Which Is Better – Retweets from Celebrities? Or Retweets from Industry Leaders?

It’s been an interesting week last week in the Dojo. A couple of my websites got retweeted by industry leaders. One of them got retweeted by the leading “thought leader” (eurgh) in SEO – Rand Fishkin. The other one got retweeted by Hulk Hogan.

I bet you’re wondering “Which one got the most traffic?”, well here is the traffic graph for when I got retweeted by Rand Fishkin:-

And here is the traffic graph for when I got retweeted by Hulk Hogan:-

As you can see, despite Hulk Hogan having over 4 times more followers than Rand Fishkin, Rand’s tweet resulted in 200 times more traffic. What could’ve brought this? Well there’s two reasons I can probably think of.

  • Rand’s Tweet Was More of an Endorsement – Rand Fishkin’s Tweet was a tweet talking about his company and my perception about SEOMoz. Hulk Hogan’s re tweet was simply a tweet asking him for re tweet. As such, Rand’s tweet was perceived to be far more interesting, which leads to..
  • Rand’s Tweet got far more retweets – Whilst Hulk Hogan had more followers, more eyeballs saw Rand Fishkin’s tweet. Rand’s followers are prone to about tweet and retweet what he wrote. As such, the 150 retweets I received from Rand’s tweet was impressive, compared to the three that Hulk Hogan’s tweet got.
  • Rand’s Followers are Similar To Mine – I’m an SEO, the blog post was on SEO, so therefore people who found Rand’s tweets interesting probably will find my tweets interesting.

What You Can Learn From This

Sometimes, in fact most times, quality does matter. Given the choice, I’d rather receive a retweet who leads in the industry I’m in, rather than a more famous person who doesn’t.

Tips on Getting Retweets That Bring Traffic

Looking at the above, here’s some suggestions on getting retweets and traffic to your retweets.

  • Ask Yourself: “Who do your followers retweet?” Obviously you’re not going to follow everything on twitter, but if you keep seeing the same names appear in your feed that you don’t follow or engage with, you may wish to engage with them.The way I do this is by creating a swipe file for followers. If I ever favourite or retweet a tweet, I make a note of who was originally responsible for that tweet. If the same name appears over and over again, then I find out more about them, follow them and generally try to get noticed by them. I’m currently in the process 0f writing a script to automate this checking process :).
  • Ask For Retweets, but ask for retweets in private – as we’ve (kinda) proved above, asking for retweets results in the retweets that don’t get much traffic. Instead, ask for retweets over Direct Messaging on twitter. That way your target will have to give their own thoughts on the article, rather than just retweet a rather desperate or begging tweet. Nobody likes a begger, so don’t beg in public.

Do you have any tips on getting retweets? Share them in the comments.

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