How To Get 1,000 Retweets Without Spending Any Money

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Like most people in online marketing, I run more than one Twitter account. One of them is a soccer-related account with around 3,500 followers. Recently I tweeted something which currently has over 1,300 retweets and a few hundred favourites. I’ve come close to the 1k mark before with several tweets that have hit 8-900, and these days I’m getting into at least double, and often triple figures for most of the tweets I send out from that account. I haven’t spent anything, either for followers or retweets. Through this particular account, which has been running for around a year and a half, I’ve learnt the elements involved in a tweet that’s likely to spread like wildfire.


Element 1: Timing

The timing of what I’m going to refer to as a ‘1k tweet’ is crucial. Send a tweet out in the middle of the night and it’s unlikely to get traction, although it’s still a possibility as many people check their twitter timelines first thing in the morning. When I talk about timing I don’t just mean time of day, I mean timing in relation to certain events too. When a soccer match is on, people who support the teams involved are likely to be checking their Twitter feeds for goal updates, team news and general discussion about the match. It’s a platform for people to vent – everyone has an opinion on sport, and Twitter is the perfect outlet for this.

If your business bears any relation to a big event or news story, then time the tweets to appear when this is all happening. Miss the boat and you just won’t get the reaction you want.


Element 2: Hashtags

I don’t like it when people overuse hashtags as it looks spammy. However a strategically placed hashtag or two (maximum) can have a massive effect on whether you get a 1k tweet or not. Why? Because people search for hashtags, and hashtags based around a news story or current event will start trending, which means they will then appear as part of a list on the Twitter website. I should point out though, that my recent 1k tweet did not include any hashtags whatsoever.


Element 3: Be controversial

Please note: this does not mean be abusive or insulting! Being controversial in this case simply means having an opinion that not everyone will agree with. A tweet which divides opinion and promotes debate is ideal. You obviously want a statement which a lot of people agree with – people like to retweet opinions which reflect their own. But by posting a controversial tweet it gets people who don’t share that opinion to reply to it, which means that your tweet then shows up in a thread on their timeline, which gets it seen by more people, and so on.


Element 4: Be funny

Some of the most shared tweets I’ve sent out have had an element of humour. Everyone likes laughing, and if people find a tweet funny they are more likely to retweet it. You may or may not have noticed that the large sports betting companies have cottoned onto this by posting their own humorous, and sometimes highly controversial tweets to gain more exposure.


Element 5: Use a picture

A picture speaks a thousand words as they say. Using a picture is a good way to get a 1k tweet because pictures are highly shareable, and can inject all the humour you need if done in an intelligent way. The text in your tweet can accompany the picture, or you can create a meme with the text in the picture. Either way, pictures are great for getting your tweet seen because they give it more screen real estate. You will notice that virtually every promoted tweet you see these days contain either a picture or a video. I wouldn’t bother with instagram as it simply provides a link to be clicked on, and many people these days are too impatient to do that. I should also state that my 1k tweet didn’t contain a picture, but most of my highly shared tweets do.


Element 6: Use ‘RT if…’

This is a bit cringeworthy, and the practice certainly divides opinion. I personally think it’s a very good tactic to get more retweets, whatever you may think of it. You’re urging your followers to retweet something, and as long as it’s in line with their opinion, or they find it funny, most will oblige. Another way of doing this is to conduct a mini poll, in which you tweet, for example:

Who’s the best soccer player?

RT for Messi

Fav for Ronaldo

This is not the best example as the players are similar in terms of skill level. Ideally, for this kind of tweet you want the RT option to be the one which most people will choose. A good way to do this and to inject a bit of humour at the same time is to choose a ridiculous option that people can RT to, in effect, deliver the punchline of the joke themselves. A good example of this would be something like:

Who’s the better singer?

Fav for Posh Spice

RT for a potato

This kind of tweet tends to work very well, especially if combined with a funny picture.


Element 7: Retweet your followers

Retweeting your followers, especially if they don’t have many followers themselves, will make them much more likely to retweet your tweets. Everyone wants social approval, so a retweet can make a follower into your super fan. Even a favourite will go down well, making your follower aware that you have noticed them, and are giving them recognition for their tweets.


Element 8: Copy in a celebrity

If you include a celebrity’s username in one of your tweets, every time it is favourited or retweeted it will produce another ‘notification’ in their twitter account. This increases the likelihood that the celebrity will see it, and interact with it – either retweet it or reply to it. Either way, an interaction from a celeb with a large following is going to help your tweet spread dramatically.



To get 1,000 retweets for free, you need to craft a funny, controversial tweet in a timely manner, starting with RT if…, with a picture and a celebrity.

If that fails, create a tweet entitled: How to get 1,000 tweets without spending any money………..


If you want help with your online marketing efforts, contact me

About The Author

Michael Madew

PPC expert with over 10 years' experience in creating and managing highly profitable PPC campaigns on Google Adwords, Bing Ads and other paid search platforms.

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