Last fall I was co-presenting at a tech conference with Dan Zerrella, a social media scientist at Hubspot. During his presentation he said something profound: “It’s as simple as just asking for it”.
Turns out the most effective way to get traction with social media -- Twitter specifically -- is to ask for it.
Dan doesn’t just pretend to know how this stuff works -- he backs up his information with some serious data. As it turns out, asking for a retweet generates four times more traction than just posting content and praying people pass it along.
If you are not on Twitter, or are new to it, let me explain the jargon. When you post something (that’s called a tweet) the content you post appears on the feed of people that follow you. People who follow you can reply to your tweet or they can send your tweet to their followers, which is called a retweet.
On one of Dan’s blog posts, he explains the two most common ways you can ask your followers to share your post with their followers. You can ask by adding to your post “please RT” or “please retweet.” Interestingly, based on over 10,000 tweets sampled, spelling out the entire request of “please retweet” has the highest rate of sharing at 51 percent. Also important to note is on average those tweets were shared 20.9 times.
That is a very significant statistic. And it makes sense. People need to be made aware that you would like your post to be shared. Just remember, though, that asking too often for people to share your tweets is annoying. I would suggest no more than 10 percent of your tweets should request a retweet, but when you do want something shared make sure you let people know.
Jabez LeBret is the author of the Amazon No. 1 best selling law office marketing book How to Turn Clicks Into Clients. As a partner at Get Noticed Get Found, a legal marketing agency, over the last nine years he has delivered over 800 keynote addresses in six countries. His main area of expertise is managing Gen Y in the workplace, advanced Facebook strategies, LinkedIn strategies, Google+, SEO, local directory optimization, and online marketing.