5 steps to going viral on Twitter


This is a fascinating article by Copyblogger writer Dan Zarella on going viral on Twitter. In it, he susses out some particulars such as best time of day to retweet, why the word “please” is important, etc. As a copywriter, I’m pleased that some of it is good old fashioned direct marketing, such as the first recommendation.

1. Call to Action. Ask people to retweet your posts to get more retweets. Yet another simple marketing strategy, which I’m always fond of. The most ReTweeted Tweets in his ReTweet mapper shows that the explicit “please ReTweet” call to action occurs the most.

2. Timing. Dan says the first few days of the business week, Monday through Wednesday, typically see more ReTweeting than Thursday, Friday and the weekend. Interestingly, this was also true in printed direct marketing. We often try to ensure that direct marketing campaigns drop on these days, as people are more focused on work and getting things done. As the week wears on, not so much.

Dan’s research adds a timing element, as he says “Time of day also seems to be important; between 9am and 6pm EST the amount of ReTweets sees a sharp increase.” Which also makes sense, as this is the heart of the business day, even taking time differences into account.

3. Links. Straight from Dan: “The data also showed that almost 70% of all ReTweets contain a link. This is good news for marketers in that it demonstrates that the mechanism of ReTweeting is an acceptable way to spread your off-Twitter content, and it tells us that a link is an important ingredient to ReTweetable Tweets.”

4. Social Proof. “The likelihood of a tweet being ReTweeted increases dramatically each time it is ReTweeted. One tactic to increasing your ReTweetability could be to message or otherwise persuade other users to ReTweet your content for you, in order to stimulate further organic ReTweeting. This can be especially powerful if you can get well known users to share your content, as they’ll then be lending their authority and reach to your message as well as your calls to action.”

5. Value. Common-sense for copywriters and everyone else: If your tweet has value, it will gain pass-along momentum.