Editor’s note: This article was first published in August 2013 and has been updated on October 2021 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 me, even those that seem on Twitter for awhile do not do these.
If you have been on Twitter for years, and you deem yourself 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 is a retweet?
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 content that could also mean that you agree with what the Tweeter said.
Twitter 101: How to Retweet
You can retweet one post at a time.
Here is how to retweet a post:
- Select the post you want to share.
- In the bottom of a post, locate the retweet button.
- Select either options to retweet: “retweet” and “retweet with comment.”
Retweet is auto-retweet. It is fast and very convenient.
However, “retweeting with a comment” allows you to add your voice to the conversation. This type of retweet will need more “commitment” on your end.
Choose either way, but personally, if time is not an issue with time and you’re not in a hurry, 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 help accomplish either of that goal when done right.
Share, also, the tweets of other Twitters, not just yours | Retweet tip 4
Don’t be afraid to re-share other people’s tweets, that retweet is called a curated content.
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 in no time.
By that, I mean politics and religion. Unless your business is in that niche. People are tired of politics and religion.
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 [short for “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. Don’t overuse hashtags. Use two to three only.
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 an excellent strategy to add your own content to your Twitter feed to grow your brand authority and community.
Ready to retweet posts?
If you need help to “bring on the ‘social'” to your Twitter presence and other social media platforms, that’s what we do! Contact Ruby at firstname.lastname@example.org.