There’s plenty of talk out there about Twitter, and opinions abound on how to use it to your (platforming) advantage. I’ve seen a lot on how you need to get in there and get involved with hashtags (those long letter combinations with the number sign in front of them) and whether or not auto-follow is a good idea. ( “You followed me! I’ll follow you back for no reason other than you followed me first! If I follow you will you follow me back? PLEASE?!?” ) But, I haven’t seen a lot about the retweet. Maybe I’ve missed it? (If I have, leave me a link in the comments!)
The Truth About Retweets
Retweets (aka RTs) are a wonderful way to share content you find on Twitter. Take, for instance, a writing contest has just opened up and you see @soandso tweet about it. You know plenty of people out there who would LOVE to get in on this contest so you retweet it. It all goes something like this:
@soandso I just found a great writing contest hosted by That’s My Write! Check it out! http://www.linkylinkylinky.link
And then you:
@thisisyou RT @soandso: I just found a great writing contest hosted by That’s My Write! Check it out! http://www.linkylinkylinky.link
The ReTweet is a simple and easy way to share stuff you find interesting with others who might also find it interesting.
The Ugly ReTweet
Yes. They exist. It’s a rare thing to see an ugly retweet, but once you see one, you never forget. They go something like this:
@soandso Hello Tweeps!
And the ugly retweet:
@thisisyou RT@soandso: Hello Tweeps!
If @thisisyou is you… Stop. If you want to reply to @soandso, go ahead. Say hello back! Don’t just retweet it! If you want to tell people hello as soon as you get on twitter, do it! Don’t retweet someone else’s hello!
The Constant ReTweet
I’ve come across profiles that are like this and I want to hurl myself through the computer and scream, “SAY SOMETHING!!!” to the people behind the profile. All they do is retweet. You scroll down the profile and it’s RT after RT after RT. No original content. Something like this:
RT@soandso: I just found a great writing contest hosted by That’s My Write! Check it out! http://www.linkylinkylinky.link
RT@suchandsuch: Get the best writing advice EVER! http://www.linkylinkylinky.link/morelinks
RT@whozzawha: Much Ado About Everything: A Review http://www.linkylinkylinky.link/morelinksagain
RT@soandso: Hello Tweeps!
And it goes on and on and on. Don’t be that Twerp. Twitter is about talking to people in 140 characters or less. Don’t waste those characters on what someone else has to say ALL THE TIME. Pick and choose and choose carefully. Retweet the stuff you find interesting, but don’t just retweet. People follow you because they want to get to know you, so be yourself. Talk through Twitter and people will respond. Something like this:
Here you see me retweet a few people with things I find interesting. I also reply to a couple of people when I find what they say interesting, and say something myself (“I have to many books to choose from…”) This is what Twitter is about. Sharing who you are with others.
What about you? How often do you RT?