5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter
Back in 2006 when Brian wrote the Viral Copy report, Twitter didn’t even exist. Now Twitter is a force that any serious web publisher needs to reckon with in order to gain maximum exposure for content.
Twitter is changing the way information spreads online. Links that would have been blogged a couple of years ago are now more often shared via the micro-blogging service instead, which fundamentally changes strategy when trying to get content to spread.
Publishers can complain and wistfully wish for the good old days of blog links and Google juice, or they can adapt to the new reality Twitter represents. Getting your content “ReTweeted” on Twitter (i.e. getting people to repeat what you’ve said, usually along with a link) can drive significant quality traffic to your site, which in turn can boost your subscriber numbers.
So, how does ReTweeting happen, anyway? Well, here are the 5 factors you need to take into account when trying to get your content to spread virally on Twitter.
1. Call to Action
ReTweeting is an action you wish your readers to take, and, like any other action, the best way to persuade people to do it is to ask them to. And when a user ReTweets your content, they’re very likely to also repost your call to action, lending it their credibility and influence.
My research into ReTweeting as well as other forms of viral content sharing indicates that there is a window of time during which sharing occurs more often. The first few days of the business week, Monday through Wednesday, typically see more ReTweeting than Thursday, Friday and the weekend.
The data also showed that almost 70% of all ReTweets contain a link. This is good news for marketers in that it demonstrates that the mechanism of ReTweeting is an acceptable way to spread your off-Twitter content, and it tells us that a link is an important ingredient to ReTweetable Tweets.
4. Social Proof
So one tactic to increasing your ReTweetability could be to message or otherwise persuade other users to ReTweet your content for you, in order to stimulate further organic ReTweeting. This can be especially powerful if you can get well known users to share your content, as they’ll then be lending their authority and reach to your message as well as your calls to action.
Every “social media expert” tells you that you have to “add value” in social media, and while I’ve been guilty of this a few times myself, “value” is far too nebulous a word to be considered useful advice.
By Dan Zarella