Marketing Tip: Short Tweets Get Retweets

Twitter logo with follow meAre you on Twitter? We hope so! Want retweets?  Yes you do because the more your content is shared the more impact and following you will have.

We’ve said before that you need to keep your tweets to 120 characters or less to make it easy for people to simply RT and go.  New data from social media researcher Dan Zarrella gets even more specific: 110-115 characters is the sweet spot. 

Zarrella researched more than 1 million tweets and found that those in the 110-115 range were 34 percent more likely to be retweeted than those out of that range.  Shorter isn’t better though, FYI.  You’re still aiming to be informative, so feel free to let it rip up to that range.

So with that update, here are our updated 3 Keys to Success for Marketing on Twitter:

1. Keep your tweets to 120 characters or less, and preferably 110-115
2. Include photos with your tweets where it makes sense (people love to share those)
3. Use hashtags to help people find your content (#rowing, #concept2, #indoorrowing #skierg are some of the ones we use often).  Take it easy with those though, hashtags count in your character total.

Are you on Twitter?  Follow the UCanRow2 Twitter feed to stay up-to-date on what we’re doing.  Share your Twitter name with us in the comments so we and other readers can follow you, too!


  • [New Data] Use “Quotes” and #Hashtags to Get More ReTweets

Marketing Tip: Instagram Video vs. Vine

Instagram is a great tool to make your fitness-related content more visualThe social media world is abuzz with the latest salvo in the who’s-trendiest wars: Instagram, a recent Facebook acquisition and super-fun photo sharing space (we think) has come out swinging against Vine, which is owned by Twitter and brought microvideo to microblogging.

Vine has quickly made an impression with its easy-to-create 6-second videos.  So much so, in fact, that Instagram has announced its version, which gives you an expansive (by comparison) 15 seconds to play with.

If you’re not all that familiar with any of these tools the key point from a marketer’s point of view is that they make it easy to use your smartphone to make your communication more visual, one of the most important steps to getting noticed and creating content that gets shared online.

As we often point out during the marketing discussion in our Programming Intensive course,  there will always be more platforms from which to execute your social media strategy (you have one, right?) than you will ever have time for.  So instead of trying to do it all, pick what works and what you’re willing to stick with.  Test-drive the newcomers that appeal to you and see if you like them, then readjust accordingly.

Chris Brogan, an excellent social media strategist, makes this point better than we could in his column comparing Facebook/Instagram and Twitter/Vine.  Worth a read.

Want to see how we use these social media tools?  On Instagram and Vine you can find us under UCanRow2.  Here are some of our other links:


etc., etc…

We want to follow you!  Post links to your social media accounts so we can see what you’re doing.  PS: Don’t forget to share content you like – sharing is caring!

14 Ways to Get More Out of Twitter

Twitter logo with follow meAre you on Twitter yet?  If you’re promoting yourself or your business it should be one of your first or second social media stops after Facebook (the one must-have outpost in social media).  Twitter offers a couple of great advantages over some of the other social media spaces, principal among them:

1. Forced Brevity – Your posts can’t be longer than 140 characters (actually 120 is best to make them shareable)  And while it certainly is true that writing shorter is often harder than writing longer (“If I had had more time I would have written a shorter letter,” etc.), there is something almost freeing in having to keep it brief.

2.  Find Your Unseen Fans – While many social media platforms require you to have an existing relationship with your network for your posts to be seen or pay to advertise to new potential fans (Facebook, for example), Twitter makes it easy to get yourself in front of people with similar interests who don’t know you, and conversely for those people to also find you.  Hashtags, a keyword-like, information-organizing Twitter invention that worked so well it’s now becoming popular spreading on other platforms, makes it easy to join an existing discussion community, say, #rowing, or to create one around a particular interest.

Ready to get started, or just need the general overview? Here’s a great Twitter beginner how-to.

Once you have the basics under your belt – and if you find you’re getting good results from the platform – check out Mashable’s list of 14 Twitter tips and tricks for power users.  My favorites:

Favorite useful and relevant tweets, both to put the content in a safe place where you can get to it, and also as way to potentially get their authors to follow you back
Tailor suggestions based on Web browsing, let your browsing history help Twitter find users and tweets you’re more likely to find
Create user widgets, to put your Twitter feed on your website.  It’s a great way to keep your site content fresh, and add new followers.

Are you on Twitter?  Share your twittername and a brief description of who you are in the comments, maybe you’ll pick up a follower or three.

Chain Drive the UCanRow2 Newsletter is Here!


Can’t get enough UCanRow2?  Never fear, Chain Drive, the UCanRow2 newsletter is here!  All things indoor rowing, delivered right to your email inbox.  Workouts, playlists, technique tips, upcoming trainings, marketing advice, basically the best of the best of what we can find to help you get the most out of your erg or ergs, and be the best rower or rowing instructor you can be.

We’ll start off on a quarterly schedule, and will move to a more frequent schedule if or when that seems like a good idea (We hate clogged inboxes as much as you do.).  Got ideas of what we should include in Chain Drive, or a particular workout or playlist you love? We want that too! Leave a comment here or email

Of course, you can’t get the newsletter if you don’t sign up, so please subscribe to our newsletter.

Fitness Marketing: Flickr’s Revamped iPhone App: New Home for Your Best Erging Pics?

Flickr's new iPhone app competes with Instagram

The New York Times says the new version of Flickr’s iPhone photo app may well be a force to be reckoned with, and stiff competition for Instagram.  Flickr has long been THE place to post photos for Web optimization, but in recent months has lost some ground to hipsterish (for now) Instagram.

Where the Times says Flickr is aiming, though, and where it may well win in the end, is to be THE place to look at high-resolution photos.  If you’re looking to promote your fitness business online you should have a Flickr account anyway as it’s an important place to get your photos seen and to drive traffic to your website, Facebook page, or wherever you’ve set up your online home (I still think it should be a website, but that’s a post for another day.).

Just like Instagram, serious photographers might not want to use Flickr’s iPhone app to display their best work (check out SmugMug’s Camera Awesome as one option for that) but this is more about Web optimization than art.  And since both indoor and on-water rowing are such photogenic sports, those of us who love capturing them with a camera would do well to check Flickr’s new offering out.

Do you use any of these?  What do you think? We’d love to see your favorite rowing and erging pics, too.  Post a link here!

Marketing Tools: Sniff Out the Twitter Fakers

Sure, it’s great to have lots of Twitter followers, particularly as the service’s influence grows.  But are your followers real people, or spam accounts that are meaningless and useless fluff that won’t share your content?

StatusPeople, a British social media management company, has a cool Twitter follower tool that will help you separate the wheat from the chaff.  Simply plug in your Twitter handle and see how many fake, real and inactive accounts are following you.

On the UCanRow2 Twitter account we’re at only 2 percent fake followers, which we’re ok with.  We just wish the tool would tell us who the fakers are so we can ceremonially block and report them — or kick their electronic butts in a virtual 2k.

Check out your numbers and tell us how you did in the comments.  Got a favorite Twitter account we should all be following?  Let us know that, too!