How to Make your Web Content Look Neat in a Tweet

This article was written in January 2012, when the Australian Open was in full swing in Melbourne. As a huge tennis fan I was adding loads of new content to my tennis blog and also sharing other people’s content regularly via Twitter.

Several times I wanted to share articles that I enjoyed reading but gave up either because I couldn’t find a Tweet button or because when I clicked the Retweet button the Tweet looked ugly, took too much fixing or didn’t make sense. And sometimes the Tweet button just doesn’t work.

Getting your content Retweeted by a lot of people can make a huge difference to your web traffic. Here are some things to check to find out:

  • If it is easy for people to share your web/blog content on Twitter
  • Whether or not the Tweets look neat.

1. Do you have a Retweet button?

There are a lot of different plugins available for sharing your WordPress content on Twitter. My favourites include “1-Click-Retweet/Share/Like”, “ShareThis” and “Tweet Meme”.

You can see our Tweet button from the “ShareThis” plugin at the end of this article.

If your website is not built in WordPress, check with your web developer about the options.

2. Is the Retweet button easy to find?

The button can be at the start or end of the article, or scrolling down the side. Wherever it appears, make sure it’s big enough to be seen easily.

3. How does the Tweet look?

Click on your Retweet button to find out if the tweet reads like something you would retweet. Ideally test with a smart phone and an iPad as well as a laptop or PC as I recently discovered my Retweets don’t look quite right on an iPad – gotta investigate that further!

  • Often the tweet is created from the Page Title of your article (which can be a copy of your headline if you haven’t custom written the Page Title).
  • Do the words work well as a tweet, or should you modify them a little, keeping in mind that your headline ideally needs to be compelling and keyword rich?
  • Remember to keep the headline short enough to fit in a tweet while allowing space for your Twitter handle and a hashtag to be added
  • If the tweet says something like “Currently Reading:” or doesn’t directly referencs your content, then you might want to try a different type of sharing button.

4. Does the tweet include your Twitter handle?

Sharing plugins give you different options for including your Twitter handle as part of the tweet that is created.

I like to include it so that I know when the article has been Retweeted and can say “thank you” whereas some people prefer not to have it included, which makes the tweet shorter and easier to manually Retweet.

However, if your Retweet button includes the words “via @AddThis” or “via@Wordpress.com”, see if you can change the settings to include your Twitter handle, or nothing at all.

5. Does the Retweet button include a counter?

You should be able to set whether or not a Tweet count in shown as part of your Retweet button. Personally, I like to see how many people have Retweeted each article, but if the count is low you might prefer not to show it.

As well as using a Retweet button on your website, people can also Retweet your Tweet directly from Twitter. You’ll see this activity in the “@Mentions” tab in your Twitter account.

Even if you’re not on Twitter, making it easy for people to share your content there is a great way to market your website. And if you are on Twitter, when you are lucky enough to get people to Retweet your content, I think it’s polite either say “Thank you” or acknowledge the Retweeters in some other way 🙂

Do you have any other tips for Retweet buttons that you like or don’t like using?

Until next time

Melinda