If you’re on Twitter for business, one of the things you’ll want to happen is for other people to retweet your tweets. This means that people are interacting with your brand, like what you’re saying, and helps spread the word about your business to new audiences. It also helps with SEO as shared Tweets will show Google that your content is valuable and important to people and so your retweeted Tweets are likely to show up in search results.
So why make it difficult for people to retweet you?
We manage social media campaigns for several clients and one of the things we like to do is retweet other users, it’s a way of forming a relationship because if we retweet them, they’re more likely to interact with us in the future. But I’m telling you that most Twitter users make it difficult for us to retweet them.
What makes it difficult to retweet a tweet?
We all know that Twitter allows up to 140 characters in a tweet. So a lot of people use up the whole 140 or very close to that. It’s not a lot of space and it’s easy to use it all up, I’ll grant you that. But then if someone else wants to retweet your tweet, they’ll click the retweet button and Twitter (or Hootsuite or whatever you’re using) will create a new tweet starting with the text “RT @nameofperson: “, (don’t include the quote marks, Twitter doesn’t put those in, I’ve just done it to explain the example) followed by the tweet. So already, before the tweet even starts, you’ve added extra characters into your retweet – a whole 18 characters in the above example.
If the original tweet was 140 characters, this means that the new tweet will be 158 characters. So if I want to send that retweet, I’ve got to delete some character out of the original tweet. Maybe change “and” to “&” or “three” to “3”, or delete a hashtag. And really, I can’t be bothered, it’s too much hassle, and sometimes it’s difficult to see how you can shorten the tweet without having to totally rewrite it.
So if your tweets are too long to retweet, most people won’t be bothered, and won’t retweet you even if they want to. And then you’ve lost an opportunity to spread your word around the Twittersphere. What a waste.
How to make sure your Tweets can be retweeted easily
Work out how many characters are in your Twitter ID, including the “‘@” sign. Our business Twitter ID is @insightgroup so we’ve got 13 characters in ours. Add on the “RT” and the space after it, then add on the “:” and the space after that, and that’s another 5 characters, making 18 in total. Subtract that from 140, that’s 122 left. So our tweets should never be more than 122 characters if they’re the sort we want to get retweeted.
Please do this from now on. It astounds me how many businesses don’t know about this and blithely carry on posting Tweets that are far too long. If you’re not doing it right, at best it shows that you don’t understand Twitter and at worst you’re annoying the very people you need because you’re making it too difficult for them to retweet your Tweets.
If Twitter is all too much for you, we can take your pain away and handle your campaign for you. If this sounds like it would be a relief to you, take a look at our social media management packages.