Why Retweets and Likes Matter

Retweets and likes are great for publicity reasons. Every retweet of your post means that your post is now on another user's timeline and is being seen by all their followers. That could be hundreds of thousands of new eyeballs for you. Every like of your post means your post is now showing up on another user's "like list." It could now be found by people who have never heard of you.

But both likes and retweets are even more powerful than that.

When a given user looks at their "home page" they see a massive stream of every tweet made by every person they follow. It can be a quick-flowing stream just jam-packed full of stuff. The same thing happens if a user looks for a search term or hashtag. They could be seeing tens of thousands of posts with more flowing in every second.

But Twitter gives different weights to different posts.

Twitter doesn't necessarily show every single post in order. If one post has zero likes and zero retweets, and another post has 100 likes and 100 retweets, Twitter is more likely to show the "popular" post. It makes sense. Users have voted that that 100-like 100-retweet post is interesting. That makes it far more likely that other people would like to see it as well.

You can even see that in your own timeline. If a post gets lots of likes and retweets it gets visually larger. Look at these two posts. They're about related topics and were made about the same time. But the top one, with far more retweets, shows up larger and bolder.

Retweets and Likes

So it's well worth it to work to earn those retweets and likes. They directly impact how much your posts are seen.

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