Practically every blogger and business on the planet now has a Twitter account to promote themselves and their online content.
Yet, just as it can be hard to be heard above the general cacophony of the Internet, it can be hard to build Twitter followers. Even if you manage that, getting people to retweet your links is another huge challenge.
But the benefits to encouraging retweets are huge. When people share your content it builds brand awareness and drives natural traffic to your blog or other pages.
So, how can you get people to tweet your stuff?
Write Useful Articles
Let's start with the most obvious but also the most important. If you don't write interesting, useful, and original content, then no one is going to retweet it, no matter how closely you follow the rest of these tips.
Add Twitter Share Buttons
Every page you produce should have give readers the chance to share it. Add Twitter, Facebook, and Digg buttons, as well as any other social platforms your visitors use.
Make it easy for people to share your content and they will.
Leave Space For the Retweet
So basic, but somehow so easily missed. When you tweet an article you have 140 characters to play with. However, you need to leave space for people to retweet (i.e., anyone retweeting this blog post will have to add "RT @kevgibbo" to my original tweet).
If I don't leave them enough characters to do so, my potential retweeters will need to cut what I wrote, or they might simply not bother.
Write Persuasive Headlines
Your headline is the hook that means people do or don't read your articles. It's even more important when it comes to getting retweets -- no one wants to tweet a boring headline.
Top tips and how-tos are always popular, but a fun playful and informative headline is even better.
Don't always add "PLS RT" when you're tweeting articles. It just looks desperate.
However, if you're tweeting a job advert, a link to a campaign, a request for help, that kind of thing, it's perfectly OK to request retweets -- and it will often prompt your followers to do so.
Use a Relevant Hashtag
Using a relevant hashtag means a much wider group of interested twitter users will see your tweets, increasing the chance of relevant people retweeting your content.
Whatever you do, though, don't be tempted to use a popular but irrelevant hashtag. This has really backfired on some major brands that attempted to piggyback commercial tweets on serious current affairs hashtags. It won't work and it certainly won't help your reputation!
Time Your Tweets Well
What time do you send your tweets? It's worth running some tests to see what times work best.
Don't forget, if you have a high number of overseas followers, it's worth considering their time zone. Publish in the middle of the night and you'll miss vital retweeting opportunities.
Retweet Other People's Content
If you want people to retweet your own articles, then do as you would be done by and tweet theirs.
Of course, this only applies to relevant tweets and articles from people in your industry. There's no point networking and building goodwill with irrelevant contacts.
Build Your Followers
The more followers you have, the more chances for retweets. Spend time having conversations through Twitter and don't just tweet your articles.
It's a social platform, not a news feed.
Work With Big Names and Brands
If you can get a popular person, company, or blog to retweet your content, you'll find their followers retweet it too.
This is hard to achieve -- you're never going to get @stephenfry to tweet your 10 top tips for cheaper pet insurance.
However, if you invite a popular industry figure to post on your blog, or run an interview with some big name in your sector, you have a much greater chance of retweets.