My recent post about the free JustRetweet service (see screengrab above), which aims to help bloggers and Twitter users reach a wider audience, attracted a lot of interest.
So in this post I thought I'd share a few tips on getting the most from the service, based on my own experience and what I've observed of other users.
My ten top tips are as follows...
1. Don't retweet everything that's available on JustRetweet to earn credits. If you do, it will only alienate your Twitter followers and cause some to unsubscribe. There are lots of messages to choose, so pick the ones that look as though they would be interesting and relevant to your followers. In my experience - and I guess I'm a fairly typical user - you only need to retweet two or three messages a day to keep your account nicely topped up.
2. On the other side of the coin, when adding messages you hope others will retweet, be aware of what a reasonable reward is considered to be. Certain norms have evolved on the site, so I would suggest offering a bare minimum of 10 credits for an RT, and preferably 20 or more if you want to get the most from the service. Offering just 2 or 3 credits won't impress other members, and such 'low-paying' offers will quickly disappear from view on the site.
3. It's not just about credits, though. Remember that your messages will (you hope) be retweeted by other people who want to preserve their own good reputation. Make your messages sound interesting and useful - and if you offer a decent reward as well, there is every chance you will get an excellent take-up from other JustRetweet users.
4. Avoid being overly promotional in your messages. Twitter, as you should know anyway, is not the place for this. In addition, other JustRetweet members are unlikely to want to RT explicit sales messages, for fear that they will be accused of spamming. And JustRetweet also has rules against requesting retweets of some types of commercial messages, including those promoting trackback spammers and other products or services deemed undesirable.
5. Another thing that doesn't work on JustRetweet (in my opinion) is posting a barebones URL with no other message. When this goes out on Twitter, it will look like spam, and few people will want to click on it anyway. Always include a message with your link to explain why viewers should click on it. If it's a long link, shorten it first with a service such as Bit.ly.
6. Another approach to be wary of - again in my opinion - is the short and enigmatic message. I've seen a few of these listed on JustRetweet, and I can't believe they are productive, either of RTs or clickthroughs. I wouldn't retweet these messages, and even if I did I can't imagine that many of my followers would want to explore them further. I could be wrong about this. Maybe a few people will click through out of curiosity - but even then, it's pretty unlikely they will happen to be interested in whatever you are trying to promote.
7. Bear in mind that a message shared in someone else's Twitter stream is likely to be seen by someone who has never heard of you before. Messages that might work in your own Twitter stream - "Secrets of Better Novel Writing, part 26" - may be off-putting to such people, implying that this is something that has been running for a while and there is no point in a newcomer joining in now. The same applies with very personal sounding or enigmatic messages (see item 6).
8. JustRetweet now offers a PostLater option. This is a great resource for ensuring you don't deluge your followers with a series of tweets in quick succession. At present - in response to a request I made - the interval between PostLater posts is set to one hour, although I understand that an option to vary this may be added soon. I recommend mostly selecting PostLater when retweeting messages - you will still receive your credits for these immediately.
9. Bear in mind that JustRetweet offers other methods for earning credits as well as retweeting. You can sign up to follow other members listed on the site on Twitter (this typically pays between 2 and 10 credits), introduce new members (pays 25 credits per new member), visit other blogs and websites for credits (pays up to 10 credits), and so on. If all else fails, though, you can also buy credits for a very reasonable sum!
10. Finally, it's worth mentioning that you can choose the minimum number of Twitter followers a member must have to see your offer. It's obviously tempting to set this figure high, but doing that will drastically cut the number of potential retweeters. In addition, Twitter users with a small following may actually have more influence over their followers. Personally, I tend to set my minimum follower number to 200 or 250, but experiment to see what works best for you.
So those are my top ten tips - I hope you find them helpful. If you are already on JustRetweet, do you have any tips of your own you would like to share? Please do post them below!