Social Media Guides: What is the value of a Twitter retweet? – Part 1

Social Media Guides What is the value of a Twitter retweet Part 1Do you use Twitter for business marketing?

Just how effective is a retweet at getting the message out?

If you send out tweets that your Twitter followers find interesting or useful there is always a chance just a few of them might press the retweet link to forward it on to their own followers.

In theory a highly effective form of marketing

On first glance it would appear to be a highly effective form of marketing, as it seems to require almost no effort once you’ve sent the initial tweet. But as ever things are not quite that simple. Yes, when it does work it is highly effective at spreading the word about your products or services, but the challenge is writing a tweet people are likely to retweet and having enough followers to keep making it happen.

Using the data from my tweeting to learn more

I have around 60K followers on Twitter who receive daily tips on the whole range of website marketing topics, including: SEO, social media, pay per click and more. So in this guide I’m going to look at just what triggers someone to retweet, the types of tweets that are most likely to be retweeted, how many followers you need for this to be effective and most important of all, try and work out what marketing value retweets offer. I’m only looking at my own followers data, so the results may be very different for you, but it should give some useful information anyway.

Social media tools for the job

I use a social media sharing tool called, to help send and monitor my tweets. This has detailed analytics of what happens after you’ve sent a tweet, so is very useful in trying to work out what the value of your social media marketing is.

What triggers someone to retweet?

Using the Bufferapp tool, I’ve looked back through the tweets I’ve sent over the past few months, to try and identify common traits for those tweets that have been retweeted. These are some of the things I’ve found:

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  • Tweets that tend to be retweeted are ones that offer useful information that people are finding helpful. If the subject is topical it’s retweeted more. I send a few sales type tweets, and these are retweeted much less, but still account for about 12% of all retweets (which is a surprise)
  • It is often the same people who send retweets, but they may stop for a while and then start again
  • If the tweet contained a link, there tended to be more clicks on it if retweeted, but actually not many more, maybe around 20%
  • The average number of followers retweeters have is under 1000, although occasionally they have many more

Continues soon in Part 2

I’m still working on the research for Part 2 of this guide, and will let you know when it’s published.

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