The Art of the Retweet (and yet another reason why retweets matter)
There’s a new agreement between Google and Twitter that will lead to tweets showing up in search results. Google has been able to access Twitter data for indexing tweets before, but their contract expired in mid 2011. Since then, there’s been no official agreement between the two parties.
Learn My 10 Best Tips To Have Your Tweet Retweeted
Now Google and Twitter are joining forces again. What does this mean for the “retweet”? According to Stone Temple Consulting, less than 8% of all tweets showed up in search results. This very low percentage is because only Twitter profiles with a very high number of followers (10,000+) were likely to be indexed by Google. Now the expectation is that in the very near future, this will change and help a larger percentage of the Twitter population have their tweets show up in Google search results.
This is good news for both Twitter users and Google searchers. If you tweet then this is good news for you!
The new deal will result in a significant increase in the indexing of tweets. This means you can gain more exposure in Google by tweeting well. You can use Twitter to increase your presence in Google’s search results. Google’s main reason for making this deal is most likely to access Twitter data more easily. The data will be obtained through the use of an API (Application Programming Interface). Google (it is expected) will have this fully in place very soon (within 2 months).
Now, an important question . . .
What criteria will Google use to index and position tweets in its search results (wouldn’t we all like to know)? As is typical and expected of Google they will not say. However, it is reasonable to think that they will look for tweets of high value (translation: delightful tweets) and here are some solid ideas on what delightful means for a tweet.
- Links to the tweets from third party websites.
- Links to a user’s profile from third party websites.
- How many links go to the original source of the tweet.
- Number of times a tweet is retweeted (and by whom).
- Number of times a tweet is favorited (and by whom).
The first three data results are presently available. The last two will have to come directly from Twitter and now Google has better access to Twitter data than before.
Your Jump Start!
I think the most obvious high value component of Google’s Tweet ranking system will be the number of times a tweet is retweeted. Knowing this gives you a jump start on what to focus on in order to improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and exposure.
Google seems to value the same things that drives Twitter engagement, so Google will probably use this when indexing tweets.
Gain More Exposure with Retweet Optimization
Here are some ideas to help you get more exposure using the combination of Tweeter and Google.
1. Use Images in your Tweets
It has been reported that tweets with images receive over 5 times as many retweets as those without images. Images are the number one way to prompt retweets.
2. Make Tweets Easy
Make your tweets easy to read and make your tweets short enough so that others can add something and not exceed the 140 limit.
3. Use Hashtags
Do research on a hashtag to include that will increase the exposure of your Tweet. Use a relevant keyword that coincides with your niche and target audience. Hashtags can increase exposure significantly.
4. Use a bold and/or Attention-Grabbing Statements
Enable more retweets with an interesting and captivating (and accurate) statement. A captivating statement is essential for engagement.
5. Delight Your Audience
Produce consistent, engaging content that people want to retweet and make a favorite. Use your retweet measurement metric to gauge what is popular and what is producing retweets. Remember to improve you have to measure. Measure how many times a tweet is retweeted.
6. Know Twitter Well
Increase the time you spend on Twitter. Get to know this platform well and learn what works and what doesn’t. Get to know people via Twitter as well.
Develop relationships with people, especially influencers so they’ll retweet your content. This is a high-leverage activity. Isn’t this the way most stuff gets done – you get help from others!
8. Your Favorites
Put your most delightful tweets (be sure to include your own content) into your own favorites as people like to see what other people have in their favorites and if your good stuff is there then more retweets can be generated out your favorite list.
9. Be Grateful
If someone retweets your tweet then send a “thank you”! Don’t be lazy. If two people retweet you, thank each one separately. If 20 retweet you pat yourself on the back for a job well done and then say “Wow, thanks all for the RTs!” #Awesome.
If someone retweets then start a conversation. This will help you to build the relationship and help to support more retweets in the future. Remember – like anything on social media – it is a building process.
Best Practice Retweeting – Summary
This new deal between Tweeter and Google is good news for both seasoned professionals and newcomers. Google now has access to Twitter’s stream. Since tweets are often full of information and retweets help to define value and popularity. Google results will now display more information that originated or at least to broadcast on Twitter. Retweets will help Google to decide what to display from Twitter.
The key for you will be to use the items in the list above to help Google to index tweets from you. Twitter’s search engine works but it is not as well used as Google. Google is the king of search and with Twitter data it will become even more useful. This may make the popular search engine even more powerful.
Most tweets are not retweeted. You can gain a marketing advantage by mastering the skill of getting others to retweet your tweets and then have them displayed in the Google search results.
Who are the biggest winner (in order): Google searchers, Google, Twitter users, Twitter.
Who’s the biggest loser: I guess Google+.