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How to Get Your Messages Retweeted

Many companies are trying to leverage the power of Twitter to connect with customers and promote their brands and products. This article identifies factors that increase the likelihood of "retweeting" so that a company's tweets will be shared with recipients' networks.

Retweeting is desirable both because the original tweet reaches more people and because a retweet is essentially an endorsement from recipients to their followers. That said, since tweeting by companies is basically a marketing function, there are several practices that don't work well. The most important to avoid is blatant hard-sell messages. Twitter may be better suited for building brands than for building markets for new offerings. In addition, neither using hashtags nor embedding links increased retweeting. Finally, announcing contests or other promotional techniques also did not increase retweeting.

The article lists nine practices that increase retweetability, including keeping messages short, so there is room for retweeters to add their own messages. Opening with an attention-grabbing headline is important, as is simply asking the recipient to pass the message on. Humanizing the brand has the highest likelihood of causing retweeting, increasing the odds by as much as 70%. Other tips include providing information that people can use and act on; offering a deal that can save people money; and making the message relevant and topical. And the best practice of all is when organizations combine several of these practices to get the most out of their marketing messages.

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