These 7 Simple Tweaks Will Get You More Blog Retweets

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Did you publish a blog post this week? 

If you did, I bet you are slyly checking on you retweet count.  I’m a religious retweet checker simply because retweets are the one of the best ways to evaluate my blog post’s performance.

That’s why it hurts (just a little) when the retweet count doesn’t climb beyond single digits.  The good news though is that you can fix your posts “retweetability” with a few simple tweaks.

So, get out your wrench and make these adjustments:

Tweak #1: Use the official Twitter retweet button

The official Twitter button does the best job of accurately capturing all of the retweets generated by your blog post (no surprise).

While TweetMeme and Topsy get the job done, I’ve found that they under-report actual retweets by almost 50% in many cases.  Since your retweet count offers social proof for your blog post, it makes sense to get the most accurate count possible.

Tweak #2: Put Your Retweet Button directly under your headline

I’ve tested many different placements for my retweet button and the best position has always been right under the headline.  I believe that most readers read the first paragraph (the lead) and quickly scan the rest of the post. If it passes their internal “quality test” they hit the retweet button up top.    This means that most readers don’t get to the bottom of the post.

To be safe, you can increase your chances of a retweet by placing your button under the headline and at the bottom of the post.

Tweak #3: Ask for the retweet

Don’t be shy about asking for a retweet in your post.

I’ve found that adding a quick “Hit the retweet button if you found something useful in this post” call-to-action often boosts retweets.  This works especially well if you are just starting your blog and you haven’t attracted an audience of reliable retweeters.

Use your retweet button to do the first share to your list – people tend to shy away from being the first one to hit the retweet button.

Tweak #4: Install the Buffer Button

Twitter power users retweet dozens of posts a day.  Their biggest worry is slamming their audience with dozens of retweets in a short time span.  The Buffer button makes it easy for power users to schedule their retweets throughout the day.  Putting the Buffer button on your blog signals to these retweeters that you understand their concern and you are trying to help.

Another benefit of adding the Buffer button is that you’ll see a steady flow of retweets and visitors throughout the day rather than a one-time rush when you tweet out your post.

Tweak #5: Put the Twitter Retweet Button First

Simple usability and readability best practices apply to your retweet button too.

Putting your retweet button first catches the reader’s attention as they scan from left to right past your headline into your post.

Tweak #6: Write Better Headlines

Your blog headline demonstrates how compelling your post will be.  Boring, ambiguous headlines don’t catch people’s attention and kneecaps any chance of getting retweeted.

Remember that sharing your content is a form of social currency for readers.  They don’t want to share stuff that is generic and “me-too”.   Taking your headline writing to another level is the best way to immediately boost your retweets.

Tweak #7: Go Naked

I mean, don’t bundle your Twitter button in a “Share button” box.  You want your readers to see your Retweet button without having to hover over an icon or click a button.   Consider using the Digg Digg WordPress plugin (personal favorite) for selecting and placing your buttons.  This plugin makes it easy to feature your retweet button front and center.

Did I Miss One?

Let’s try to get all the great retweet tweaks in one place.  If you have a tweak go ahead and put it in the comments.  And, um…. retweet this post if you found it useful. :)


About Stan

Stan Smith is the Managing Director of Pushing Social a content marketing consultancy for aggressive, results-focused organizations.

28 thoughts on “These 7 Simple Tweaks Will Get You More Blog Retweets

  1. Stanford Post author

    Hi Sean. Buffer has two options: Post your tweet immediately or later. The button should have prepared a tweet as you mentioned. Weird that it didn’t. Sorry about using Tweet and retweet interchangeably I should have stuck with “Retweet” since when you click the button on a blog post, it gives you the option to retweet the post. If you want to prepare a tweet that isn’t a retweet then you would tweet from your Twitter client (the website or an application like tweetdeck)

  2. Sean

    I’m still a bit new to all this, so please help me understand a couple of points. I tried the “Buffer” button expecting that it would “Tweet” on my behalf, but on a time delayed basis. I was expecting a typical tweet that would contain your blog’s title and URL, but “Buffer” asked me to post something, so I abandoned the process. Also, you refer to the “Tweet” button as a “Retweet” button. Why? You blog isn’t a tweet, it’s a blog. So, I would want to tweet about it, not retweet about it.

  3. Kenneth

    I liked most of your article, but some parts I loved :)

    First off, the idea to use the official retweet button is priceless. I had no idea that the rest have issues.

    Secondly, the idea to put the retweet button both under the headline and at the very top seems to be a better option, and you do exactly that :)

    And thirdly, thanks for the info on the Buffer Button. I’ve seen it many times, but never knew what exactly it does. That was edifying and fun. :)

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  5. Rob Beer

    My twitter skills are improving, but they still need some work. You’ve given some good advice, so thanks for the helpful and informative article.

  6. Pingback: These 7 Simple Tweaks Will Get You More Blog Retweets | BeingSocial |

  7. Randall St. Germain

    Another excellent post, Stanford. I know I need to make some adjustments on my posts re: the sharing buttons. However, it’s better than it was a month ago. Thanks for the suggestion about buffer. I never thought of it.

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  9. Eric Wittlake

    Stanford, one obvious tip worth calling out: make your content worth sharing!

    One thing I had success with with was making one or two key summary or takeaway lines tweetable within the body of the post, beyond the headline/tweet button you typically have. I used at the time (I was still on, so didn’t have much flexibility) and I would consistently see a stack of tweets that grabbed the quote instead of the headline.

    I’ve moved away from doing this lately, but I really should get back to it. It creates some variety in Twitter streams and I believe it helped my total tweet volume as well.


  10. Oscar Ventura

    Hi Stanford,
    Thanks for the update especially for:
    Tweak #6: Write Better Headlines
    Tweak #4: Install the Buffer Button, now I have my Buffer account
    Regarding Tweak #2, the Digg Digg plugin also has its own floating bar

  11. Rosemary ONeill

    These are good food for thought. I’d also add that you should consider the length of your pre-populated Twitter content (the words that automatically get pulled into the Tweet this box). I sometimes get put off from Tweeting a post because the headline and link are too long for me to add a comment within the character limit.

  12. Carol Tice

    Hey Stanford —

    Great post…I’m off to swap my Tweetmeme for the official Twitter button. I’d noticed it seems to underreport tweets but thought I was imagining things. Glad to know it’s not just me.

  13. Theresa

    Thanks for the Buffer tip. I had been looking for something for Facebook too. Looks like this will help with both tweets and Facebook updates.

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  15. Ralf Skirr

    Hi Stanford,
    I was just about to add a floating share button section to my blog, when I found your post.
    Regarding Tweak #2, when testing locations for the tweet button, did you also test a floating bar?

  16. Tony

    Hi Stanford,

    I am new to twitting my self. But I follow @jeffBullas and I have noticed that he twits some of his old blog post. This is a good way to get some hits on old posts.

  17. Stanford Post author

    No problem. It’s the Digg Digg plugin. The plugin offers an option to place your share icons “before content” which puts them under your headline.

  18. Stanford Post author

    I owe you a drink Bianca. :)
    Your wish is my command. The updates now have a link. (It’s the little things…)

  19. bianca oosthof

    Hi Stanford,
    I read your posts because I am subscribed to your newsletter. Often I would like to retweet them but you cannot do that directly from mail. Then I have to remember where your posts get published – there is no link in the email – and go to the site to do retweet. Often I don’t take the time for this. SO my tip would be, place a link to your article in the mails you send.

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