By Frances Caballo
Wouldn’t you love to know which words are the most retweetable? Can’t you see yourself? There you are, soaring above the competition, racking up shares (does anyone really use the word retweet anymore?), feeling self-assured in your new confidence as a tweep, which is different than a twerp.
Ah, can’t you just taste the glory? You’d be a Twitter rock star, right? You’d know how to rock Twitter.
Well, not exactly. You’d still have to figure out how to use the most retweetable words in every tweet. And you’d feel a little like James Joyce who, legend tells us, struggled with what order to place his words. (Now doesn’t that explain Ulysses?)
Well, a part of your struggle has been fixed. We do know what the most retweetable words are, and that’s half the battle.
The ten most retweetable words or phrases for engagement and retweets, according to Struto, a digital marketing agency, are the following:
- Twitter / social / social media / media
- please / please retweet
- post / blog / blog post / new blog post
- great / top
- how to
- check out / help / follow
Below are my thoughts on these words and phrases along with some Twitter tips for writers.
- You – “You” is an easy word to include in tweets, which are basically headlines for blog posts unless you’re conversing with someone. You already know that the word “you” is important for search engine optimization on your website because you want to talk directly to your reader/web visitor. And using the word “you” in blog posts can be smart. So it makes sense that “you” would top this list.
- Twitter / social / social media / media – Isn’t it kind of narcissistic that among the top words on Twitter would be the word Twitter and some of the possible variations of social media? But, hey, #TwitterTips is a hot hashtag on Twitter, so if you’re not a nonfiction author writing about social media, or if you’re not a fiction author wanting to help out your colleagues by teaching them something new on Twitter or social media, well, you’re out of luck.
- Retweet – Do people really use the word retweet still? (Mind you, the above list is from three years ago. I’m using it because no one has updated the list.) Don’t we know that it’s no longer cool to ask for retweets just like how asking for Likes on Facebook can summon a death knell upon your status update? I used to advise, “Ask for retweets, but don’t overdo it.” Now I say, “Do not ask for retweets. It looks like begging.” And stop using the word retweet. To credit someone else in a tweet, use “via” not “RT.” And thank people for “shares” not “RTs” or “retweets.” While I’m on this rant, even though this has nothing to do with the word retweet, stop thanking people for following you. It makes you look pathetic at worst.
- Please / please retweet – See the previous rant.
- Post / blog / blog post / new blog post – Now, “new blog post” is a great thing to say on Twitter. It alerts your followers to the fact that a blog post you’re tweeting about is new stuff. We all love new stuff, right? We don’t mind the older posts if they are still relevant, but we salivate over new blog posts that are relevant and are interesting or fun to read.
- Free – By all means use the word “free.” You can even attach a hashtag sign to it, as in #free. Readers want to know about free books and free stories and free giveaways, although my last example is duplicative because giveaway implies that a book is free if you catch my drift. Anyway, use the word free in tweets when applicable.
- Great / top – I used to use the word “great” in my retweets as in “Great new post from @JFbookman.” It was my way of saying, “Hey, everyone. Check out this post because it’s new, relevant, and you’re either going to love it or need the information to rock your book into higher sales.” I’ve stopped using the word great, but this list reminds me that I need to start using it again. I’ve never used the word top, however. Hmm. Perhaps you can use it in a post titled, for example, “Top 10 Ways to Engage Your Facebook Audience.”
- How to – “How to” is another one of those phrases that will give a blog post some oomph. So it makes sense that it would be a good phrase on Twitter as well.
- Check out / help / follow – I like the phrase “check out.” In fact, I use it a lot on Facebook but for some reason don’t use it on Twitter. That’s got to change. I like it when people say, “Check out this post from @CaballoFrances.” “Help” can be another good word, as in “Need Help? It’s Here with These Hot Twitter Tips.” I don’t understand why the word follow made this list. Do you?
- 10 – When writing headlines for blog posts, it’s important to include a number whenever you can. I’ve always read that uneven numbers are the best for blog posts, so it perplexes me that the number ten made this list. But, hey, use it and see what happens.
Don’t forget to leave a comment with words you think should have made this list and that work for you.