What makes a tweet great?

A great tweet gets:

  1. (R)etweeted (even possibly becoming a TT—trending topic).
  2. (C)licks on its link.
  3. (E)ngagement, including comments and replies (or a response from a specific user)
  4. (F)avorited

This list of results can be abbreviated “RCEF.” I’m going to give a brief overview of how to write tweets differently to do better for each of the four goals of RCEF.

But before we get to that, you might want to try to find the best time to tweet it, or consider repeating the tweet, or read up on the simplest tip for writing a great tweet about a blog post. Ready? Let’s begin!

1a. Getting Retweets

Tweets with links generally get more retweets than those without, except in the case of quotes and statements, where it doesn’t matter (much). Also, anything that makes a tweet get a lot of clicks, favorites or comments/engagement will influence retweets. The six types of tweets that get the most retweets are:

  1. Warnings and alerts (“Twitter virus spreading”)
  2. Quotes or statements (“You can avoid reality, but you cannot avoid the consequences of avoiding reality.” ~Ayn Rand” and a statement “Content is NOT King; Relationships are King: http://bit.ly/i4rOwm“)
  3. Breaking news
  4. Links to fun, relevant engagement (“Quiz: How addicted to Twitter are you? http://bit.ly/fsIUBT” also such things as “Would you pass the Twitter test? http://bit.ly/hgMaTX” and polls.)
  5. Information summaries (“4 C’s to help you make the most of Twitter ►Content ►Character ►Conversation ►Community: http://bit.ly/h9h5r8“), most commonly key stats (“1 in 4 Twitter users earns more than 75,000 [Infographic] http://bit.ly/glxpCm“)
  6. Key topic warnings, “secrets,” dangers, etc. (“Did you know you can be suspended for failing to retweet properly?http://bit.ly/emy7TX” and tweets such as “Top 10 Tips to Avoid Getting Unfollowed or Blocked on Twitter: http://bit.ly/iauRyI“)
  7. Resource summaries. For example a list of useful/new/clever/etc. Twitter tools.

When you write a tweet, you can often angle it to fit into one or more of the key types. Some examples,:

  • A statement and an information summary, with a link— A great tweeter is ►Honest ►Interesting ►Smart with humor ►Relaxed ►A people person ►Caring: http://bit.ly/fAEYNK
  • A downtime alert and a resource summary, with a link— While Hootsuite is down, 5 other Tools to Schedule Tweets: http://bit.ly/hJINLj

1b. Becoming a Trending Topic (TT)

To be the first one that tweets about something that become a TT, you need to get a very popular user or community to begin retweeting you for this to stand a chance, and you need to do it at a time there is not a lot of other competition on the Trending Topics page. To do this, start by using Twitter to get influential people to help you.

2. Getting Lots of Clicks (Blog Visitors/Media Viewers)

Traditional headline writing guidelines apply here. Also, viral media tweets (that include a link to a catchily-described picture or video or cartoon) get a lot of clicks.

3a. Getting Lots of Comments on Your Blog

Use methods for getting clicks or retweets, but apply them specifically to getting comments. Meaning don’t just add “please comment” to a tweet, make the point of the tweet to ask for a comment, using one of the writing methods that get results. Also, posts that already have comments get more comments, so work towards getting initial comments, and encourage people to read them. (For example, some folks trade writing first comments on new posts with a group of friends.) For example:

  1. Poor: “The Twitter curse is affecting my marriage. Please comment.”
  2. Better: “Can this marriage be saved from the Twitter curse? What do you think?”
  3. Good: “Help! I need advice—how do YOU think this marriage can be saved from the Twitter curse? Please read comments!”

3b. Getting lots of Response Tweets (Engagement)

The simplest techniques are to ask a question, make a controversial statement, or add “what do you think?” to virtually any tweet. But to get a lot responses, you need to respond to people yourself over time to build a reputation for being engaging. The minimum standard for engagement is to respond in some way to as many people as you can. This means if three people make a similar funny comment, you need to at least reply with something such as “@user1 @user2 @user3 lol!”

3c. Getting Replies from Key Users

You need to build a relationship in order to get a response . See Win Friends And Influence People On Twitter In Just 5 Seconds A Day for relevant tips.

4. Getting on the Favorite Leaderboard

Favstar.fm is now the most popular place to see tweets that have received the most favorites or retweets. Traditionally, there has been a competition among users to try to see who can get the most favorites on a tweet on any given day. The key is the most humorous and original tweet usually wins (typically no link). Here are tweets from some of the most-favorited tweet writers to give you some ideas.


@Mikefixs asked if I could narrow down What makes a tweet great? to just one thing. Tough question! But my answer to him was:

“Caring about the people who will read it.”

So pick your goal, create several versions of a tweet, and edit the best versions until you are satisfied!

141 thoughts on “What makes a tweet great?

  1. You should cancel previous ones to prevent disputes.
    They seem to have reached the limit of their propellant’s
    abilities. It is also possible for people to request information about the success rate
    of the attorney in handling cases related to car accidents.

  2. Howdy! I know this is somewhat off-topic but I needed to ask.

    Does building a well-established blog like youds take a large amount of work?
    I am brand new to operating a blog but I do write in my journal every day.
    I’d like to start a blog so I can share my personal experience and
    thoughts online. Please let mme know if you have any ideas
    or tips for new aspiring blog owners. Thankyou!

    my webpage great miter saw reviews

  3. In this way, the hydroxyl radical is sort of nature’s atmospheric “scrubbing bubbles. Pick the right unit and you will enjoy clean indoor air for years to come. HEPA is an abbreviation to describe a ‘High Efficiency Particulate Arresting’ filter, originally designed in the 1940s by the US military to prevent the spread of airborne radioactive particles.

  4. Today, I went to the beach with my kids. I found a sea shell and gave it
    to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She put the shell to her ear and
    screamed. There was a hermit crab inside and it pinched her ear.
    She never wants to go back! LoL I know this is entirely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    Here is my web-site – free blogs online

  5. If you are, you can avail yourself of special coupons that offer $10 off on flights for spring
    break. Gross sales commission are based on what the company made
    before expenses and net sales commission are what a salesperson might receive once all the expenses for selling
    the product are deducted. Besides tempting consumers in a tight economy, retailers and manufacturers may also want to renew their interest in sales promotions as effective selling tool.

  6. If you understand the help available and the necessary process to go through, it is not complicated.
    Of course, make copies of any and all bills relating to your injury.
    5 years then you ought to get in touch with a company that specialises in road
    traffic accident claims because they can probably still get you upwards of.

  7. It’s appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it is time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I could I want to suggest you few
    interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write next
    articles referring to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

  8. Search engine optimisation-Web browser allows you to specifically display how your site is
    noticed by Google, Yahoo & Bing. A Search Engine Optimization service brings substantial web traffic on to the
    website. The importance of adding new, quality content
    to your blog or website cannot be overstated.

  9. The Portable Penetrator performs real life cracking of a wireless network.
    In a word, yes, yes there is, but when compared to a wired
    network the security risk is not nor should it be worth the ability of individuals to walk around the house or
    office with a laptop in one hand typing witgh the other.
    The hackers do not get into faxes BUT ddo not use Internet fax services.

    Here is my blog – logiciel pour pirater un wifi

  10. Regulating your blood sugar level has proven to be the most
    effective method to maintaining the body’s
    fat-burning capacity by eliminating the feel of hunger.

    The small intenstine also absorbs nutrients from the food through villi and gives these nutrients
    to your blood. Regulat can also be used topically as a compress on achy joints and other bodily

    Here is my blog post – lower blood sugar for test

  11. I like the valuable information you supply in your articles.
    I will bookmark your blog and test once more right here frequently.
    I am quite certain I will be told many new stuff proper right here!
    Good luck for the next!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>