Saturday, November 8, 2008

Why People Retweet You

"Hey, guys!!! ...listen to what Brian just said!"

I recently wrote some related posts about Tweetbait/twitter viral retweets and monitoring your reputation on Twitter (ORM).


How do you monitor which of your tweets people retweet?

-- What's important about that?
-- What does it tell you?
-- How can you use it?

Oh, yes, I will be endeavoring to answer those very questions, my friends.

How to See When People Retweet You

If you're not using, you're probably not seeing when people retweet you. Tweetdeck is an alternative, but sometimes it misses tweets or mixes up their order. Just use search.twitter ... mkay?
Go to, and type in:
rt OR retweet, @yourtwittername
If you aren't smart enough to replace that with your actual twitter name, please just reach over and turn off the computer right now ;-)

Who cares if people retweet you?
  • Retweets Indicate Quality Tweets: Retweets are STRONG votes for the quality of your tweet. These may be your best tweets. So, what do they have in common? And why aren't your other tweets getting retweeted?
  • You Have Fans! These people REALLY like you, especially if they retweet you more than once. You should thank them. I almost always thank people for retweets in DM's... personally... with their name, and maybe some personal comment or personal attack j/k. Over time, more substantial thanks may be in order: gifts, money, giving up your first born- the list goes on.
  • Increases Reputation & Followership: These people just voted for you in front of all of their followers. That increases your visibility and reputation, and can attract new followers to you.
Does it matter how many followers you have (for retweets)?

You probably need a certain number of followers to get retweeted, just in terms of the percentages, although extremely strong connections could lead to a lot of retweets even from a small follower list.

The number of people in your follower list listening to your tweets depends on the time of day, and many other factors, so I'd GUESS only about 10-15% of them are listening at any one time, and I've seen an average of about 35 clicks on my tweeted urls- which is about a 1.4% conversion rate (this was around the time I had about 2,000 followers).

Recently I've seen a huge degree of retweeting- 35 retweets in the last day of my 130 tweets, which is about 25% conversion rate- amazing, but of course that included THE FIRST STAND UP COMEDY CONCERT EVER ON TWITTER, so that's anomalous, because of the incredible funniness which I put forth ;-)

On a more normal day... Nov 6 2008 I tweeted 55 times and received 18 retweets, oh, wow that's still high- like 33%. Dang it. Ok, I'll have to write another post about how to be awesome, I guess. And incredibly narcissistic- no wait, you're born with that.

Ok good on Nov 1, I only got 4% retweets. From about 100 tweets. So I must have been on crack AND boring. Weird.

How Can You Use This?
  1. Monitor what people say about you, and what they retweet.
  2. Once a week, look back at what people retweeted.
  3. Look at what types of tweets they retweet- Useful tips? Links? Insights? Comedy? Pithiness? Cleverness? Controversy? News? What people like about YOU may be different than what they like about me.
  4. Look at what they DON'T retweet.
  5. Think about tweeting more of the kinds of things people retweet. I don't think you need to try to be retweetable all the time, but keep in mind what you've learned about what people think is valuable enough to share.

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