One of the most frequent questions asked by nonprofits is: Can I tweet the same content more than once? Most nonprofits only tweet a new blog post, website article, or infographic once (maybe twice) out of fear of appearing spammy on Twitter. However, when you look at the science of Twitter and recognize that the peak lifespan of a tweet is 15 minutes (meaning, you’re most likely to get retweeted within the first 15 minutes after posting your Tweet), you can conclude that only posting new content once on Twitter is guaranteeing that the vast, vast majority of your followers will never see your Tweet.

Prior to June 2016, if nonprofits wanted to share new content more than once on Twitter, they would have to post multiple tweets. But beginning in June 2016, Twitterers were given the capability to retweet their own tweets. Since then Nonprofit Tech for Good has been experimenting with how to best use the retweet function to maximize exposure of new content without appearing spammy. This is what we learned works best:

1. Tweet your new content (with a photo attached to maximize the probability of getting retweeted).

Posted Sunday, April 28 at 6:02am
4 Retweets, 13 Likes
(Like or bookmark your own tweet so you can easily find it later)

2. Retweet your own tweet 2-3 days days later at a different time.

Retweeted Tuesday, May 1 at 3:27pm
Tweet grows to 7 Retweets, 19 Likes

3. Undo your retweet and then retweet your tweet again.

Retweeted Tuesday, May 4 at 11:37am
Tweet grows to 10 Retweets, 28 Likes

4. Switch to using Buffer or HootSuite to schedule new tweets during off-work hours.

Posted Sunday, May 11 at 3:45am via Buffer
7 Retweets, 10 Likes

On average, Nonprofit Tech for Good retweets a tweet twice which exposes the tweet three times to our followers – in the morning, lunchtime, and then in the afternoon. At that point, we shift to using Buffer to post the tweet an additional four times over a two week period at approximately 7pm, 10pm, 1am, and 4am. Doing so ensures our content reaches an international audience and our followers in our time zone that access Twitter during off-work hours. It’s a strategy that works. Every piece of new content is tweeted or retweeted seven times over a two-week period. If your nonprofit is putting the time and effort into creating new content for social media, only tweeting your content once is severely limiting its exposure and ability to generate referral traffic.

The 2018 Global Trends in Giving Survey is an annual research project that seeks to gain a better understanding of how donors worldwide prefer to give and engage with their favorite causes and charitable organizations. If you have donated to a nonprofit, NGO, or charity within the last 12 months, then please take the survey! Available in five languages – العَرَبِيَّةEnglishfrançais, português, and español – the survey will be live through June 30 and the results will be released on September 17 in the second edition of the Global Trends in Giving Report.