How can we maximize our reach on Twitter? What can we do to give our tweets the most viral potential? Here are a few ideas:
- Make it retweet-worthy. People are going to want to retweet things which are interesting or valuable. Being limited to 140 characters, chances are the real value of a tweet is going to be in linking to something with more information. This is where Tweet Press comes in, by automatically linking to your noteworthy full article. See What makes a good page?.
- Seed your retweet tree. Do you know a few people on Twitter a lot better than others? Then, hit them up and specifically ask them for a retweet. This helps to plant the seeds for a viral tweet. People do tend to imitate others and if they see many people retweeting a message, they're more likely to do it themselves. Especially if the people you seed it with have some authority with their own followers.
- Be different. Twitter is like a river that keeps on flowing rapidly and endlessly. To stand out, you need a tweet which interrupts the pattern and stands out. So, don't be afraid to be provocative. Some of the most retweeted messages I've seen have a catchy headline that just begs them to click the link to find out what the hell that was all about. Remember, apply the skills of copywriting to your tweets and you'll get more reaction. When writing a sales letter or a blog post, the purpose of the headline is to get the person to keep reading. Do that in a tweet, and you'll invite action as well.
- Watch the clock. Not everybody has Twitter open all day long. Expecting to get some retweets at 4AM on a Sunday is probably going to prove frustrating. Doing it so that it is out there in time for the lunch break (12-1pm) might work a lot better. You're probably going to see the most retweets during the work week and from mid-morning through lunch time.