Although social media in general, and Twitter in specific, can be a big deal in generating traffic to your social media assets and websites, and also help in increasing sales, many have argued what is the best way for business, and individuals, to act when requesting a retweet. As social signals continue to rise in prominence when it comes to search engine rankings, there has been a revival in the need for retweets. Google and Bing are assigning a certain level of importance on the sheer organic numbers that are gained when it comes to social sites like Twitter, Facebook, and Google+, and Twitter is the easiest of the numbers for a business to be able to influence quickly. Research is showing that increased engagement on an individual page on a website through social media can improve rankings across the board for the domain.
So how do you ask for a retweet? Would you ask formally? emotionally? nicely? Should you be straight forward? Below are “rules” that have been proven effective enough to generate higher rates of retweets between business & individuals.
Keep the post mid-length. Short posts do not get retweeted as much as longer posts, but if it’s too long you’ll miss the coveted “mention retweet”. Remember, there are two types of retweets. When people see your posts and push the Retweet button, they are actually posting your Tweet on their feed. Your avatar appears and there are no additional characters required. However, if they are doing the “mention retweet”, they are posting it themselves and adding “RT @handle” or “Via @handle” somewhere in the Tweet. If your post even appears to be too long, they’ll probably skip it. Keep your posts over 60 characters but under 110.
Request it sparingly. If you ask for retweets every time you have a link, people will stop doing it. As a general rule, there should be at least five Tweets between each request and no more than one a day if you’re posting more than six times.
Make it universally important. By “important” that doesn’t mean that it needs to be something of a pressing nature. It could even be a link to something frivolous on your website, but it has to have general appeal. Avoid using self-references in the Tweets that you want retweeted. “I” or “we” does not play well when someone who is not you is being asked to say something in their Twitter feed.
Ask the right way. Saying “Please Retweet” or “Please RT” is better than saying “Retweets are appreciated” or “Retweet this”. Be polite but to the point.
Tag it. According to a study by QuickSprout, posts with tags asking for retweets are almost twice as likely to get retweeted. The most popular tag? #Twitter.
In many ways, Twitter’s role in business is changing. It’s not longer as great at direct marketing as it is at communication with current and future customers and clients. The addition of social signals as a search ranking component has brought it back into the realm of internet marketing, but don’t get caught up in the SEO value alone. Twitter still has value in other ways. You just have to be willing to put in the effort to find its value for you.