If you’re new to Twitter, you probably have no real concept of retweeting (commonly seen as RT) and what that can mean for your success and fun on Twitter. I’ve seen it go two ways with my clients who are new to Twitter: (1) some get on Twitter and don’t retweet – ever – because they either don’t know how to do it or don’t want to, and (2) some get on Twitter and retweet like the devil, but they either retweet junk, or they don’t know how to use it to their advantage.
Well, it totally fits the purpose of Twitter, which is to share thoughts, news, insight, rants, advice and other things that are worth sharing to people who follow you. When you retweet, you are re-sharing something that is already on Twitter to your followers, who may not have seen it.
Retweeting is meant to enhance and improve social engagement on Twitter; but it can be abused, so just use some common sense. Here are some ways to become better at it.
Note: if you have no idea whatsoever about retweeting, check this out. There are new ways to retweet and strategies, etc., but that guide is a good place to figure out what we’re all talking about.
Don’t ReTweet Junk – Check out the links first
First of all, if you retweet external links (and I know this is not going to fly with everyone) you shouldn’t be retweeting stuff you haven’t actually looked at. I made this mistake once (in the spirit of being transparent) and when I opened the link after I retweeted it, it was a post written really badly with lots of cheesy ads and it was just something I would never have passed on. You must look at the link – it could be a link to a page filled with malicious software and/or viruses – you never know. Why ruin your follower’s day by passing on B.S.?
Add something to the ReTweet
I don’t always do this either, but I try to when I can. If you retweet directly from the Twitter website, you won’t be able to add your personal message or any hashtags. But if you use a service, like HootSuite, you can add something, as well as schedule that retweet for later.
ReTweet from the Source
Many blogs, news websites and magazines have a re-tweet option built right into the site. If this is the case, retweet from the source, because it gives the original Tweep some visibility, and sometimes their re-tweet function includes their desired hashtags.
ReTweet People Who You Want to Follow You Back
If there are people who aren’t following you, but you want them to notice you and follow you back, try retweeting some of their tweets. Retweeting is a huge sign of respect. So, if you respect what they say, retweet them and see if they don’t take notice of you and become a follower.
Don’t Let ReTweeting Take Over Your Twitter Account
The last thing I’ll add for beginner Tweeps is to not get caught up in retweeting. Add your own thoughts to the mix. There are retweeting bots and other spam accounts that just retweet other people’s stuff, and while that seems okay, it’s not and you don’t want to be “that” guy. I typically detest silly etiquette rules and lots of structure in something that’s supposed to be personal and social, but on Twitter you need to try and fit in. Your experience will be a lot more fun if you can.