This week, several Re-Tweets of a tweet I RT’ed provided fodder for a blog post oriented to thinking before clicking to RT someone else’s content. I didn’t know it would resonate as it did; it also prompted additional thought on re-tweeting as a practice.
(Just a note here for those not as engaged on Twitter — I absolutely LOVE Twitter for the wealth of relationships, training, community, and engagement it has provided me. Twitter has absolutely changed my professional life.)
Why do you re-tweet?
People re-tweet to:
- Give credit (as per Jenn Whinnem in the comments to said post above) and as a goodwill or friendly gesture to pals in your tweet stream.
- Recognize the originating author’s content, such as a blog post.
- Share news of the day relevant to an entire stream of tweeps (that’s short for people who tweet).
- Get attention by the originating author as a pal to include in their stream.
- Raise the bar on a brand (usually one’s own) as a reputable source for content.
- Share studies, data, pontificating with others interested in the same topics/themes.
- Send along hot news so you don’t have to find it yourself.
- Build link love (to a lesser extent)
Re-tweets are so commonplace that rarely do we think about why we do it. Nor, as above, do we check links before sending tweets along. Sometimes that can be a disaster especially if content is a bit weak and no one takes time to read an entire story.
I know in the past I’ve been guilty of doing a bit of buttering up when I RT, but that’s when I was building my stream and creating a brand. That’s probably not anything to feel guilty about, really; it’s what Twitter is supposed to be about, right?
Twitter helps people:
- Build a brand
- Create a community
- Engage with folks of like minds or not
- Push and pull data and info
- Monetize (to a lesser extent) and provide value with measurement
So, why do you RT and do you think before clicking send?