Thursday, August 2, 2012

Not Being Retweeted?

It's not enough to create social media accounts - be it Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or any of the others that exist.  You've also got to post and share content that your followers find valuable in some fashion.  On Twitter, value is often measured in retweets. If your followers find value in what you have tweeted, they will retweet it - sharing your message with their followers.

I recently came across the aptly titled article, "10 Reason I Don't Retweet You & Your Content."  I've picked out a few of the author's reasons (in bold italics) that I think hold water and added my own thoughts about each.
  • Your blog stinks. Whether it's a blog or a website for your business, the site and it's content need to have a certain level of professionalism.  Make sure you're providing the information that you advertise is there (product info, contact info, helpful resources, etc), and in a visually appealing and easily navigated fashion.  Most people won't waste time going back to a site if they were unable to find what they were looking for the first time.  Make sure that content is readable (i.e. proper spelling and grammar) and appropriate for your target market.
  • Your content stinks. What are you sharing?  Quotes? A running updates of your daily activities?  Some of this is fine, and even valuable from the perspective that it gives your followers some insight to your personality.  However, you need to tweet content that resonates with your followers.  If you run a garden center, think about tweeting answers to commonly asked questions, pictures of newly available plants, links to relevant Extension publications, etc. Get engaged in Twitter conversations that are in your area of expertise.
  • The only time you talk is when you want me to share your content.  If your content is good and has value (see previous point), then when the time comes that you want to (explicitly) ask your followers to share a particular tweet they will be more likely to do so. 
  • You make it hard to share your tweet. The Twitter limit of 140 characters can be challenging at times, but if you want people to retweet you need to make it easy to do so.  Aim for your tweets to only use around 120 characters.  This should leave plenty of space for the "RT" and retweeter's handle.  The last thing you want is for someone to a) not retweet because it would take too much effort on their part to re-craft your message or b) retweet after altering the post so that it no longer reflects your view or purpose.
  • You tweet the same stuff everyday.  Contrary to the popular saying, you can have too much of a good thing.  People like variety.  So, first make sure your content is good and then vary it.  Perhaps a link or two to an educational article mixed with a notice of an event that you're hosting.  You want people to be happy that they're seeing you're tweets (or at least not unhappy enough that they hide or unfollow you).
 If you're using Twitter for your farm or food business and have been thinking about how to gain more traction with your tweets, I hope this has been helpful.

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