What Motivates A User To ReTweet or Share Content?

Every site or blog owner hopes that the time and energy they put into their content offers great value to their visitors.  One of the largest compliments a visitor can offer the author is sharing their content within their own network.  Whether it be retweeting, “liking”, linking or simply sharing by word of mouth the value of a “share” is huge.    Let’s cover the process of how sharing content typically happens.

Was The Content Brought To The Users Attention?

The biggest issue authors have is site exposure.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t matter how good the content is if nobody is reading it.  So the key to getting someone to share content is to continue to gain exposure.  A good way to gain extra “eyes” is to contribute blog posts to a topically related blog that already has an established audience.   Make sure to include a link back to a related content piece within your guest post but also in your author bio if one is available to you.  Remember that without readers, your content stands no chance of being shared.


Did The Visitor Read The Entire Content Piece?

Simply put – does your audience find value in your content?  If your readers can’t finish your blog post then they surely won’t share it with anyone.  It’s important that you continue to put the best content forward each and every time you hit the “publish” button.   Think about each blog post as an audition for both new and existing readers.


Does The Visitor Know Or Follow The Author?

What’s one of the easiest ways to guarantee content RT or shares?  Build a relationship with your followers! If the readers feel like they are connected with you, they may feel compelled to routinely share your content with their network of people.  Now as you can guess, I was kidding by stating this was “easy” but once you have a large following the re-tweets and shares come routinely.  Always offer top content that offers value to your readers. and continue to build relationships with your audience.  One suggestion is to reply to all the comments on your blog posts.  It gives a personal touch to your blog and may motivate the reader to return as well as the possibility to share your content.


Is There An Incentive To RT or Share?

Sometimes you simply have to give your readers an incentive to share your content.  It can be by simply messing with their emotions, offering a discount,  or even running a contest.  This can be a great way to increase the amount of shares and the amount of new eyes that get directed towards your website.


What Motivates YOU To Retweet or Share Content?

I have listed several elements above to what I believe contributes to peoples decision to re-tweet or share people’s content.  Do you believe I missed something or have an opinion that you would like to share?  Please feel free to comment below, I would love to hear what motivates you to share content.

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Nick LeRoy

I'm a husband, father to three, obsessed Vikings fan and SEO Manager at Ovative/group.. Learn more about me here and consider signing up for the weekly #SEOForLunch newsletter to stay up to date with SEO best practices and industry news.

5 thoughts on “What Motivates A User To ReTweet or Share Content?

  1. This is an interesting topic that touches on influence and perceived relevance.

    Clearly building a network is a big first step, or essentially building your personal brand. It can take a lot of time to just rise above the noise. But it’s a long-term investment.

    Responding to comments on your own blog is essential, though it can be tough (time consuming) to do. Danny Brown (http://dannybrown.me/) is the absolute master at this in my opinion.

    Jumping into the fray on other blogs and sites is also vital. Long story short, you want to become a valued and generous contributor in your community.

    Whether they read the piece of content or not is … debatable and has much to do, in my opinion, with influence. Plenty of people will blindly reTweet if it’s from someone with influence. The perceived relevance of that Tweet has more to do with the person than the content.

    That’s not to say that content isn’t important – you have to back it up. But there comes a time when someone with influence might not have to back it up nearly as much. Seth Godin comes to mind.

    But for the rest of us, users have to read (or scan really) the text and be given the opportunity to promote it. Make it easy for them to do so! I was surprised how much more engagement I got through using floating share boxes on my blog.

    Unfortunately there is a dark side. I’ve been researching reTweet clubs, where you join and are essentially bound to reTweet x% of all the Tweets from those in the club. This type of manufactured sharing seems like a sham to me and akin to reciprocal link schemes.

    They might call it collaboration but … it doesn’t feel like it.

    1. Thanks AJ, you are right about the building an audience. I think a lot of bloggers need to be ok for writing for themselves in the beginning. If you expect a ton of traffic or to make an insane of money instantly your more then likely going to fail!

      You also are right about reputation possibly allowing the user to skip the content all together and still share. I guess it’s one of the perks that you get once you “made it”.

  2. Great summary of what goes into the thinking of someone before the decide to share content. For me I always am looking for content that I believe is truly unique and offers some sort of great tactic, a new product, or something that is thought provoking. I also try and keep in mind what my audience has responded to in the past and what is this something I would have liked someone to bring to my attention.

    1. “Great tactict, product, or thought provoking”. I have to say that’s the three key elements I also keep in consideration when determining the ‘sharability’ of content. Thanks for dropping by Dustin!

  3. Something interesting & unique that motivates me to RT or share. Or some new or hot topics on the web which people like to read or like.

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