Editor’s note: This article was first published in August 2013 and has been updated in August 2020 with fresh content and insights. Enjoy!
New to Twitter? You may probably know that aside from tweeting, there is another word called retweeting.
How do you retweet anyway?
These here are retweet best practices.
And like any best practices, they aren’t carved in stone. They are by and large suggestions based on how other social media experts do tweeting.
Most of the Tweeters I follow on Twitter are my best sources of content that I share on Twitter, and other social media platforms.
However, not all tweets shared on Twitter are worth retweeting.
Who is this tweeting 101 for
If you are new to Twitter, this is for you.
But believe even those that seem to be on Twitter for awhile do not seem to get these tips.
If you have been on Twitter for years, and you deem your self as a social media guru, please share your learnings by commenting below.
If your knowledge on Twitter is intermediate, hop on to the best practices section
What a retweet is
Twitter.com defines retweet as:
“A retweet is a re-posting of someone else’s Tweet. Twitter’s retweet feature helps you and others quickly share that Tweet with all of your followers.”
In Twitter “culture,” when you retweet a post that could also meant that you agree with what the Tweeter said.
Twitter 101: How to Retweet
You can retweet one post at a time. So to retweet a post:
- Select the post you want to share.
- In the bottom of a post, locate the retweet button.
- You will be given two retweet options – “retweet” and “retweet with comment.”
Retweet is auto-retweet. It is fast and very convenient.
However, “retweeting with a comment” is different. It lets you add your voice and knowledge regarding the topic to the conversation. This one needs more “commitment” on your end.
Choose either way, but personally, if time is not an issue, go for “retweet with comment.”
Retweet best practices
Do not retweet a tweet that is full of Twitter handles | Retweet tip 1
…unless you have an ongoing conversation with all those folks.
If you wish to thank the original tweeter, tweet directly to that person. It’s more personal that way.
A retweet full of Twitter handles with no explanation at all just doesn’t make sense.
Do not retweet a “Hello!” or a “How are you?” | Retweet tip 2
I am saying this because I have seen this too often.
We respond to these greetings and conversation the same way we do in real life. It has not changed.
Retweet information that benefits your audience and your followers. | Retweet tip 3
Whether your aim is to grow engagement or grow your online community. Retweeting posts does help accomplish either of that goal when done right.
Share, also, the tweets of other Twitters, not just yours | Retweet tip 4
Include a personal comment | Retweet tip 5
Auto retweet is very convenient but if you can add a personal note, even as simple as, “I like what he/she said,” or “Read this! It’s worth your while.”
Check content source | Retweet tip 6
Ensure that the content is from a source that you trust, and that you have verified what it said.
Even “trusted” sources nowadays sensationalize a post to get clicks and likes, or to get talked about.
Retweet inclusive topics | Retweet tip 7
We are passionate about a lot of topics but avoid sharing tweets in a public forum that are divisive. It can get ugly and dirty.
By that, I mean, politics and religion. Unless your business is in that niche. People are tired of politics and religions.
Read the post before you share it | Retweet tip 8
Make sure that it is un-gated (no pay gate, or sign up gate). It’s really annoying to click on a post only to be led to a page that is gated.
Also, this helps ensure that the content is really about what it is saying, not the click-bait and switch type of post.
Add MT, meaning “modified tweet,” if you are modifying a tweet | Retweet tip 9
Sometimes people do this to “fit” Twitter’s character count.
Don’t forget your hashtags! | Retweet tip 10
Yes, a hashtag will help you get found, even if it’s a retweet. Use two to three!
Automatically retweeting is certainly very easy.
But that does not mean that you should only just share nothing but retweets.
Like almost anything in life, overdoing anything is an overkill; moderation is key.
You still want to be known as someone that provides value so if you ever push the retweet button always add your voice and comment.
Keep your retweet to a minimum, at least 10% of what you are sharing.
It is a good strategy to add your own content to your Twitter feed to grow your brand authority and community.
Ready to retweet posts?
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