Back in March I wrote an article that explained how you needed to ensure that you left a certain amount of characters at the end of your tweets if you wanted to seriously improve your chances of being retweeted.
This is the mathematics:
Your Number = length of username + five characters
To give yourself the best possible chance of a retweet, you need to make sure you leave this many characters free.
In the article I noted that my own number was 12. When sharing links and content, I always ensure I leave a minimum of 12 characters at the end of each and every tweet. This is a great habit to adopt. Otherwise, those wanting to retweet you are forced to edit your submissions so that they can give the proper credit. Because f this extra work, many times, they simply won’t bother retweeting you at all.
Worse, your prose can be severely impacted – personally, I hate it when somebody trims down my carefully-worded remark into something that (shudder) looks like text speak. Everybody who reads that now thinks that I write in text speak. The horror, the horror…
As said, I’m always very careful to leave the necessary 12 characters. Recently, however, I started to notice that despite this effort, a few were still editing my prose to fit it all in. At first, I couldn’t understand why they felt the need to do this – after all, I’d made every attempt to ensure that my update could be easily retweeted.
Then it suddenly hit me – they weren’t using Twitter’s more common RT. They were using via.
What’s quite tragic about all of this is I use via, too. That’s pretty much all I use. I like via because it places the emphasis on the content first, and credits the original poster second. Content is king, but it’s also important that credit is given where due.
But it’s not all roses, as via adds an extra couple of characters to each retweet. Typically, via is credited within parentheses, like this:
Because of those parentheses (and the space before the first), I (@Sheamus) actually need to leave a heady 15 characters of blank space in my updates to give myself the best possible chance of a retweet.
Jack Schofield, using the example above, needs to leave 21.
Hence, the mathematics has changed.
Your Number = length of username + eight characters
This is the absolute minimum amount of space you should always leave at the end of each and every tweet. Particularly if you’re sharing linked content or an important message.
That’s assuming, of course, you actually want the world to see it.
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