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How to Go Viral on Twitter (10 Easy Strategies)

Last Updated on March 9, 2020 by Stacey Corrin

With the huge popularity of platforms like Instagram and TikTok, it’s easy to think marketing on Twitter is a waste of time. But truth is, Twitter is far from dead. And with many accounts still going viral, it’s easy to see the potential it has to drive traffic and raise awareness for your business.

In this article, we’ll show you how to go viral on Twitter using strategies even beginners can get to grips with.

  1. Ask for retweets
  2. Perfectly time your tweets
  3. Write engaging headlines
  4. Tweets more links
  5. Host a giveaway
  6. Use hashtags effectively
  7. Tweet news topics
  8. Inject humor into your tweets
  9. Tell a personal story
  10. Leave space for replies

But first, what does it mean to go viral?

What Is a Viral Tweet?

A viral tweet is a post shared by a large number of people quickly. While there are no hard rules defining a viral tweet, it’s considered viral if it has hundreds of thousands of retweets, likes, and replies.

Tweets can go viral for many reasons. They could raise awareness of an issue, spark debates, or even be super-funny. The common theme among all of them, however, is that they prompt Twitter users to react in a way that spreads the word.

So how do you get your tweets noticed? Let’s find out below with our best strategies for going viral on Twitter.

1. Ask for Retweets

If you’re new to Twitter the best way to get noticed is to ask for engagement. There’s no need to be shy.

Asking for retweets tells your followers what you need from them which makes it more likely they’ll follow through with the task.

Ask people to retweet

In fact, tweets that include the following words tend to be retweeted more than others:

  • Please
  • Retweet
  • Help
  • How to
  • Check out
  • Please retweet

So including them in your updates can boost their reach.

But there’s also another reason why asking people to retweet can work so well.

Let’s say your message looks like this:

“Here’s the complete beginner’s guide to going viral on Twitter. Please retweet!”

Every person sharing your tweet will be asking their followers to retweet too since it’s in the original tweet. So each retweet asks for another retweet and before you know it, your update is being shared with thousands of Twitter users.

Retweet this tweet please

2. Perfectly Time Your Tweets

The time of your Twitter updates plays a big part in their success too. 

Imagine this: you’ve written a killer piece of content and sent out a tweet linking to it. But nothing happens. Not a single like or share.

What went wrong?

It wasn’t because your content wasn’t great, or because you didn’t ask nicely for a retweet. It’s down to no-one being around and your message getting buried in the feed.

The most active Twitter accounts follow thousands of people so you need to find a way to get their attention when it matters. And the best way to do this is to tweet at the times they’re active.

You can master your timing by looking at your Twitter Analytics to see when your followers are around.

Go to Twitter Analytics » Tweets and hover over the columns on the graph to find the days when your tweets get the most impressions.

Twitter analytics tweet activity

But if you’d like a more detailed breakdown, OptinMonster researched the best times to post on Twitter and came up with the following results: 

Best times to post on Twitter
  • 11 am to 1 pm EST on Monday or Thursday for B2B.
  • 12 pm or 1 pm Monday to Wednesday for B2C.

But none of that is helpful if you don’t give people a reason to engage which we’ll tackle next.

3. Write Engaging Headlines

No-ones going to read your Tweet if you can’t grab their attention and stop them from scrolling past. Which means they definitely won’t click through or share it either.

Take a look at the following tweet headlines and think about which one you’d rather click:

  1. How to get more Twitter shares
  2. How to Go Viral on Twitter Using 10 Easy Strategies

Example 1 tells you how to get more shares, while example 2 will show you exactly how to go viral with 10 tips.

As you can see, the more compelling you make the body of your tweets, the more chance you have of getting users to engage.

compelling twitter headline

A good rule of thumb is to use your article title as your tweet headline. This is because you’ve already spent time writing an enticing headline for your post. So a few tweaks can make it ready to use on Twitter too.

Another way to improve your chances of going viral on Twitter is to include more links in your updates.

Many studies have shown that news articles and instructional updates are the types of content people retweet the most. Therefore this means tweets linking to an online resource or news have a higher chance of being retweeted.

So it’s no surprise that research by Microsoft on the Conversational Aspects of Retweeting showed that 52% of samples included a URL.

include links in your tweets to go viral

As a result, if you want a greater chance of going viral, include a link in your tweet.

5. Host a Giveaway

One of the best ways to make your tweets go viral is to host a giveaway. Not only do people go wild for freebies, contests can boost your reach to thousands of twitter users in a short space of time too. 

To run a giveaway on Twitter, give RafflePress a try. It’s a powerful WordPress plugin with all the tools you need to make viral twitter contests.

Twitter contest

And if you combine the built-in social media giveaway templates,  with powerful refer-a-friend actions, you stand a real chance of reaching that all-important viral status.

viral refer a friend

6. Use Hashtags to Go Viral on Twitter

Hashtags are also pretty effective at improving the reach (and viral power) of your tweets.

The idea behind hashtags is that they group tweets together around a certain topic to make them easier to find. Then you can add them to your updates to get more people looking at and engaging with your content.

You can find trending hashtags on Twitter by taking a look at the trending section. And you can customize the view by location.

trending hashtags on twitter

Alternatively, you can choose a topic that makes sense to add to your updates. For example, if we’re tweeting about content marketing, we might include the hashtag #contentmarketing or #marketing.

But don’t make the mistake of including too many hashtags in your tweets. This can confuse users and put them off. 1-2 hashtags per tweet is the most you should use on Twitter.

Using hashtags effectively on Twitter

7. Tweet Newsworthy Topics

As we mentioned earlier some of the most popular tweets that tend to go viral are newsworthy topics. News and current affairs are at the top of people’s minds, so they are more likely to generate interest because of their timely nature.

Take a look at the current news and see if you can use it in your own updates, especially if it’s relevant to your field of interest.

Newsworthy tweets

For example, fintech businesses can share news about cryptocurrencies and finance that their followers would find interesting or helpful.

8. Inject Humor into Your Tweets

Using humor in your tweets can also be a great way to start a viral twitter thread. In fact, some of the most viral tweets include an element of humor and they don’t have to be super complex either.

Funny viral tweet

In this example, the account is run by a coder who knows the pain of appearing on page 2 of Google search results, something many like-minded people can relate to and see the funny side of.

Funny viral twitter video

While this one uses a video to illustrate their point, resulting in a tweet with thousands of shares and hundreds of thousands of likes.

9. Tell a Personal Story

If you really want to write a viral tweet, you can’t go wrong by telling a personal story. Making your tweets more personal rather than entirely informational can produce better results.

Here are a few ways you can write personal stories to link to your own content:

  • A few years ago, I couldn’t find the right way to get in front of a new audience. So I created a way: [link]
  • I always struggled with writing the perfect tweet. Until I found discovered this hack: [link]
  • We found running giveaways on WordPress super hard. So we make this tool: [link]

When marketing coach Steve Slaunwhite used this approach, he found he got more than 2 and a half times as many clicks as other methods. He also got more likes and retweets too.

10. Leave Space for Replies

Even though the maximum character limit for Twitter has increased to 280, it’s still challenging to keep your tweets short. How else will you include everything you need to say?

But the truth is, the shorter your tweets are the better. The best tweets are around 110 characters or less. This is because they leave room to include mentions, hashtags, and links.

Leave space in tweets for mentions

And as we’ve discovered in this article, including those elements can boost engagement, increase your reach and help your tweets go viral.

So there you have it. Today you’ve learned how to go viral on Twitter. All you need to do now is put it all together and start posting viral tweets.

But if you want even more tips for increasing engagement on Twitter, check this guide out.

And while you’re here, why not visit our YouTube channel. You can also follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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