One of the goals on Twitter is to get someone to retweet what you tweeted. So if I tweeted, “Buy my new book Quitter on Amazon!,” my hope would be that someone would retweet it so that all their friends would see it too.
There are two ways to get people to retweet you:
1. Write something that is so compelling people retweet it.
2. Say in your tweet, “Please RT.”
Neither way is right or wrong, but there are some differences between the two.
The first way is hard. A compelling tweet is more difficult to write than a non-compelling tweet. And compelling is self defined so something you think is awesome might not be viewed as awesome to a whole lot of people.
The second way is easier. It takes about .2 seconds to type the phrase, “Please RT.” And I’ve done it. Maybe half a dozen times. Once or twice during a fundraiser we did on Stuff Christians Like and maybe I’ll do it again in a few weeks when my book Quitter releases.
But the challenge is that every time you use the phrase “Please RT,” you dilute it’s power. It’s a great phrase sometimes, but if you go to that phrase over and over again, everyone who follows you will grow immune to it. They’ll see you as “the boy who cried retweet.” When you really need it, when you really could benefit from dropping that in, you won’t get nearly the impact because you’ve overused it into invisibility.
The benefit of the first way, of writing compelling tweets instead of hitting the “Please RT” button constantly, is that it forces you to become a better tweeter, a better writer, and ultimately a better communicator.
And when you become that? Well, more people are bound to retweet you.