January 21, 2010

13 ways to get your blog posts retweeted


This is part of the series the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media.

John HaydonFirst of all, what’s the big deal about getting retweeted? If you have a ton of followers who are engaged, and you’re happy, then why should you care if they retweet your blog posts?

If you’re using Twitter for business reasons, you should care. And here’s why:

Measure engagement
Retweets are an indication of how engaged your followers are. If they aren’t retweeting any of your posts, chances are they don’t find them that interesting.

Follower attrition
Some of the folks who are singing your praises now will be gone in six months. That’s because you can’t be all things to all people all the time (and you shouldn’t being trying to). People grow, they change and have different needs as time goes on. New people who follow you because of a retweet they saw will take their place. It’s not personal, it’s just business.

Measure content
Getting retweeted is partially a function of good content. Or at least good headlines.


How to get retweeted

  1. Be Relevant – A survey conducted by Dan Zarrella found that people share content because they thought it was relevant for someone they know. In other words, try and stay relevant to topics your followers want to hear about.
  2. Write Pithy Headlines – On Twitter all we have is 140 characters. How would someone like Shel Silverstein tweet?
  3. Include links – Dan also found that retweets tend to have more links. 56.69% of retweets contain a link versus 18.96% of normal tweets.
  4. Add your own thoughts – One big limitation with Twitter’s retweets is that you can’t edit the tweet before retweeting. Tools like Seesmic and Tweetie give users a second option of “quoting” the tweet where you can edit it to your liking.
  5. Continue reading

January 5, 2010

6 simple stats you need to measure on Twitter

Birds on wires

This is day 4 of the 31 Day Challenge To Optimize Your Blog With Social Media. Yesterday we spoke about measuring stats on your blog. Today we’ll be gathering some stats on where you’re at on Twitter.

John HaydonIn two weeks we’ll discuss how to analyze your network more deeply to build specific strategies. For now, we want to set a baseline so you can measure growth over the next 2, 3 and 6 months.

The three basic measurements



This number indicates reach. Your followers number is the number of people that have shown on interest in your Twitter stream. Track how your follower numbers grow by jotting it down every month or so in an excel spreadsheet. You’ll notice the more followers you gain, the faster this number will grow (to a point). Keep in mind that some of these folks only followed you in hopes that you’d follow back and may not be part of your actual community.

2. Following

This number has meaning when put next to your followers number. Are you following more people than the number of people following you? If so, you might want to look at adding more value on Twitter. If you’re new on Twitter, keep in mind that this number might be higher than your follower number. That will change with time and effort. Continue reading

November 6, 2009

Why Twitter Lists are huge for your nonprofit

John HaydonTwitter Lists are guaranteed to be the next huge (and I mean huge!) game changer for Twitter.

When Twitter lists first came out, I thought: “OK, so users can now make lists of other users based on any criteria.” For example, a list of companies that are hiring, a list of Onion editorial staff or a list of food trucks in Los Angeles. Big deal, right?

Yes, a very big deal.

How Lists will completely change how we use Twitter

  • Users can follow a list without having to follow all the users on that list.
  • Third party applications will use lists in fun and interesting ways.
  • Sites likeListorious will feature a variety of content based on Lists.
  • Twitter Lists will give users additional ways to create value for their followers.
  • Lists will add an additional social proof element to all Twitter users.
  • Lists will change how we follow streams.

This short video covers how to use Lists and why

The short instructional video at top covers how to use Lists and why. Continue reading

October 30, 2009

8 Twitter Lists nonprofits should create

Amy Sample WardToday Lauren Cochrane has a great post with ideas for lists that organizations could create with Twitter’s new List function. Lists just rolled out to all of Twitter today! You can read more about Lists on the Twitter Blog here.

Lauren outlines 7 Lists that organizations may find useful, including:

  • Your organization’s chapters and campaigns.
  • Related international organizations and campaigns.
  • Organizations that are somewhat related to your organisation.
  • Celebrities, politicians and others with a high profile.
  • Media.
  • Volunteers.
  • Retweeters and people who have contacted you.

Continue reading

October 18, 2009

Twitter: Bringing reading to world’s poorest regions

Beth KanterTwitter just announced its first corporate social responsibility effort on its blog.

See the video above — featuring Twitter co-founder Biz Stone, Room to Read founder John Wood and Crushpad founder Michael Brill — to get the lowdown on how this campaign will help 50,000 kids abroad learn to read.

From Twitter’s announcement:

We’re just getting started as a company, but we believe thinking long term about making a positive impact will allow us to grow in the right direction to make a difference as both a technology and a business.

For Twitter to be at its peak in utility, people who would have never had access to the world’s information need to be able to not only receive it but engage with it, too. Room to Read, a San Francisco based non-profit, will help us make that happen by bringing libraries and literacy to the world’s poorest regions.

Together we’ll be making some awesome wine over the course of a year to benefit @roomtoread, and with each case sold they’ll be able to supply about 60 local language children’s books to educate the 300 million kids around the world who can’t read.

You can follow us throughout this initiative and even participate in barrel tastings and other activities along the way thanks to the folks at Crushpad. If you want to get a bottle of our limited Pinot Noir or Chardonnay, visit the Fledgling Initiative and contribute. Good wine has never been better!

Based on my experience with the Sharing Foundation in Cambodia, I know how important it is for children in developing countries to have books to read in their own language.

And, with a donation, you get a bottle of wine, too!

Republished from Beth’s Blog.

October 1, 2009

6 Twitter tips for journalists

6twitter tips screenshot

JD LasicaI‘ve produced two new printable handouts for the annual conference of the Online News Association this weekend: 6 Twitter tools for journalists (PDF, also at http://bit.ly/6twittertips) and 8 ways to use social media in the newsroom (PDF) — see the accompanying post.

While the PDFs are spiffy-looking, they’re less than optimal for search engines and for the disabled, so I’ll mirror the handouts here in html.

6 Twitter tips for journalists

Create a Twitter dashboard

tweetdeck21Organize and manage your Twitterverse by selecting an app to work with throughout the day. Your top choices are two downloadable desktop apps — Tweetdeck or Seesmic Desktop — or Hootsuite, a configurable Web-based app. All allow you to customize your Twitterstream into groups (or, if you prefer, beats).

Find local tweeps

twitter-local2Twitter’s a great way to connect to the local community. A handful of tools let you suss out who’s in your area. First try Twitter’s advanced search feature. Go to search.twitter.com/advanced, enter a city or zip code into the “Near this place” field and choose a search radius. The results are based on the location people enter in their Twitter bios. Other tools worth a try: TwitterLocal.net, NearbyTweets, Localtweeps and various iPhone apps, such as Twinkle, TwitterFon, Tweetie and Twittelator Pro. Happn.in is a new local Twitter app that lets you track trends and conversations in specific metro areas. We also like Twellow (and a href=”http://www.twellow.com/twellowhood”>Twellowhood) — the Twitter Yellow Pages — MrTweet and Justtweetit, three tools to help you discover folks relevant to your interests.

Follow breaking news

Waterfall on flickr by tokyogoat3Use Twitterfall to follow the real-time Web. Create a custom search to follow topics you specify — and save them for later retrieval. Type in an address into the geolocation panel to see what people are discussing in that area. Use this app to follow breaking news stories. You may also want to follow hashtags on topics of interest, like #health, #obama, etc. BreakingTweets is a site where reporters curate and organize news stories around Twitter. TweetBeep lets you receive hourly
email alerts of topics you specify. (Image: Waterfall by tokyogoat) Continue reading