Twitter Friday: Do You Need a P.hD in Retweetology to Get Retweeted? 7 DIY RT Tips |

Twitter Friday: Do You Need a P.hD in Retweetology to Get Retweeted? 7 DIY RT Tips

By Tad Chef / February 20, 2009

Twitter has a new superstar: Dan Zarella, viral marketer and Twitter specialist got retweeted into stardom and scored a job with Internet marketing innovator Hubspot (Disclosure: I’m a former Hubspot Blog writer).

Creative Commons Image by svale.

The Twestival raised 250k$+ for water projects in Africa, India and elsewhere and the average marketer gets a few hundred “quality” visitors via Twitter in less that an hour just due to retweets. No wonder, Twitter already surpassed Digg in traffic numbers.

The above mentioned Dan Zarella is a prophet of the “science of retweeting”. That sounds a little scary.

Do you need a P.hD to get retweeted? No, you don’t.

While Dan’s post are very helpful to study the viral characteristics of retweets they’re difficult to transfer into best practices. So I’ll make it simple here and present to you the factors that make you retweetable with 7 DIY RT tips:

1. Keep it short:
Some tweets are so long that they don’t work as retweets because already the 2nd person who wants to retweet can’t even add an “rt: @name” to it without deleting something. So keep it as short as possible so that a cascading retweet is possible with at least 3 or more people involved.

2. Add a link:
As people retweet really noteworthy stuff and resources. As most tweets are too short to offer value without a link you have to add the real resource.

3. Ask for it:
The direct call to action, in this case “please retweet” really works.

4. Link the original source:
People rarely retweet a vote begging tweet. The retweet is already the vote, it’s better than a Digg vote.

5. Add attention grabber:
A word like “free”, “how to”, a number or even special characters grab the attention. Add them to the tweet.

6. Express emotion:
Express dismay, delight and any other strong emotion. If you don’t care why should others care then? “wow”, “FAIL!”, “sucks”, “cool” sounds great doesn’t it?

7. Tweet during daytime:
Do you tweet at night? You don’t? Well, think again. In case you’re not in the US you most probably tweet at night for most Tweeple but even in the US people tweet across time zones. So don’t tweet retweetable stuff when people sleep!

Now you might argue, it’s impossible to devise the perfect retweetable tweet according to these tips. Well, what about an example?

F#&k science! 7 DIY RT Tips Please retweet!

It has 64 out of 140 characters and also fulfills the other requirements with the exception of 7 which can’t be applied in advance.

After the impressive success of the Twitter Optimization series we’ll feature a regular Twitter Friday column from now on.

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