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Retweeting without reading

Written by: Lee Stacey

Published on: June 5, 2013

If you use Twitter, you're probably guilty of retweeting the odd link without actually following through and seeing what's on the other end for yourself.

I know I’ve done it and according to Dan Zarrella, there’s actually no correlation at all between retweets and clicks anyway. In fact, I’ve noticed that some links actually get more retweets than clicks. Why is this and can we or even should we aim to get both?


Why Retweet?

Before we attempt to remedy this problem, let’s take a look at why people retweet in the first place. Generally speaking, people will retweet a link because they think the content will appeal to their followers.

Why Click?

When we click on a link we do so because it looks interesting to us, as opposed to thinking it looks like it might be interesting to our followers.

This rubs a little because it would appear that many people seem to think a link might be interesting to their followers but don’t actually care enough to check it out for themselves. If anything, it leans more towards phallic narcissism.

Can A Tweet Be Clickable And Retweetable?

In order to win at Twitter we need to make our tweets both retweetable and clickable. This means addressing the human needs that drive those actions. Or does it?

To address the clickability factor, you need to make your link stand out. This can be done by creating a snappy headline that will be the main text of your tweet. It will help your bounce rates if that headline also describes what’s on the other side of the link. This will also lead to more organic sharing and perhaps a bit of retweeting. Using correct punctuation and good grammar is a must too. If you really want to drive more clicks, tell people to click the link, read the blog post or download the report that’s linked. Calls to action work!

With that in mind, if you really really want retweets – and sometimes you might – don’t be afraid to ask for them. Just don’t do it all the time. You risk looking a little desperate.

If you really want to drive measurable results, gear your tweets towards clickthroughs. The only retweets worth having are those that are genuine and organic. Retweets that don’t get any clicks are worth nothing if your aim is conversion.