ReTweets Are The New Currency Of The Web as Michael Arrington noted. That makes the launch of a new search engine Topsy, which had been in stealth development for three years, particularly propititious.
Links are sorted by those that Twitter users are sending around the most, weighted in favor of links sent by more influential Twitter users. You can sort results over all time (going back to September 2008), last month, week, day or hour. Results show popular links and also the most influential users tweeting about that topic. Click on that user and you’ll see all their tweets about the topic.
Topsy isn’t looking at the number of followers in determining Influence. Rather, Influence is gained when others retweet links you’ve sent out. And when you retweet others, you lose a little Influence. So the more people retweet you, the more Influence you gain. So, yes indeed, retweets are the new currency on the web.
Getting RTs for serious topics
If your topic is particularly newsworthy or appeals to the masses, then getting a large number of ReTweets is not very surprising. If you are writing on something that has a limited appeal, how do you get your readers to tell others via Twitter about it. What tweaked my interest was that a recent tweet about a blog post got 30 ReTweets at this time when checking via a Topsy search for ‘PageRank Null Hypothesis’ (note – some of these had different short URLs). The Tweet was as follows:
Topsy even indicates that there were 16 associated ReTweets of the corresponding Sphinn entry. Others may find the reasons for this good performance of interest and value.
Automatic Tweets from the Blogging software
If your blogging software is set up to automatically send a tweet to Twitter when the blog is published, then you should make sure that the Titles ReTweet Well.
You may wish to add appropriate hashtags to your post title as well, although we have more to say on that below. Chris Brogan also had some related tips on how to Spread Your Wings And Get More Retweet Action.
There is no harm in letting the software do its job, but it may well be appropriate to take its output and make a more twitter-visible tweet. Louise Doherty has a formula for getting retweeted and that is a good start. However there are some further tips that are worth mentioning.
The most important is of course to make sure the title has words that are likely to draw your readers interest. In the above example, it is probable that the phrase ‘Null Hypothesis’ tweaked the interest of all those who have struggled through their statistics courses and wondered how it could possibly come up here. If you can find a short catchy phrase like that, you are a lot farther ahead.
Working the Hashtags
A hashtag such as #google ensures that all those who watch out for tweets that have been labeled with the google hashtag are likely to see your tweet. It is a way of targeting a particular audience. Which hashtags are worth using? Clearly popular hashtags are the only ones. You can get an idea on this by doing a Twitter search for say #google.
Check out how old the tweet is at the bottom of the search results page. Currently for #google it is about 2 hours ago, which is fairly good. You will get the same result for #seo. #pagerank on the other hand is about 7 days ago, so it is still worth considering but is less popular. Just to give a point of comparison, a search for a current trending topic such as “Swine Flu” shows tweets at the bottom of the page that are only from 2 minutes ago.
The other point that is worth mentioning is that the addition of hashtags does not seem to influence twitter searches so that a search for Google will include entries with #google as well. In other words the ‘#’ is ignored in the Twitter search for the non-tagged version of the word.
Getting a little help from your friends
Having crafted the best ReTweet-able Tweet you can, all that is left to do is to seek a little help from your friends. If you have done your work well, they will probably be delighted to do their bit.
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- Topsy: Search Ranking Based on Twitter Linking (themoderatevoice.com)