Can posting on Twitter help get pets adopted, raise money for shelters and rescue groups, and recruit volunteers and foster homes? Yes, says social media consultant Christie Keith, but there's a catch.
Twitter can be a great place to connect with your shelter or rescue group's supporters, but it's even better at reaching people who don't know about you yet. The trick is getting your existing followers to retweet that message to their followers.
Not only are the friends and family members of your followers a brand new audience for your pets and your message, that message will be delivered to them by someone they already know and trust.
So how do you get your followers to retweet?
1. Just ask. "Tweets that include a request for retweeting get shared as many as four times more frequently than those that don't," says Keith.
And while some data suggests using the full phrase "Please retweet" will be the most effective, your experience may vary. "I usually use 'Please RT' or even 'Plz RT,' depending on how much space I have, and I can't tell the difference in terms of results," Keith says.
2. Keep it short. Speaking of space, shorter Tweets tend to get retweeted more often; try to keep your total message to 100 characters or less.
3. Use a photo. This statistic may surprise you: Buffer Social found that Tweets with an attached image get 150 percent more retweets than those without.
4. Do unto others. "If you want other people and organizations to retweet your messages," Keith says, "you have to retweet theirs. Don't treat Twitter like a one-way lecture; it's supposed to be social. Follow others, read your feed and retweet!"
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