How to Double Your Retweets In Two Days

How to double your retweets in two daysThis is a guest post by Jonathan Wondrusch from ByBloggers

Three weeks ago, I was in a place where my best posts were getting around 25 retweets – max.  Average was 15-20. Sure, I had a few outliers like the launch of my e-book that got even more, but what I really wanted was a way to drive more traffic to my site.

I started looking toward my friends to see who had the most effective social media strategies. Immediately, Francisco, our valiant leader here at SocialMouths, stuck out. While some of my friends were getting 30-50 tweets, somehow, Francisco was getting hundreds. It seemed that nearly every post he writes goes crazy. I wanted to know how.

I watched. I thunk. I analyzed, and I came up with a strategic answer for how it appeared Francisco was seriously rocking the number of tweets his posts received.  Then I took action; I applied the strategy for myself. And it worked.

And now, I’m here to share it.  The first logical step is to create relevant and powerful content for your audience. You won’t get attention for poor content.  The second has to do with copywriting – Francisco’s headlines are always eyecatching and engaging.  You want to read his posts because of that.  Those two things will only get you part of the way there.

How do you get the rest of the way? Let’s find out.

The Nature of Twitter

Twitter is one of the largest social media hubs online, and for some people, it is even more important than is Facebook. Twitter works because it is constantly changing. If you follow more than one hundred fifty people, your Twitter stream will be constantly updating. For better or worse, it appeals to the modern culture of Internet ADD.

Users don’t read their entire streams. To do so would quickly become ludicrous and you would have time for nothing else. The messages we send on Twitter are temporary and disappear in an instant.

Yet many people don’t realize this when they create a plan of action for how they promote their own work on Twitter. They feel uncomfortable if they promote themselves more than once or twice.

In my mind, this is choosing to be irrelevant. If you tweet something to your followers once, and it disappears from the top of their stream within 5 minutes (or less at peak times), what happens if they aren’t online to see it?

Do they just miss out on the high quality material that you’ve produced that could help them? Bummer.

Your average follower might be looking forward to your post when it appears in their Twitter stream, but unless you’ve got an unusually dedicated fan, they aren’t going directly to your Twitter profile in order to see if you’ve got any new posts up. You want to reach as many people as possible, right?

So what’s the answer? Tweet more.

The Benefits of Tweeting More

Let’s not pull any punches – social proof matters. And if you’re tweeting more, your numbers are going to go up. All of them (if you do it right):

  • The retweet count on your Twitter widget will go up with each time you retweet it.
  • It will rise even higher as your post gets retweeted at least once or twice every time you tweet about it.
  • Your traffic will go up because you’re hitting a larger audience.
  • Your follower count will go up because more retweets means exposure to a wider audience.
  • The number of conversations and engagements you have on Twitter will go up.

So far, I don’t see much of a downside to promoting yourself more on Twitter. Are you worried about alienating your followers or that they might be annoyed?

How to get more RetweetsBut Won’t My Followers Be Annoyed?

Since adopting the strategy I’m about to share, I haven’t heard any complaints.  I’ve even gone so far as to ask my close friends and my fiercest followers on Twitter if they’ve noticed the extra noise. The results? Not at all.

Active Twitter users practice a selective reading policy – we can tell by peripherally glancing at most tweets if we want to read them or not. It’s a matter of who’s doing the tweeting, if we see a link or a quote inside and the keywords that pop out at us. If people don’t want to read a tweet with links, they don’t.

These numbers are far from scientific, but here’s how I break down the answer of, “Will my followers be annoyed?”:

  • 48% of them won’t care, because they won’t notice.
  • 36% of them will notice one or two of your extra self-promoting tweets, but won’t care because they love the work you do and the type of message you’re sharing; they might even share it (again).
  • 14% of them will notice your extra tweets and they won’t care because they are social media mavens and understand what you’re doing; they are also following so many people that they aren’t impacted by it.
  • 2% will notice and be annoyed.   It is likely that they will unfollow you.  It doesn’t matter.  They are not your true fans.  They are the fringe; the outliers.  They read and liked one or two posts, but are not the target audience for your writing.  They don’t interact with you and chances are, you don’t have a relationship with them.

The last part may sound harsh, but this type of attrition to your followers is actually valuable. It results in a greater percentage of engaged followers – the people that you want as a member of your community. Let’s be frank: this is business, not a popularity contest. While big numbers and follower counts are nice, far more important in the long run is the quality of those followers. I’d rather have a following of 500 where 300 are deeply engaged than 5000 with 1-2% who actually care about the content I produce.

Timezones & Times of Day

Tweets by time of day

How do you know exactly when to tweet something to gain maximum exposure?

If you want to go by the numbers, the “best time” to tweet something is between 11am and 3pm EST when the greatest amounts of people are online. It can’t hurt to follow this type of statistical guidance, but it’s a near guarantee that your audience does not exactly reflect the entire demography of Twitter.

Starting out, you don’t know when your star retweeter will be online (or even who they are), you don’t know when most of your followers are going to be online and you don’t know when they’ll have time to read something.

So what do you do?

Keep promoting yourself. The best way to do it is to target specifically different crowds. Some people are morning Twitter users, some people hop on during their lunch time and some people tweet late into the night. Think about different time zones and peak periods of use.

In my own testing, I’ve found that two hour increments from 9am to 7pm PST (9am, 11am, 1pm, 3pm, 5pm, 7pm) hits a different area of my audience each day and each tweet tends to result in a few retweets. This is especially effective if there is a new post to share, but still works well when I’m sharing the gems from my archives.

It also leaves a lot of room for engaging in conversations and sharing quality content from other people that I find throughout the day.

ReShare The Best In Your Archives

You’re probably familiar with the concept of “pillar” or “evergreen” posts – posts that when you write them, they become a foundation for the writing you will do in the future. You can literally build your message on these types of post. The quality and attention of pillar content to detail will consistently serve those that visit your site in a timeless fashion.

At times, a new visitor may become deeply engaged in your content and tweet the best of your old material. You can wait for that to happen – if you want.  To do so is an extremely passive approach.

You probably get new followers on twitter daily.  How are they supposed to know what the best you have to offer is unless you tell them?  On the days that you don’t have a new post to share, you can still serve your audience (especially the newer members) by sharing the best of your evergreen content.

Success in Action

As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, I modeled this strategy after watching the success that Francisco was having using it.  You’re all still here, right?  Social Mouths is definitely on the rise.  The content here is incredibly high quality and the copywriting is consistently impressive – the bases of this strategy are covered.  The real success comes from how skillfully Francisco shares his content to extend the reach of his material.

Hugh MacLeod of GapingVoid shares his posts and his cartoons multiple times with all of his followers (of which he has many). Not only does he share his posts, he retweets people’s comments on his posts and many tweets related to his art. Does his audience rebel? Hardly – in fact, his numbers continue to swell and his presence online continues to expand.

And lastly, the site I know best – By Bloggers. I started by testing out the strategy I’m sharing on a few posts of mine. The first one: 13 Core Components of E-Book Design got over 50 retweets using this strategy, up from an average of 20. Last week, The Only Guide to Online Product Pricing You’ll Ever Need did the same. While I’m not yet close to Francisco’s numbers, this is a 250% improvement over the number of tweets my posts were getting before.

Not bad.

To Schedule or Not to Schedule?

Implementing this type of sharing strategy takes time, and many people might jump to the question, “Should I schedule my tweets?”  It’s an important one.  You’ll find people all along both sides of the line that have relevant and insightful opinions.

I’d like to take a balanced approach: You should schedule your tweets, but only schedule them around the times you’ll be at your computer within an hour of posting it. The worst thing you can do is tweet something and start a conversation, only to have the conversation die before it starts because you weren’t around to engage.

If you know when you’re going to be online, you can schedule your tweets for around the same time, so that when conversations do arise, you’re there to take part in them. At the end of the day, scheduling is neither good nor bad; it’s all in how you use it.

Balance: Share and Share Alike

Self promotion is great – getting yourself out there and creating a reputation begins with the actions that you take. There is some danger involved however – you may get trapped in only promoting yourself.

Twitter and all of social media is a social venue.  Social means interaction & conversation.  It means asking questions and giving answers; it means hanging out with all of the awesome people that have decided that online is the place to be.  Tell jokes; share joy; actively participate in real conversation. Engage.

To implement this strategy successfully, you have to find a balance in how much you promote others and how much you promote yourself.  While tweeting your own posts more is guaranteed to bring more attention and traffic to your site, shouting, “ME, ME, ME!” into a crowded room is one of the best ways to get tuned out or unfollowed.

Focus on providing value to those that you are sharing with.  If you start with this in mind and your goal is to help your audience (whether they are in Australia or the United States), you’ll gather a following that wants to receive what you are sharing.

How Are You Promoting Yourself?

In the end, it all comes down to marketing yourself. If you’re creating content but not driving people to it, you’re talking to a vacuum (empty space). That’s disappointing, and is not a sustainable enterprise.

To succeed, you much become as skilled a marketer as you are a content creator, or team up with someone who is.

So I ask, how are you promoting yourself? Are you using Twitter and Facebook in a way that helps you active expand your reach? Leave a comment and let’s talk about it.

Jonathan Wondrusch from ByBloggers.netThis is a guest post by Jonathan Wondrusch – Jonathan is the Head of Awesome at ByBloggers.net, author of Epic E-Book Creation and the brain and soul behind the ByBloggers Bootstrapper program. You can also find him hanging out on Twitter or Facebook.

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  • http://blog.courtneyparham.com/ Courtney Parham

    I receive multiple retweets per day, and I’m in the top quartile of users retweeted according to Klout. Much of my success is based on an article about Dan Zarrella’s study, “9 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Retweeted”: http://bit.ly/hDFrq8.

    I’ve found that the key to getting retweets is to retweet others and engage (sharing is caring). It’s also vital to provide not just “good” content, but valuable and useful content.

  • http://www.bybloggers.net Jonathan Wondrusch

    Sharing is caring :) Thanks for the link to that post, Courtney, it looks like a great statistical resource for people. Have you found that a lot of what matters when you’re getting retweeted is how relevant it is to your audience or just to people in general?

    How do you feel about Klout? I’ve recently been much more interested in PageRank because of it’s measurement of, “engagement” versus clout.

  • http://twitter.com/Ayngelina Ayngelina

    I tweet new posts several times a day but I haven’t thought about going back to the archives, it’s an interesting idea.

  • http://www.bybloggers.net Jonathan Wondrusch

    I hope it helps you! I find that promoting pillar content whenever possible – through tweets, on facebook and within posts really helps me create “fans” that come back

  • http://twitter.com/AngieCaunce Angie Caunce

    Awesome article Jonathan. Thank you for putting your tips in such a succinct list. I have clients just setting sail into Twitter and are constantly asking me for ways to get more traction. I’ll send them your article!

  • http://twitter.com/gogodropship GoGo Dropship

    It makes sense that original content is tweeted more often. I’ve been mostly retweeting and direct messaging people, I guess it’s time to contribute.

  • http://www.bradleygauthier.com Bradley Gauthier

    Wow, this is a great article!

    The biggest hurdle I’ve been trying to overcome is thinking it’s a burden to tweet too much. But considering most people follow so many people, I’d imagine most of my followers don’t see a majority of my posts anyway.

    Thanks for this, it’s excellent!

  • http://www.hectorjcuevas.com/ Hector Cuevas

    Awesome post Jonathan.. I’m been meaning to ask Francisco about his hundreds of retweets on every post. But you answered that question for me with this nice piece.

    I’ll put this to work and see what happens… talk soon
    Hector

  • http://www.schoolofcreativebusiness.com Alease Michlle

    I currently use facebook to market myself. I want to use tweeter more, but I am not on tweeter that much to engage in converstation. Facebook allows for this to happen a lot easier.

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    That is true Bradley, as Jonathan said, you create something awesome and then people (hopefully the right audience) don’t get to see it.

    If you tweet more you’re increasing your chances, most people won’t even notice BUT what I like to think is that most people won’t matter because they already know who you are.

    If 80% of the time I focus on YOU, then when I mention my work you will not only be okay with it but you will be happy to amplify my message.

    =)

  • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

    Great ideas here, Jonathan. I love Francisco here and the Social Mouths community and I am delighted to see his RT counts – thank you for breaking down his secrets. How much did you bribe him? ;)!
    I like to usually leave the link in there when I respond to thank/comment on a follower RT. And I always respond. I will follow your strategy because they make perfect sense. Many thanks for taking the time to write and share all of this. I am about to RT this post for a 2nd time just because :)!

  • Sally Waters, A Life Explored

    Great article Jonathan – especially helpful for a newbie like me :-)

  • http://forexlearntrading.net Make money from forex xites

    Great article, excellent tips.

  • Anonymous

    I love the reference to @gapingvoid…he’s something cosmic. I appreciate your honest, tried & true advice. The truth is: if you want an audience (for whatever reason), you have to go through the hoops. It’s not ego, it’s just best practice. I don’t want any money for my blog, but I’d love a deeper conversation. I’ll practice your tips, w/nods to Francisco, swallow my pride (even if it gives me ulcers), and keep twittering.

    I also love the idea of a Twitterville Mean Time (nobody cares about Greenwich anyway) ;)

  • http://www.socialmouths.com Francisco Rosales

    Ha! These are all Jonathan’s assumptions my dear Farnoosh… =D

  • Fezeka Saige

    I am on it and trying it starting today. I will let you know how it goes!

  • http://www.watchenthusiasts.com/panerai-watches/ Panerai Watches

    I had about 3200 tweets and then it went to 0. I am accumulating them again (currently at 72). Unfortunately the number of tweets you have influences engagement tools. The actual tweets are still there but not the number.

  • http://www.prolificliving.com/blog Farnoosh

    I knew it. Don’t worry Francisco, you can’t resist my offer. You’ll give up all your secrets AND feel good about it ;)!

  • Anonymous

    I really appreciated your take on scheduling tweets/updates. I like to schedule a few tweets about the time that I normally get back on Twitter, to get the conversation started and give me something to jump into when I’m on and available to chat. Scheduling tweets also allows me to spread out the great tweet ideas that come to me offline (same as I do with blog posts) rather than bombard my followers all at once.

  • http://twitter.com/MarthaGiffen Martha Giffen

    Interesting ideas! I have subscribed to the “best time to tweet” for a while now and I can tell a difference in my RTers. also, people who actually click on my link and come to my blog. You give a fairly large window. I think it can be shortened to even less. 11:00 -12:00 CST is the critical time I use. People are starting their day on the west coast, east coast coming back from lunch, middle folks getting ready to go to lunch. At least, that works for me! LOL

  • http://www.positivelybeauty.com Cristina

    Thank you for sharing all these tips Jonathan! When I first started using Twitter I read somewhere that doing multiple tweets of the same post was considered bad etiquette and was therefore a no-no…but the way you put it, it actually makes sense to RT several times.
    I like your tip about RT from the archive, it makes sense…I shall do that!

  • http://twitter.com/bicienzo Vincenzo Vecchio

    Thanks Jonathan, very interesting way of analyzing the numerous RT issue.
    I am often afraid to RT too much and be annoying! :)

  • http://www.BlackBearDesign.com Joel Black

    Thanks for the information. I think I have been Tweeting at the wrong time, around 7:30 am. Looks like only my mom and a couple close family members are on Twitter that early!

  • http://twitter.com/Bookmark_Terry Terry Gibson, Author

    I really enjoyed this article. This is especially true because I’ve been contemplating the exact same things. Will some real self-promoting have a negative result? It’s true. We can wait for that super RTer to bring some unexpected traffic, but I’m not inclined to do that. I’ve always been a tenacious and ambitious kind of gal but I don’t like to cross those invisible lines. Guess what? Now those lines are even more elusive because I just scrapped them. Thanks Jonathan.

  • http://www.dragonblogger.com Justin Germino

    I only tweet my own articles that publish the same day once or twice that same day, but I do sometimes share older articles via my Tweet Old Post plugin.

  • http://www.idoinspire.com Jody Urquhart

    Great post. I love twitter bc it’s short and sweet and gets results. I follow one girls who posts a motivational quote every few hours. I rely like it, maybe she is using the time of day strategy.
    The quotes are all inclusive… No going to a blog post … Just a quote. Along with her photo it reminds me she exists. Simple and effective.

    Thanks for the advice to tweet more and to go back to old blog posts and re tweet ideas. Recycling is ok if not overused

  • http://www.arc.fiu.edu/news_20070222.asp Gaston Cantens

    Social means interaction & conversation. It means asking questions and giving answers; it means hanging out with all of the awesome people that have decided that online is the place to be.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com/feed/ Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Great blog post! I have been wondering exactly the same thing. I write a personal technology blog and some of my posts are classics that deserve multiple tweets. Others are breaking tech news so aren’t fodder for later retweets.

    I will definitely give this a go! Thanks for the guidance.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com/feed/ Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Sorry, had a double post.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com/feed/ Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Sorry, had a double post.

  • http://twitter.com/lu_amy7 Amy Lu

    Interesting points! I’m one of those people who’s afraid that my tweets may annoy people. I notice that some people I follow will promote their new posts many times in a few days, and at times it’ll bother me. I don’t want my followers to feel that way. Now I think at least those who missed it the first time will get a chance the second time, so maybe 2 or 3 tweets on it would be okay!

  • http://courtcan.com Courtney Cantrell

    Fantastic post, Jonathan — thank you so much! I love it when other people do the research and the stats for me. ; ) I’ve been on Twitter almost a year but have only started using it “for realz” since January. I consider myself very much a newbie…and you’re answering a lot of the how-tos I’ve been wondering about (especially considering self-promotion).

    I appreciate your hard work and willingness to share your discoveries with people like me! : )

  • Anthony Monetti

    wow. great post. I just stumbled on this site, and so happy I did. The social media vortex has proven successful once again. Thanks for this!  

  • http://twitter.com/anthonymonetti Anthony Monetti

    newbie to blogging. Quick question because it just popped into my head. How do I get a profile pic to appear when I post comments? any advice would be awesome! never mind. ;)

  • http://www.madisonflowers.info/ florist in madison

    I applied the strategy for myself.

  • http://www.homestarsearch.com/north-carolina homestarsearch

    Those two things will only get you part of the way there.

  • http://www.myorlandoroofing.com/ Alethea Tijerina

    Immediately, Francisco,
    our valiant leader here at SocialMouths, stuck out. While some of my
    friends were getting 30-50 tweets, somehow, Francisco was getting hundreds.

  • http://www.nobleinfosys.co.uk/ Web Designer, London

    I have just started using Buffer to schedule my Tweets. Previously I used to use HootSuite but mainly to spread my messages across days as opposed to time of the day. I know time of the day has a big impact but I haven’t got around to doing it yet.

  • KDKSPUHPIN CVHCZPJWLOFX

    I watched. I thunk. I analyzed, and I
    came up with a strategic answer for how it appeared Francisco was
    seriously rocking the number of tweets his posts received. Then I took
    action; I applied the strategy for myself. And it worked.

    http://www.metropolitanmovers.ca/

  • Stacey Shimabukuro-Lui

    Absolutely loved this post. Very insightful. Thanks for sharing Twitter techniques that I will start to use immediately. Awesome tips!

  • http://twitter.com/KimHojnacki Kim Hojnacki

    Very insightful information. Thanks for sharing.

  • DebbyBruck

    Even though when I visit someone’s Twitter page I check and compare the number of followers, the number of people they follow and the number of Tweets; your assessment that frequent tweeting can be a bonus leaves me heartened to think they won’t dominate the stream. Posting intermittently around the clock and getting into conversation will boost other’s interest in your activities. Blessings, Debby

  • DebbyBruck

    Exactly, Courtney. Doing random acts of kindness by retweeting the work of others will increase engagement and gratitude. Blessings, Debby

  • michelle weaver

    Very interesting article. I write a new post every day and resurrecting and tweeting olden goldies from my archives is such a good idea. I’m off to do it now.

  • Praverb

    Glad I stumbled onto this blog post wow…great work Jonathan!

  • http://www.indianmatka.com Kalyan Matka Mumbai Matka

    Love your article
    Regards,
    Kumar
    (http://www.indianmatka.com/)