Retweetiquette

Megaphone courtesy of Yamamoto Ortiz (http://www.sxc.hu/profile/YOdesigner)In many ways, retweets are the life-blood of  Twitter. To see your content being shared with people outwith your immediate network is a great feeling. At first you strive for it, but once you’ve got the bug it can be hard to pull back and you become a retweet addict.

Everyone has their own take on it. Mine is related to my last post Mind your language in that the overuse of retweets can put people off as they struggle to separate you from all the content you are chucking at them from someone else.

My advice is to take it easy. Only retweet genuinely good content which you are sure will be of benefit to your followers. That benefit may be comical or it may be business related. Regardless, as long as you think twice before retweeting anything you’ll end up retweeting less.

What to retweet:

  • News articles, blog posts or websites which are new to you and therefore will be of use to your network.
  • Your own blog updates
  • Things that make you smile. Be careful here though as your sense of humour may be different from that of the majority of your followers. Exercise extreme caution and don’t do this more than twice a day.
  • Questions from people you follow which you think your followers might be able to answer.
  • Answers to questions you have asked which you are sure will be of interest to your followers.
  • Very, very occasionally you might want to retweet something nice someone has said about you. Limit this to no more than once a week, otherwise people will be put off by your constant bragging.


What not to retweet

  • Every mention you get. This is pointless, I’m following you so I want to see what you have to say first hand rather than hear about it from someone else.
  • Linkless ramblings. Unless I know the person, I’m unlikely to have the context to understand what they are talking about, regardless of how amusing you find it.
  • Old breaking news. OK, this is a tricky one but if the story broke 2 hours ago, chances are I already know about it. Just because it’s new to you is not an excuse to boost your tweet count.


Oh, and you’re allowed to retweet this.

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3 thoughts on “Retweetiquette

  1. A nice, balanced view!

    Some Twitter streams I have looked at are full of RTs of conversation snippets with little << notes added. Taken out of context they make no sense and are the Twitter equivalent of having a loud conversation in the mistaken belief other people are interested.

    I have a few 'causes' I am very passionate about that I do RT when they have significant news, but I like to keep the RT content of my Tweets at 15% – the level of alcohol in champagne!

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