Get More Twitter Action

14 tips to more tweets and retweets

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If you’re reading this you know a couple of things:

  1. It’s easy to start a Twitter page
  2. It’s much harder to get people to follow you and spread the word

Here are a few ways to build your following (audience) on Twitter and to reach new people. I’ve broken it into the basic requirements, the more compelling and difficult, and promotions.

Bare minimum tweeting tips

  • Use # hashtags – In the world of Twitter, hashtags (the # symbol) are used to indicate a subject or idea, like #tweeting or #happy or #awesomepost. They make it possible for anyone (if you have a public profile) to find and see your tweets as they search for subjects they’re interested in. The only rhyme or reason to what words you use immediately after the # is to be sure it will make sense and be helpful to others.
  • Use @ at symbols –  @ symbols followed by a Twitter user name (like @WebMalama) is the best way to mention someone. Using the @ before their username automatically creates a link in your tweet to their Twitter page, thus passing on the aloha. It also makes it easier for the person you’re referencing to know that you mentioned them.
  • Have a link to Twitter on your webpage/blog – This is basic, but sometimes overlooked. If I can’t find your Twitter page or name, I likely won’t tweet to you or about you. [Here’s a great, brief social research piece on asking for people to take an action versus just dropping in a link to your Twitter page (thanks Dustin Curtis, @dcurtis). Bottom line? Directly asking for an action works best.] You should follow me on twitter here.
  • Say thank you – If someone mentions you or retweets you, return the aloha by sending them a tweet mentioning them to say thanks.
  • Be brief – You need to leave some room so people can retweet without having to edit your post. Editing a post means work, which means I’m a lot less likely to pass it on. Keep in mind you don’t want to go past about 140 characters.
  • Use a url shortener – To help you be brief, several sites have created tools that replace a long link that you’d like to post with a post-friendly really short link. I prefer or, but there are a bunch out there.
  • Ask for retweets – Sometimes we need some prompting to take action, like “Please RT”. The fact is, more people will do it if you ask.

The hard stuff

  • Be interesting – Think of it as a great Discovery Channel special. Have a great title and catch people’s attention. Tweet things that are interesting to your followers: facts, news, events, stories, whatever. Don’t just post junk to have something there.
  • Be entertaining – Think of it as a show. Tell about the funny things, dramatic things, shocking things, and encouraging things.
  • Be relevant – Think of it as a one-on-one conversation with a friend. Only tweet things are relevant to your followers. This means you need to know about your followers, or at least about who you want your followers to be. Only post things out they’re going to care about. And only post as often as they’d like to hear–over-Tweeting causes people to ignore.
  • Be helpful – Think of it as giving local insights to a friend visiting town. Give information that will help them have a better time than they would have otherwise.


  • Give offers – Give offers, free stuff, coupons, and discounts that are valuable to your followers. You can even make them exclusive only to your Twitter followers. This can garner a lot of retweets as word spreads of a great deal.
  • Host competitions – Run a posting competition of some sort. Let your imagination run wild, but make sure it gives your followers a reason to post about you or to you.
  • Play games – Do an online scavenger hunt, quiz, or wordgame.