Most of the time when talking about RTs, we discuss the best times to post to Twitter and the number of characters you should be using and so on and so forth. But let’s step back a second and talk about how people RT from our blogs.
Do you know how many people are RTing your content from your blog vs on Twitter?
A lot of bloggers don’t even realize that they are potentially preventing their readers from RTing their content by not having functional RT buttons. I see a lot of buttons that do any one of the following:
- Post to Twitter with only an unshortened link (example)
- Post to Twitter with no link and only a title (example)
Both of which a lot of people might just abandon and you’ve lost out on a RT.
And then there are people who get very close but miss in the end by doing one of the following:
- Post to Twitter with an unshortened link and a title (example)
- Post to Twitter with a shortened link and a title with a default source (example)
Why do we all tout the same advice on Twitter about RTs and somehow we don’t take that same advice to our blogs.
Some Things Your RT Button Should Do
Shorten Your Link
URL shortening is important for a few reasons:
- Allows potential for measurement
- Creates more space when RTing
It’s also important to use the right URL shortener. For example I know of people, myself included, who prefer clicking on bitly links over owly links because of the way they go about opening content. I have recently become a huge fan of the URL shortening service Awe.sm because of their Google Analytics integration and ease of use.
Use ReTweetable Titles
Most, if not all, RT buttons will just use the page title as the title to be tweeted. This causes a problem with most blogs as most themes automatically generate a title that usually includes the blog name along with some nifty symbols to separate the name and the title. You eventually end up with something like:
Jon Bishops Blog // This Is My Post // Awesome Blog Stuff http://bit.ly/1JrOCZ
It just doesn’t look all that pretty and at first glance in the public timeline on Twitter could be interpreted as spam.
Give You Credit
If you are using a popular RT button like TweetMeme or BackTypes, be sure to change the default source to your own Twitter name. Wouldn’t you rather see a bunch of RTs with your name in it rather than @tweetmeme or @backtype. This one always surprises me and then I have to go and hunt down the bloggers Twitter name to give the proper credit.
Make It Simple
Don’t create extra steps for your readers willing to share your content. Use buttons that send them straight to Twitter, no middle man. I’ve never been a fan of http://twitthis.com/ for that very reason. It creates an extra step between me and retweeting a post when all I want is a shortened URL to share. I also don’t like allowing 3rd party sites because, well, I don’t trust anyone these days.
I’ve compared a few of these services in further detail in a previous post but the easiest way to make sure you are using the best RT button is to use the TweetMeme Button or BackType’s TweetCount widget. Also be sure to properly configure it so that your title’s make sense and it’s not using the default source.
Click my RT button at the top of this post to see how it’s done ;)