How to Create Outstanding Tweets That People Share

10 minutes

Are you looking for the perfect formula to create tweets that people retweet?

Retweets increase the reach of your company’s updates and maximize engagement by placing your tweets in front of new followers.

The 22 tips and tricks and tricks below will help you craft expert tweets that will get more retweets and foster higher engagement from your followers on Twitter.

Twitter has over 206 million daily active users

So what does this mean for you? Reaching broader audiences promotes your brand and helps you tap into new markets.

Retweets can help you expand your business by:

  • Growing your customer base
  • Establishing new relationships with your target audience
  • Expanding your brand’s Twitter presence
  • Raising brand awareness across your target markets

What’s a retweet?

A retweet is when someone re-posts or forwards a tweet to their own Twitter followers.

Sometimes people type “RT” at the beginning of a tweet to indicate that they are re-posting someone else’s content — this isn’t an official Twitter command or feature but signifies that they are quoting another person’s tweet.

A quote tweet is an alternative form of a retweet. Quote tweets enable you to add a comment with your own spin on the retweet while still surfacing the original post. It’s a great way to share other people’s content while supporting them and putting a little twist on it that’s all your own.

Here’s an example:

These 22 tips and tricks and tricks will help you craft expert tweets that will get more retweets and foster higher engagement with your followers on Twitter.

1. Tweet with your purpose and audience in the mind

Think about the purpose of your tweets. For example, do you share great information with your followers? Are you promoting your latest blog post? Do you talk about current events? Your community will retweet your tweets if they are relevant, focused, and interesting.

It’s vital to plan each of your tweets. Tweeting content haphazardly can lead to a decrease in engagement and even loss of followers. Which subject matter is your audience engaging with? Look at the tweets of your followers and see how they differ from yours. Demonstrate you are familiar with your target audience and the things they want to see.

2. Focus 

Your business objective should be to sell your products or services. However, your should focus your Twitter content on your target audience’s interests, which are less likely to be what you’re selling. You can improve your Twitter presence by retweeting content that your followers are interested in. Monitor your engagement stats to inform your strategy.

3. Use images

Tweets that include images are 94% more likely to be retweeted. So, for example, if you are sharing a blog post, attach the featured image to your tweet. 

MIT neuroscientists determined that the brain can identify images seen for as little as 13 milliseconds. Images go directly into our long-term memory, while text does not.

According to visual literacy expert Dr. Lynell Burmark,

…unless our words, concepts, ideas are hooked onto an image, they will go in one ear, sail through the brain, and go out the other ear. Words are processed by our short-term memory where we can only retain about 7 bits of information” (like a phone number).

Use images that are 1200 x 628 pixels for the best results.

4. Talk with your followers, not at them

Kevan Lee at Buffer says you need to know the difference between “voice” and “tone.” Voice is your brand’s personality — a core part of its identity. Tone as your brand’s day-to-day mood.

He explains that “Voice is a mission statement. Tone is the application of that mission.”

Your brand voice conveys how you want to represent your brand and shouldn’t change. But tone changes with context.

Another way of looking at brand voice is via a 4-part formula proposed by Stephanie Schwab at Social Media Explorer. She breaks down the topic of voice into tone, character, language, and purpose. Check out this graphic to see how she uses adjectives to define each different area of the overall brand voice:

5. Don’t sell all the time

Twitter is a giant chat room. Most people are there for conversation, commentary, jokes, or education. You can’t talk about yourself all the time, so don’t bombard your followers with tweets about your business offerings.

Here are some different ways to balance self-promotion with other content:

  • Use the 80/20 rule: 20% of your content can be promotional, but 80% of it should be compelling and engaging to your audience.
  • Target a 5-3-2 ratio: For every ten tweets, aim for five relevant pieces from others, three non-promotional items from you, and two tweets about unique, fun content that gives your brand character and adds a human touch.
  • Leverage the 4-1-1 rule: Four pieces from others — plus one retweet — for every promotional tweet you send.

What matters is focusing on offering value to your followers — choose a ratio that makes sense to you, and try to keep to it.

6. Avoid too much tweeting

Over-tweeting can lead to fewer retweets and lower engagement, especially when it’s clear that you’re only tweeting to appear active on Twitter. Instead, show your followers that your business is passionate about what it does by sharing industry and topical discussions — this will help you convey authenticity.

7. Retweet the followers and leaders in your industry

You can build strong relationships with your followers through sharing and retweeting other people’s content, especially if they have something compelling to say. For example, you can retweet your followers and show them that you’re relevant by retweeting industry experts that interest them. This will lead to stronger relationships with your audience.

8. Use your words with care

Polite tweets are more likely to get retweeted. According to research by Dan Zarrella, ‘please’ is the third most retweetable phrase. 

Use these words and phrases in your tweets to see what impact they have on your followers. A Twitter analytics tool will help you analyze the performance of your tweets. 

9. Tweet fresh content

Avoid repeating the same content, especially on the same day. Instead, engage your followers by sharing new content and think of innovative ways to communicate your message.

10. Use emojis to show humanity

You have 280 characters to say what you have to say on Twitter. That isn’t much space, so you’ve got to say it very quickly without losing the meaning behind your message. Emojis help you say less and increase engagement.

11. Be friendly

Customers prefer to speak to real people, not machines. Being friendly and having a sense of humor ensures that your tweets are well-received, retweeted, and don’t appear robotic.

12. Add facts, figures, and statistics to your tweets

100% of people love to see stats, figures, and facts in tweets. Not really 🙂 However, supporting your informative tweets with evidence can positively impact how many people retweet them. 

13. Use hashtags correctly

Using relevant hashtags can increase your number of retweets by 55%. But less is more. A tweet needs only one or two. If you use too many, you risk looking like a spammer, which will lead to people unfollowing you. Here’s Twitter’s guidance on how to use hashtags. Incorrect usage could lead to a violation of their Ts&Cs.

Bit.ly makes it easy to get more out of your links. (I use bit.ly with a custom domain, pamhugh.es.) Research has shown that bit.ly shortens more links than any other tool. Bit.ly also enables you to track the number of clicks on your links, giving you insight into the content people are interested in reading. And it’s free!

The benefits of link shortening include:

  • More streamlined appearance. Shortened links make for a clean look to your Twitter page that may be otherwise overwhelmed with photos and visual imagery.
  • Tracking capabilities. Having the metrics for links is just as important as tracking likes, comments, follows, etc.
  • More legitimacy. A shortened link matching other links on your digital marketing materials and social media content lends legitimacy to you as a business.

15. Use Twitter language

Using correct Twitter terminology and abbreviations will demonstrate that your brand is fully integrated with Twitter culture and make you more appealing to your followers. As I mentioned above, using the abbreviation “RT” clarifies that you are retweeting content from someone else. 

16. Use quotes

Use quotes to connect with your audience. Quotes make great tweets because they are shareable and retweetable they encourage your followers to engage with you and increase their likelihood of retweeting.

17. Keep it current and relevant

Hubspot research indicates 80% of retweeted content is about news, and over 50% of retweeted content is entertainment-related.

Sharing news is a way to get your business involved in timely and relevant events. Even though a particular piece of information may not apply directly to what you do, there are always angles you can use to make it relevant to your brand. In addition, if you are proactive and able to engage in refreshing ways with current events, your followers will be more open to your tweets.

18. @Mention significant people

Do you share content from influential thought leaders? Tweet their handles! It’s a great way to increase shareability and get them to retweet the content to their followers. This is a fantastic thing to do if your tweet or the content you share adds something to the discussion.

19. Find your ideal time to tweet

Your tweets have a much better chance of being retweeted if you know when your followers are most active.

You don’t have to hire a private investigator to stalk your followers. I use Followerwonk to determine when mine are most active. It calculates when I should be posting for maximum engagement. There are other tools out there that accomplish the same thing. 

20. Request a retweet

To get a retweet, sometimes all you need to do is ask. Plenty of people will retweet you, especially if you have an engaging Twitter account. Asking for a retweet could make a big difference when it comes to spreading the word about your brand.

21. Use positive language

Positive words and actions can appeal to people’s emotions. So use positive language and be optimistic if you want to get more responses from your followers.

22. Include a call to action (CTA)

Make sure that your tweets include a CTA so that your followers know what you want them to do. For example, try adding a question to your tweet, e.g., “We found a great recipe for a chocolate sundae — how do you make yours?” It’s a great way to encourage engagement and retweets while driving traffic to your dedicated landing page, online store, or blog.

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