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.