The Less-than-140 Rule: Help People Re-Tweet Your Landing Page with Twitter

By | Google+ , September 9th, 2009 in Social Media | 1 comment
Give your Tweet room to breath if you want people to pass it on easily.

Give your Tweet room to breath if you want people to pass it on easily.

Lots of internet marketers use Twitter. It’s a great way to spread your message and hook up with other like minded souls. But how do you get maximum effect from your Twitter marketing? It’s simple; by encouraging people to re-tweet your comments and links.

The Re-Tweet

Re-tweeting is the Twitter version of paying it forward. Someone says something smart/interesting/funny and you give them props by sharing it with your own Twitter network.

This is commonly done by tweeting in the following format:

Retweet @useryoulike message
or
RT @useryoulike message

Increasing Your Re-Tweet Potential

So, now that you know what re-tweeting is, and that it’s a good thing for everyone involved, what can you do to ensure that people have good reason and a good opportunity to re-tweet your content?

1. The Magical Less-than-140 Rule

So, you’ve written an epic Tweet that’s blowing everyone’s mind with it’s insightfulness. People are tripping over themselves laughing about your witty statements. You’ve updated your status to promote your latest blog post. And true to form, you used the entire 140 character SMS limit. You probably even re-edited your Tweet several times to make sure you could include a final period for correct punctuation. Awesome! You are really happy that the character countdown is reading a perfect 0.

Hang on though. What if @joepopular wants to tell the world about your latest and greatest? He needs to insert RT @yourname inside his own tweet along with everything you said. If you used the full 140 then he’s either going to truncate it, edit it or potentially not even bother.

So the Less-than-140 Rule (as defined by Oli Gardner circa 2009) thus states:

The maximum length of your Tweet should be:
140 – length(RT @<username>)

2. Provide a Re-Tweet Button on Blog Posts

On your blog, the best way to encourage people to re-tweet your content is to stick a re-tweet button on the page. WordPress has a plugin called the TweetMeme Button that shows a count of how many times you’ve been re-tweeted, and a simple button to let you do it. We use it on this site (check out the button at the top of the post).

If you feel like Tweeting it forward, go ahead and give the button at the top a click or you can re-tweet this post here.

3. Make Your Content Useful & Entertaining

This is a well established concept. If you want people to re-tweet (or share in any way for that matter) your content, it has to be special in some way. Here at unbounce, I have one simple rule for content; it should be useful and entertaining. If you can write things that help people in their personal or professional life, and do it with a little charm or passion then you are onto something.

Now, you’re maybe thinking that this post isn’t very entertaining, so here’s a joke courtesy of those funny people over at hubspot:

How many black hat SEOs does it take to change a light bulb?
None. Black hat SEOs don’t change the light bulb. They just redirect people to a different room where there is no light.

Happy re-tweeting.

Oli Gardner

Unbounce Challenge

Tweet It Forward

Follow the 3 steps above to increase your re-tweet potential, and make sure you Tweet It Forward by actively looking for great content by others to promote via Twitter.

About The Author

Photo of Oli Gardner

Co-Founder of Unbounce. Oli has seen more landing pages than anyone on the planet. He is an opinionated writer and international speaker on Conversion Centered Design. You should follow Oli on Twitter
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