writing and savvy marketing; however, there are a few basic rules you need to follow to enable retweeting in the first place. For example, do not select the "Protect my Tweets" box in the privacy setting, as this makes your tweets nonretweetable. Also, keep tweets shorter than the 140 character maximum to allow space for the retweeter's name and any additional notes she may wish to add.
Provide Something of Value
If your goal is to gain followers and encourage retweets, you need a certain amount of marketing finesse in your writing. The potential impact of a tweet belies its short format, so use caution to avoid thinking of it too casually. Tweets about your lunch or your pet or missives full of abbreviations and emoticons are not going to go viral. Instead, give readers something they did not have before, such as a link to an informative article or a tweet that is timely or provocative.
Asking for the Retweet
Ideally, the retweet should come organically -- readers should be so impressed with the content that they decide to retweet on their own. Repeatedly and explicitly asking for a retweet with verbiage such as "Please RT" or "Please retweet" may be ignored as spam. A well-written tweet with a link, written in the form of a teaser or headline, is much more likely to be retweeted. In addition, many website and blog platforms such as WordPress allow for tweets to be displayed with action links that allow readers to retweet directly from your website.
Write the tweet with a positive twist. Tweets full of slang, profanity, abbreviations and negative comments may be cathartic to write, but they won't spawn many retweets. If you are trying to create viral activity and promote a brand, a hyper-casual approach will work against you. The best approach is "business casual," which is an approach that is personal and casual but written with care.
Dan Blacharski is CEO of Ugly Dog Media, a full-service marketing and PR firm focusing on emerging technology and disruptive trends. A "dotcom boom" veteran and graduate of University of California, he is at the forefront of the next wave of innovation that is driven by new cloud enabling tech.