To retweet or not to retweet, that is often the question. In the world of Twitter, retweets are a key way of reaching audiences that extend beyond just those that are following you. ‘Five Scientifically Proven Ways to Get More Retweets’, produced by Dan Zarrella of Hubspot suggests simple ways in which you can increase your number of retweets.

Not surprisingly, in my opinion, the first of these five suggestions is that tweets containing URL links are retweeted more often. Over half of all retweets contain URL links, when only around a quarter of all tweets originally contain them.

In my experience, links to industry relevant, interesting news and developments are commonly retweeted. I think this reinforces the need to always share compelling content that will be of interest to your followers.

Another interesting finding from the research was that those tweets which asked for retweets were retweeted most frequently. In fact, 51% of those tweets which stated ‘Please Retweet’ were retweeted. Of those tweets that were retweeted, only 12% had not directly requested it. I find this slightly surprising, as I was not sure that people would respond to retweet requests so well.

An assertion which I find less surprising is that those tweets without self-reference are more likely to be retweeted. Although Twitter is increasingly becoming used in a commercial way, using it for direct advertising and simply tweeting about your business is not going to get you noticed. On a frequent basis, clients pose questions about how commercial you can be about this concept.

Furthermore, the content of retweets provides interesting insight. When surveyed, 80% of people said that they often retweet news. This is as opposed to less than 20% that said that they retweet ‘small talk’. This brings me back to my earlier point; tweet news that is of interest to your followers, this research shows that it will be retweeted!

I leave you with one final revelation following this research; Tweet about Twitter. Articles which mention Twitter have a much higher number of retweets, probably because they are of general interest.

All of these findings are said to be ‘scientifically proven’, so I challenge you to get more retweets. Please let me know your thoughts and, following the findings of this research, please retweet!