Twitter for Writers: Retweet Manually to Build Your Following

followersIf you’re a writer, one of the best ways to build your author platform and spread the word about yourself and your books is through Twitter. There’s a whole community of interested individuals out there in the Twittersphere – potential readers, fellow writers, literary agents and publishers. If you’re like me, then you might have jumped on the band wagon, opened a Twitter account … and had absolutely no clue how to start building a following.

After many lessons learned, here is an article I wrote a while back. It might help shed some light on this Twitter thing, and help you reach more followers if you’re struggling like I was.

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For many Twitter users, retweeting is a simple thing. One click of a button, and instantly you share a tweet with your multitude of followers.

Curious, though, that Twitter should make it so easy to cut out the most essential aspect of social media: the social part. If you are trying to build a platform and increase your followers, retweeting is one of the most unproductive things you can do. Why? You are not effectivelyinteracting.

Increase Your Visibility by Manually Retweeting

A manual retweet (as its name suggests) requires a little more effort than simply clicking on the “Retweet” button. But by putting in that extra bit of effort, you increase your visibility and your attractiveness as a person to follow:

  • The tweet’s original creator will be notified that he or she has been mentioned, and will be more likely to a) follow you, and b) retweet your retweet to his or her followers
  • The tweet’s originator will be more likely to directly interact with you (for example, by replying with a “thanks for the shout-out), further increasing your visibility to his or her followers
  • You increase your desirability as a person to follow, because you are using Twitter in an active way, rather than passively clicking “Retweet”
  • You can restructure your manual retweet: use different hashtags than the original tweet to increase your likelihood of reaching users that have not seen the original tweet.
  • If the original tweet included a link to a blog post or news article, you can include the post’s author and/or host site in your manual retweet, thus extending your reach to them and their followers as well.

3 Easy Steps for Manual Retweeting

Once you find a tweet that you’re interested in sharing, follow these three steps to simplify the manual retweet process:

  1. Highlight the tweet you want to retweet, including the originator’s handle.

Step 1

  1. Copy and paste the text into a new tweet box.

Step 2

  1. Edit the retweet by removing extra characters, changing hashtags, and adding additional Twitter handles (make sure you add “RT” in front of the originator’s handle, to give them credit for the original tweet).

Step 3

And post. It’s that easy. Yes, it’s more time consuming than automated retweeting, but if you’re trying to build your platform and increase your Twitter followers, the reward is worth the effort.

To make manually retweeting even more effective, plan and organize your manual retweets using applications like HootSuite and Buffer, which will release your posts at a future date, according to your pre-set schedule. In this way, you can maximize your exposure on Twitter over a sustained period of time.

5 thoughts on “Twitter for Writers: Retweet Manually to Build Your Following

Add yours

    1. That’s a great question! All pictures will show up as a shortened link in their related tweets. You should see two links in these tweets: one for the main article, and one for the image. If you’re running short of characters, you can remove the image link. If you have enough characters, you can keep the image link, and the image will be reposted in your tweet. I hope that helps! 🙂


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