How to Increase Your Retweets, Twitter Followers & Klout

If you own a blog, I want you to do the following three things for me right now, prior to reading this post.

  1. Go to one of your blog posts.
  2. Find the button on your blog post page that allows users to retweet your posts.
  3. Click on that button.

If any of the following four things happened…

  1. You couldn’t find your retweet button because you don’t have one.
  2. The message sent only had a URL link to your post.
  3. The message sent had the full URL link to your post.
  4. The message sent did not have your Twitter username in it.

Then you need to continue reading this post and take some action!

If you were able to find your retweet button, click on it, and have a status message that included the title of your post, a shortened URL to it, and either a RT @yourusername or via @yourusername (or some other variation that included @yourusername), then congratulations! All you need to do is retweet this post and share it with bloggers whose posts you have come across where you have run into one or more of the previously mentioned issues.

Why Are Missing or Bad Retweet Buttons a Problem?

It STILL amazes me every time I come across a blog that has no social sharing buttons. At the bare, bare minimum, you need a retweet button on your blog post pages. Why? Because if you don’t have one, you are missing out on a lot of retweets of your posts by your readers to their followers and as a result, a lot of traffic as well.

Another thing that is less shocking, but understandable, are sites where the retweet button lacks the basic functionality to shorten the URL, include the title with the post, and include the blogger’s Twitter handle.

One of the ways to inhibit social sharing is by making it take extra effort on the part of the reader – the faster the process, the more likely your content will be shared. If someone has to take your link, shorten it, type in the title, and go find your Twitter name to add to the tweet, chances are they are going to sprint off your site without sharing.

How do these things affect your Twitter follower count and Klout?

Imagine if an authority in your niche with a huge following comes along and tweets one of your posts, and that tweet includes your username. Chances are, just the fact that they mentioned you will mean that their followers will follow you. Plus, your post may get another swarm of retweets based off of their tweet.

If all of those tweets do not include your username, not only are you losing the potential for new followers, but you are going to miss out on those precious mentions that weight highly in building your Klout, ie. the measurement of your Twitter account’s strength and authority.

What Are the Best Retweet Buttons to Use?

The following are my favorite retweet buttons to use, and how to configure them to get the best results in terms of getting retweets, building followers, and boosting Klout.

The Official Twitter Retweet Button

Twitter’s own retweet button is by far the best when it comes to building followers to your Twitter account. You can configure it easily using the customization options on their main page.

Retweet Button Setup

If you are installing this button on a single page, you can simply place the above code on it. If you are installing this button on a self-hosted WordPress single post template, you will need to use the following coding.

<script src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" type="text/javascript"></script><div> <a href="http://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-url="<?php the_permalink() ?>" data-counturl="<?php the_permalink() ?>" data-text="<?php the_title(); ?>" data-via="yourusername" data-related="yourusername">Tweet</a></div></div>

The bolded part of the code is what will pull the post’s specific URL and title from WordPress, and the italicized part is where you need to change it to your Twitter username. See my post on adding social sharing buttons to your WordPress theme for more details on styling and how to do this in Thesis.

This button will include your post’s title with a shortened link to your post using the t.co shortener. I’m personally a fan of Bit.ly, but I sacrifice my URL shortener preference for the next awesome feature that the official retweet button gives you.

After someone retweets your post, they will get the following:

Retweet Button Suggests Users

I’m sure you can see how powerful this suggestion is in building followers to your Twitter account!

The Tweetmeme Button

The next favorite on the list is the Tweetmeme button. You can install this button either by using the manual coding option or by installing the plugin available for WordPress, Blogger, TypePad, Joomla, and other platforms.

If you use the manual coding option, you should be sure to fill out the tweetmeme_source with your username so the tweet will mention your Twitter handle instead of @Tweetmeme.

<script type="text/javascript">
tweetmeme_source = 'tweetmeme';
</script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="http://tweetmeme.com/i/scripts/button.js"></script>

If you are using the WordPress plugin, be sure to go to the settings and enter your Twitter username as the source.

The Tweetmeme WordPress plugin also gives you the option to use the official Twitter retweet button instead of the Tweetmeme button, however I find that sometimes it doesn’t tweet the title – just the post’s shortened URL and your Twitter username, which makes the above manual coding option more reliable.

Topsy Button

The Topsy button is another good retweet button that allows you to incorporate your username in your retweets. There is specific code that you will need to install – one is the Javascript library in the header file of your page / template, and the other is the main code where you want your button to appear. The Topsy button even comes with different color themes for those who like to match.

If you use the manual coding option, be sure to include the nick option which allows you to add your username to the tweets. There is also a WordPress plugin you can install. Similarly to the Tweetmeme button, you will need to go to the Topsy settings and enter your username in the RT @ box to have it add your username to the tweets.

Complete Social Sharing WordPress Plugins

Want a plugin that will add more of the major networks (including Twitter) to your social sharing arsenal? Here are some good ones that include the best Twitter retweet buttons.

Digg Digg

Digg Digg is probably one of the most popular social sharing plugins right now, as it allows you to add your social sharing buttons in specific ways to your theme, including as a floating sidebar. This plugin allows you to use the official Twitter retweet, Tweetmeme, or Topsy button and gives you options in the settings to add your username to each.

ShareThis

ShareThis also offers plugins for WordPress and other platforms that will allow you to integrate the Official Twitter retweet button within your posts along with Facebook and more social sharing buttons.

If you use this plugin on WordPress, you have to make one code tweak in the ShareThis settings to show your username when using the official Twitter retweet button.

Share This Settings

The highlighted part is where you will want to add RT @yourusername. The only downside of this plugin is it doesn’t incorporate the screen to recommend following your username to the person who shares your post.

Your Favorite Social Buttons and Plugins

What are your favorite Twitter buttons and social plugins for WordPress or other platforms? Please share your tips for using them to increase your retweets, followers, and Klout in the comments!





Genesis Framework

Like the new design? Kikolani uses a theme called Wintersong Pro on the Genesis Framework from StudioPress. It's great design right out of the box, easy to follow installation instructions, and built-in SEO features makes it perfect for professional bloggers.

If you have several websites and blogs powered by WordPress or design websites for others, then you will want the Pro Plus Package. It gives you lifetime access to all of their current 40+ professional designs plus new themes regularly added to their collection for unlimited use on your own websites and blogs as well as your clients' websites and blogs. Learn more about Pro Plus!




Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for this useful article. But how can you control the twits content when you’re not on a self-hosted wordpress blog? Is this possible at all?

    • says

      You can install the button codes directly from the source into the content of each post if you are not able to get them added into the theme templates themselves. It’s a little more time consuming, but gets the job done!

  2. says

    I’m glad you stated the importance of the RT button. I think most people who add the plugin or button on their blog don’t even test it out. I know for myself with a new blog, I just tried out my Tweetme button and I didn’t set it up properly! So my @benny_hsu didn’t show up! So I’m very grateful that I came across your post!

    You’ve got me coming back for more.

    • says

      I’m sure that people don’t test them out… I always look to retweet good posts, and end up having one or more of the four things I pointed out earlier happen when I either can’t find the retweet buttons or they don’t work properly. Glad this helped you find your missing username and I hope it helps in building your followers and Klout now that you’ve added it! :)

  3. says

    Hi Kristie, Twitter (and tracking retweets) is one of my favorite topics, so I really enjoyed this post. :) I’ve used several plugins that you mentioned and currently I’m using Digg Digg. However, I think the plugin is increasing my blog’s load time and it’s a shame because I really like it. The good thing is that I’m using Thesis now and I have one of the BlogSkins that Hesham developed. All of the popular sharing options are built in and that’s a great feature that I’m going to take advantage of.

    It seems that somehow, even with all of the sharing buttons readily available, people will continue to share on Twitter without giving the blog author any credit. I’m using a bookmarklet from BackType to track this, but it only shows that last six tweets of a blog post.

    I didn’t know you could modify Share This – thanks for the codes and examples!
    Ileane just posted Master Consistency on Twitter – with Buffer Review

    • says

      That’s why I did the post last week on how to implement the share buttons directly into your template (here – including Thesis). The plugins are great for those who don’t want to mess with the coding, but they do tend to slow things down, whereas if you pull the buttons from Twitter, Facebook, etc. directly, you only get slowed down if the social network itself is down.

      Digg Digg and Share This were the only ones that I know of that you can modify to at least show your username. I’m sure there are some others out there too – hoping people will leave them in the comments!

  4. says

    Hi Kristi,

    Thanks so much for these twitter and social sharing tips. I am thinking of replacing my Tweetmeme button with the Official Twitter Retweet Button, as I used to get bad URL errors (I know quite a few people who experience the same). Thanks for even showing us the codes and the screen captures.

    I hate to admit that I’ve been ‘dreaming’ of becoming more active on twitter. Definitely has some catching up to do,but I’m glad that I can get so many tips from your site alone. It’s also the first time I hear about Klout, thanks for all these info, Kristi!

    Thanks again! :)

    – Rowena
    Rowena Bolo just posted Aspiring Blogger’s Corner- Tips For Improving Writing Skills Inspired by Marie Forleo’s Video

    • says

      You’re welcome Rowena! If you switch from Tweetmeme to the official Twitter button, one thing to note is you might lose the Twitter counts next to your older posts – I noticed that happened with mine, but in exchange for that follow recommendation, it was worth it! :)

      • says

        Hey Kristi,
        I am glad I came across your post. I actually use two twitter buttons. The tweetmeme and the add this bar. The tweetmeme was not RT my user name and I went and fixed that. However the add this plugin is retweeting to @s4s which is a little irritating, now that I discovered it. Sort of like they are robbing me.

        However I have no idea how to replace the @s4s with my user name. Any idea using the add this share bar?
        Damon just posted Taxes on Debt Settlement

  5. says

    Hi Krisie,
    Great article! We were just revamping our social “share” plugins, but couldn’t get the Facebook share button to share to a FB page that we were logged in to (using facebook as). Yours works great, is there some tweaking in the code or specific plugin that you use for yours?

    Thanks much!
    Gwen, Wahine Media, LLC

    • says

      Thanks Gwen! My share button codes are in this post – you can’t find the official share button code anymore on Facebook, but I prefer to leave that up there because it gives users control of editing the title, description, and thumbnail that gets posted to their wall vs. the like button that just chooses it for you automatically.

    • says

      I use that plugin on my blog and do see a good response from it. New followers get to see some of my past content which helps with traffic and increased pageviews. :)

  6. says

    Thanks Kristie,

    I have to admit, I am more on the search side of things and my social skills even for my less commercial blogs has been seriously lacking. That said, I added the buttons today.

    I especially like the fact that these are hard coded into the website rather than them being plug-ins (I am simply not a big fan of the plug-in because of the load times it can create).
    Leo just posted Get Smarter Search Rankings by Knowing Your Market First

    • says

      You should definitely brush up on social – Google and Bing are now using social “signals” like tweets and likes to move content up in rankings, so the more promotion you have on those networks, the more it will help with your search rankings!

  7. says

    Nice post, Kristi. I have tried some of the sharing plugins, but did find that they increased the loading time of my blog. I have been inserting the buttons into my posts manually, and found it to be better since I have full control over the location and placement of each button.

    The one thing I have to fix is to add the buttons to the end of the post instead of just a the beginning.
    Paul Salmon just posted 10 Strategies for Getting More Blog Comments

  8. says

    Checked my site and thankfully got all of the above covered, phew :lol: It really annoys me when I visit a site and hit the tweet button only to be confronted with a URL not even a RT of the user name, surely they have to realise that they are loosing vital klout by not getting the RTs back ;)
    Karen just posted 10 Blogging Apps for the iPad

      • says

        Tweetmeme used to give me some pageload issues when their system was down. That’s why I only put the share buttons on the single post pages, so it doesn’t affect the load time of the homepage, trying to load 5 – 10 buttons at a time.

  9. says

    Thanks for this post, Kristi. I’m constantly amazed at the number of bloggers who do not have any social sharing buttons on their blog. It’s something I’m emphatic about every time I speak at events about blogging.

    One question for you. How did you get the ShareThis buttons to display at the top of your post in addition to the bottom. I like the way it looks.

    BTW, the Sexy Bookmarks plugin also lets you add your twitter ID to the retweets.

  10. says

    Hi Kristi –

    Another great post. I have to confess, I have changed my mind about social sharing buttons on my blog about 20 times. One school of thought says keep it clean and don’t distract your reader, and the other, well you lay out the case pretty convincingly.

    I’ve added a small tweet button to the bottom of the post.

  11. says

    Hmm. Thanks for this, Kristi. In my head, reading along with this post, as you gave your orders, I was saying, “Yes, ma’am, right away, ma’am!” Did a double-check on my blog, and I wasn’t giving myself the @mention credit that I deserved!

    After a bit of sleep, I’ll fix it. Right now, it’s 6:30am and I still haven’t gotten to bed. Yikes!

    Delena
    Delena Silverfox just posted 123Inkjets Coupon

  12. says

    When one blogs from say posterous.com, you don’t have much choice as to how the software is written. That’s a problem with the blogger choosing the cheap way to go I suppose. But here is the bottom line. i dont care how many tools you have, if your content sucks, it sucks. Start writing good content and you’ll be discovered and rewarded.

    that’s the bottom line, ’cause stone cold said so…

  13. says

    @AddThis puts there own user account in when you share a Tweet. I recently installed JetPack but I can’t remember the default behavior of ShareDaddy. Those two must be pretty popular.

  14. says

    Thanks Kristi for the great advise. Right now I get much of my traffic from Twitter and I think using my Twitter username in the RT has helped people to follow me and RT me again.
    I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to RT a post and couldn’t find the Tweet button. That person missed out on my followers seeing that post. I do have AddThis but I usually forget I do, it sits up there on my browser, lonely. LOL. Readers need you to do most tasks for them so with just 1 or 2 clicks the job is done.
    Allie just posted 7 Posts I Wish I Never Wrote

    • says

      You’re welcome Allie! I use a Bit.ly shortener in my browser to share posts that don’t have retweet buttons, but I know that a lot of other people out there may not go that extra step, hence you have to make it as simple as possible.

  15. Carolyn@The Wonder of Tech says

    Hi Kristi, Thanks for your informative blog post. I have played around a lot with Twitter buttons on my blog since my Tweetmeme button died on me the day I blogged about Twitter!

    I havent been adding the RT @carpathia16 to my retweets as I thought it would USE too many characters. Thanks for setting me straight.

    Right now my retweets from my blog don’t include the title of my blog. Do you think the blog title is important to be included? If so, how can it be included?

    Thanks!
    Carolyn just posted Tech-Knowledgy- Your Questions Answered! 4-1-11

    • says

      Hi Carolyn,

      I think between adding your username to the tweet vs. the title of your blog, I’d prioritize your username first. I know that when I tweet posts from other sites, I usually remove the blog title anyway as that is a good way to shorten the tweet and get your Twitter followers to read a post based on the title of the content, not whether or not they recognize the name of the blog.

      • says

        Thanks, Kristi. Since I’ve added my @username to my Tweetmeme button, I have had a lot more tweets. Or maybe it’s just because now I know my Twitter name has been mentioned by those tweeting my blog. Either way, the information in this blog has been very useful!

        I would love to use Tweet Old Posts, but because my tech blog is often about current tech news, some blog posts are outdated quickly. For example, I have written blog posts about the launch of the iPad and the iPhone coming to Verizon. Is there an “opt out” feature for Tweet Old Posts?
        Carolyn just posted Tech-Knowledgy- Facebook Etiquette- App Advice and More!

    • says

      I had some problems with that plugin which is what eventually led me to coding my own buttons. But that is a popular one – hopefully it allows you to enter your Twitter username into the tweets.

  16. says

    I love Shareholic’s Sexy Bookmarks, I use it on my blog – it’s a great way to divide the post from the comments etc. and looks great.

    I do prefer the official tweet button to TweetMeme but I find it doesn’t keep a proper count of the number of times a post has been tweeted – which then makes my blog look unpopular! If anyone knows a fix for this I’d be very grateful.

    • says

      Hi Bridie,

      When you convert to the official button, you do lose the tweetcount from the past or other buttons. But after that point, I have found that the official button shows a higher tweet count that some of the others.

  17. says

    Kristi,
    Thank you for your very useful post.
    I just tried to used your code example for the official twitter retweet button on a self-hosted WordPress blog, but the PHP did not work for me. Maybe because I am using it in a widget?

    Anyway, it seems that the data-url field and most of the other fields are picked up by default

    I just tried the following and it seems to be working

    Tweet

    Thanks again

  18. says

    A very informative article! Thanks so much for posting this! During some blog optimization I was doing today, I just added four social sharing buttons. It’s crazy to think how much you stand to lose just because of a few little buttons!

    TweetMeme is something I had heard of, but I don’t have any experience using it personally. Though at this point in my blogging endeavors, I think it might be wise to hold off on this tool, as the blogs become more established/more frequently visited, this will definitely be something I’ll look into!

    • says

      That’s the one that is like the Digg Digg plugin, right? So long as you can configure the Twitter button, you’re all set!

  19. says

    You made me go check my site before I replied. ;) I’ve been known to not fully test plugins before. It’s always a great to have a reminder.

    I’m using the Share Bar plugin which is like Digg Digg, but the past week I added Twitter @Anywhere Plus which puts a box at the end of my posts with the message already displayed to be tweeted or quickly edited. I think this reassures those who are leery to click on a button not knowing what will be tweeted to their followers.

    As always, thanks for the great tips, Kristi.
    Brad Harmon just posted Why Your Small Business Needs a Blog

  20. says

    Kristi,
    Amazing!! thank for very useful post. I am lacking with words to appreciate this post, this is very small thing but we never thought about it, without social plug-in your blog posts It is orphan because even some buddy like it he cannot share with others if there is no social sharing buttons, I really workout on social plug-in on my websites and blogs, thanks to give us another big output. keep it on..
    Brainpulse just posted Streamline Your IT Investments To Maximize Web Hosting Efforts



This site contains affiliate links, sponsored advertisers, and web analytics tracking code. Email addresses collected on this site will not be sold or given to third parties without your permission. While all attempts to provide accurate and valuable information are always made, the owners and authors of this site are not responsible for the content provided here or linked to on external websites.