How-To: Get Re-Tweeted

This will be my shortest blog post ever.

Because it’s about Twitter.

And you don’t have much space to say something important.

So here’s a quick tip that I believe is the foundation for re-tweetification:

Structure tweets in such a way that you leave at least 10-15 characters for an RT, HT or “via” plus your Twitter handle.

For me, that’s 13 characters for “RT @krazykriz”.

So I feel as if I never have 140 characters.

I’ve got 127…

…that is, if I want to make it easy for people to re-tweet me.

I suppose it seems intuitive or simple, but I often need to play with some tweets quite a bit before RT’ing.

And I love what they’ve said and want to share it right away!

What are your thoughts on this idea? Do you do the same?

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Megan Price

I had not thought of that (but that doesn’t surprise me)..with the twitter RT feature does the length matter? It seems like regardless of length the RT feature will work – if you try to add a comment or manually RT then the number of characters may be an issue.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Hey Megan – I find that the message gets truncated if I RT straight away…sometimes that gets hard to read and/or requires an extra click…so makes it less likely to get RT’d multiple times. Make sense?

Tim Craig

Yes, the new Twitter RT does not add the additional characters, so that is one way to go.
But many folks like to old school “RT” method – being aware of that I too often make sure to leave the extra space.
This is also a reason to think about your Twitter username and not make it too long.

Ari Herzog

This very amusing to me, for I’ve been retweeted en masse lately but I never sent the initial tweets. Rather, people clicked retweet buttons on my blog posts and then other people retweeted them.

Sometimes, it’s more important to focus on generating content and providing outlets for people to tweet, digg, stumble, etc the content knowing their followers will do what they do. Crowds will be crowds. Why tell the crowd what to do vs giving them the manna to do it themselves?

Christopher Parente

Nice tip many forget, Andy. FWIW, I don’t like the new auto RT function on Twitter, b/c it’s too automatic, doesn’t give me a chance to add WHY I’m retweeting, add a tiny bit of commentary. Guess that what Tim below refers to as “old school.”

I recently attended an online Twitter seminar, in which they promoted the 70/20/10 rule for building a following. Make 70% of your tweets interesting content, with links. 20% of the time be engaging in conversations, and 10% of the time be purely personal, yourself. Sounds about right to me — anyone have feedback on that?

Adriel Hampton

Ari, and then there are the “share” widgets on many blogs that don’t shorten huge URLs, totally defeating the concept.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Ari – you’re a pretty sophisticated Twitter user, having reinvented yourself multiple times! 🙂 So my tip is probably less helpful for someone like who is so prolific in producing other kinds of content across the web that people want to share. I’m mainly striving to give agency tweeters food for thought…so their important messages can be shared more quickly.

Adriel – @GovWiki is a great example…as are those widgets. Even here on GovLoop where the Twitter integration has been added (and the links are shortened!), I try to change those messages so that they are (a) more compelling and (b) shorter.

Chris – My general philosophy is to include an @ or link in almost every tweet. I want to be sharing valuable information or helping someone else with their message dissemination….so that’s probably 45/45 for me…and the personal stuff is more like 10%, so that seems to be about on target with the seminar’s advice.

Andrew Krzmarzick

Andrea – who still uses the original Twitter app? 😉

Since I haven’t used it in a looooong time…what does it do? Auto-truncate?

Adriel Hampton

Andrea, problem with the Twitter function is that the RT looks OK there, but all over elsewhere, apps are cutting off the end of the tweet. Though I like a lot, they did us a disservice by letting 3rd party apps flourish and then creating a RT system that doesn’t translate well to those apps.
Chris, if influence is the goal, I advise more like 50-70 percent conversation, and a few really good links. Because everybody and their aunts and uncles are doing the link-heavy thing.

Joey White

I hardly read people who almost exclusively send retweets or even links. I read a lot from my phone and there’s no telling what kind of website a shortened URL will take me to. Some are fine and others chew up way too much memory for a phone if the site isn’t adapated to mobile phones. So I tend to prefer original material or retweets that are interesting and don’t require a link.

Don’t get me wrong, links are good, but not at 70% usage in my opinion.

And I agree on keeping tweets shorter. I try (and often fail) to do that. Short names help too (my username is 7 characters). Good post and discussion!

Andrew Krzmarzick

Thanks, Chinchu…

@Joey – You are supposed to be taking care of twins, my friend! No wonder you don’t have time for long downloads of links 😉

Joey White

@Andrew – First day back in the office! But you’re right, free time for clicking links is quickly dwindling…I suppose that’s true for both of us. 😉