Seems like everyone is tweeting these days, but what about “retweeting” which involves taking a message someone else has Tweeted and sending it to everyone that is following you? Retweeting is a great way to increase your number of followers because it pushes your @username into more social graphs, which results in clicks back to your profile. That said, with the amount of spamming that goes on these days, there are definitely some rules to keep in mind when retweeting.
Give credit to the original poster.
It’s just polite after all. Think about how you’d feel if someone re-posted your tofu press and didn’t credit you. Rude! The best way to credit an original poster is to add the word “retweet” or the letters “RT” before you send off. Here is an example: RT@originalposter: Message.
On that note, I’ll be referring to “retweets” as “RT” from here on out.
Only RT content that is valuable to your followers.
You may think that if you RT content, the original poster will RT your content in the future and you will increase your number of followers, right? Au contraire, mon frère. While your content will likely be RT’d, the whole point of doing so is to benefit (and keep) your followers. If you provide value, you’ll attract more followers. If you simply RT everything that comes across your Twitter account, you won’t. And people will dislike you. Moving on…
Don’t RT celebrity postings.
Results from an unofficial poll indicate that people hate this. Seriously, they hate it. Sure you may have Bieber Fever, but let’s face it some things are better left unsaid. If people care, they will personally follow the celebrity. Don’t make that choice for them. Nothing upsets more than having random celebrity tweets popping up in their feed all day, every day.
A RT of something you are truly interested in means you need to put a space after the link followed by two slashes (//) to distinguish that this is your personal note about the best kombucha starter kit and not an extension of what the original poster is saying. Sometimes it’s necessary to delete some of the original tweet, but try your best to leave the main point intact or it becomes insulting to the original poster and confusing for followers.
Some other things to keep in mind are: You aren’t required to thank someone for a RT, but if they put a personal note with it, thank them. Your grandma will be proud. However, if someone important (I’ll leave that definition up to you, but I’m thinking world leader or Mick Jagger) RTs something about you, you should RT what they said and thank them.
The rules of RT come down to basic etiquette. If you are smart and know your followers you’ll be able to prevent them from being annoyed by your RT. Just whatever you do, make sure that you’re keeping your followers happy because they’re the lifeblood of your Twitter profile and social media world in general.