Twitter: Four Reasons You Don’t Get Retweeted

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You just got on Twitter and you spend a lot of time retweeting other people’s stuff. In fact, it seems like all you do is retweet other people’s stuff. But they don’t retweet your stuff! Is there something wrong with what you’re doing? Here are a few factors to consider about why that person on the other end–who you just retweeted (one hundred times!)–might not retweet you.

umbrellas

Their Audience is Not Your Audience

You sell hub caps and you’re in Australia. They sell umbrellas and they’re in Canada. Their audience is expecting tweets about umbrellas, rain, raincoats, bad weather, and galoshes. They are not expecting tweets about hub caps, or anything car-related. So is it any wonder that that person is not willing to retweet your tweets? They don’t want to alienate their audience by sending tweets about hub caps.

That Other Guy Has 100 Times Your Followers

You have 80 followers, and that guy you expect to retweet your stuff has 8000 followers. He has spent a considerable amount of time building a following (if his followers are legitimate). There are some telltale signs that those followers might be fake, but let’s assume that they’re real followers for now. So if you have 80 followers, why would someone with 8000 followers want to retweet one of your tweets each time you retweet one of theirs? They probably don’t!

You’re Telling the Other Guy to Retweet You

When you have to tell someone to retweet you, it sounds desperate. Not only that, but it’s bossy. And no one likes to be told what to do! Why not let people find your wonderful content about your fabulous hub caps, rather than shout at them to retweet you? We’ve all heard the adage “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait.” And being social on social media does take some patience.

Your Tweets Are Too Long

A tweet is only 140 characters long. Once a person copies and pastes your tweet and adds their own name and maybe a brief comment (one-two words), there’s not a lot of space left! So keep your tweets short, with only one link and maybe a hashtag, and your chances of being retweeted will go up dramatically! For more  ideas about being retweeted, see the excellent article “Ten Ways to Be Retweetable.”

Does Retweeting Frustrate You?

Have you been retweeting others in the hopes of being retweeted? Have you found any tips that work? Please leave a comment below! Thanks!

 

Comments

  1. kevin kirkpatrick says:

    Carol,

    Good lessons…..some add on buttons (tweet, retweet, share) include way too much info about the content provider thus overloading the character limit. Readers do not need to see a billboard when the twitter box loads of who, where, how, when etc.

    Cheers!

    • Hi Kevin, thanks for pointing out the “way too much info” aspect. Using a button also doesn’t help with branding, since using the button gives the other person credit. It’s “quieter” and better for branding to do the old-school-style retweet (cutting and pasting) to give a better look to the entire tweetstream. Thanks for commenting! ~Carol

  2. Hey thanks for linking to my post.
    It is hard to be retweeted across industries but then again, that may be a sign that you’re tweeting about yourself too much.
    If you mix the content of your tweets with your personality (hobbies, interests) then maybe you can get that person with more followers interested enough to RT you.

    • So true, Bridget Willard. There are many more than four reasons that people don’t retweet. I’ve just been seeing people expect to be retweeted and disappointed lately. May have to do a another post or so about why people don’t get their stuff retweeted. And you’re welcome for the link! It was an excellent post!

  3. Great advice Carol! I’m always looking for ways to improve my social intelligence quotient especially on Twitter and LinkedIn. These are my two primary business social media outlets. Thank you! Great stuff here!

    • Thanks, Michael! There are so many reasons people don’t get retweeted, this is just the tip of the iceberg. “Social intelligence” is a good phrase and apt for understanding things like getting retweeted on social media. Thanks again,
      Carol

  4. Good post, useful information, and thanks for mentioning too-long to RT tweets. This has become a pet peeve of mine (although I’m sure I break the rule occasionally as well). It’s almost understandable from someone new to THE twitter, but when an established tweeter (twitterer?) does it…jeez.

    • Randy, people don’t always think before they post. And I know that I’m guilty of too-long tweets sometimes. The shorter ones will get retweeted more often, though! Thank your for stopping by and commenting. I appreciate that!
      Sincerely,
      Carol

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