5 Ways to Get Retweets When You Share an Article

Written by Maura

On December 16, 2020

How can you increase your reach on Twitter? By getting more retweets! In this guest post by Kyle Young, you’ll learn 5 easy tips for getting more retweets on your posts


Sharing articles on Twitter is a popular social media strategy because it brings value to readers, builds connections with writers (if you tag them), and can multiply the reach of your own content — all without much time or effort.

But one con of this approach is that articles often get less engagement than other types of content.

No one wants their Twitter profile to look like a ghost town. So today, I’ll reveal 5 specific steps you can take to get more engagement on your article-shares. With these strategies on your side, you can reap the benefits of posting articles without sacrificing attention and growth.

Let’s get started by examining the underlying problem.

Why are readers less likely to retweet articles?

Simply put, a retweet is a reaction, and it takes more work to react to an article than to a short post.

Consider the following examples:

quote tweet examples

Each of these tweets can be read, digested, and shared within seconds.

Now compare that experience to seeing an article in your feed.

You have to:

  • Click the link
  • Leave Twitter
  • Read the article (which could take 5 minutes or more)
  • Make sure you agree with the content (If you think people aren’t worried about this, keep an eye out for all the bios that state “retweets are not endorsements”)
  • Go back to Twitter without getting distracted by something else
  • Like or share the Tweet

To be clear, none of these steps are particularly difficult, but they are time-consuming — and time is something most readers don’t have enough of.

Now that we know the problem, let’s look at 5 solutions.

1. Share The Primary Value of the Article in Your Actual Post

Notice how author Dan Pink summarizes key points from the article in his tweet. By doing so, he’s made it possible for readers to easily digest and react to the content without leaving Twitter.

daniel pink retweet example

2. Pull a quote from the article.

Quotes are another way to make it easy for people to quickly react to a larger piece of content, and they carry the added weight of coming directly from the source.

pull quote article example

3. Ask People to React to the Content — Not Just Read It.

Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most effective. If you want more engagement when you share articles, ask for it!

Adam Grant goes so far as to give people multiple-choice options — once again, making it easier for them to participate.adam grant retweet example

4. Post Articles that Inspire an Emotional Response

sarah fuller twitter example

In an article on Scientific American, researchers shared that:

“…content that makes readers or viewers feel a positive emotion like awe or wonder is more likely to take off online than content that makes people feel sad or angry, though causing some emotion is far better than inspiring none at all.”

They added that:

“…anger-inducing content is more likely to be shared than sadness-inducing content because it produces greater emotional arousal or activation.”

5. Post Articles that are Already Getting Buzz on Other Accounts

pocket retweet example

When it comes to finding shareable articles, why reinvent the wheel? Follow accounts that are likely to appeal to your target reader and keep an eye on which of their article-shares are getting the most engagement. Chances are, your readers will appreciate this content too!

6. Include a Photo That Catches People’s Eyes While Scrolling

bill gates tweet example

One great thing about sharing articles is most of them come with good photos built-in, and you should take advantage of that.

When you enter a link with the text of your content, Edgar will visit the link and “scrape” it to see if there are any images he can grab for you. It’s almost too easy!

The One Situation Where You Should NOT Use These Strategies

It’s important to keep in mind that many of the strategies I just shared are designed to make it easy for people to react to an article without ever leaving Twitter.

But sometimes, especially when you’re sharing an article from your own website, your goal is to drive traffic, not retweets.

In that case, you want to tease the value of the article without giving it away in the Tweet.

Here’s what that looks like in a quick example, using an article I wrote about the best ways to reheat leftover french fries:

Optimized for Retweets:

Tips for reheating french fries

  • If you have an air fryer, use it.
  • If not, use the stove.
  • If you’re reheating a large quantity, the oven offers decent quality without much time.
  • If you like soggy fries, try the microwave.

Article link here.

Optimized for Clicks:

Reheating leftover french fries? I just experimented with 4 different methods. Find out which was the fastest, which was the easiest, and which produced the best tasting fries!

Article link here.

Want to Dive Deeper?

Now you know why articles often get less engagement on Twitter, 5 specific ways to fix the problem, and how to make adjustments when your goal is driving traffic to your own website.

If you’re hungry for more, not to fear.

In October of 2018, after surveying over 1,400 Twitter users, a team of researchers published “The Why We Retweet Scale” in the PLOS One peer-reviewed journal.

You can read more about that right here.

Wishing you likes, retweets, comments, and a steady stream of new followers. Good luck!


Kyle Young About the Author:

Kyle Young is a digital marketing consultant who has written for the Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, and CNBC. He is also the author of Quitterproof: The 5 Beliefs of Highly Successful People.

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