When setting up a social media account, most companies can't wait to get online and start posting about the wonderful things they are doing. What a lot of people don't realise is that a Retweet can be as important, if not more so, than any tweet you send out.
So how much thought do you give before you hit those two square Retweet arrows?
Why is what you Retweet so important?
Retweeting is a way of endorsement, it's away of saying that your message is shared by others, it's a way of getting people to notice your account again and mostly it's a way to get your account Retweeted itself!
Number one rule to Retweeting
Do not Retweet everything you see that interests you. Think carefully about the kind of Retweet you want. The reason for this is explained at the bottom of this blog. But first, here are the different types of Retweeting:
An endorsement Retweet
This is when you Retweet somebody has said something good about your twitter account, your company, your campaign or even just good old you!
It is good to highlight these to your twitter followers, but don't fall into the easy trap of Retweeting every positive thing you see, otherwise your Retweets and twitter wall will fall into a twittidentity crisis, full of other peoples tweets but none of your own!
The reason a Retweet stands out is because someone who follows you will see an account on their feed that they don't follow and wonder how it got there. This leads them to read the tweet.
Here, the Twitter user isn't following Zane Lowe, but is following Radio 1 who has re-tweeted him. It stands out because the twitter user will know who Zane Lowe is being a Radio 1 listener
While it's good to get this recognition, think carefully about who you Retweet and who you just want to engage with. If they are a well known celebrity, figure or company then it is worth hitting the Retweet button. This means their tweet under their own twitter identity will appear on your wall and your followers feeds.
The reason you only want to choose top endorsers to Retweet is that if you directly Retweet like this too often followers get annoyed by constantly having other accounts on their feed, plus you lose your identity as your content can get lost in a field of Retweets. So use your endorsements lightly and maximise the power and effect they have on your followers.
(NB - a way to respond to all endorsements without cluttering up your followers feeds is just to reply to the endorsement thanking them. Hit reply so you start the tweet with the @name of the account that has endorsed you, that way only people who follow your account and their account will see it on their wall).
A Retweet that gets your account known
Twitter is all about getting engaged in a conversation and spreading your word across the twitosphere to lots of people who haven't heard of you before!
Here's a really easy way to do that by using two simple letters: R and T
If you see something that interests you on twitter and it follows the kind of message you want to portray or you think will interest your followers, rather than hitting the re-tweet button you can own the tweet! If you just hit Retweet then the original person who tweeted it will feature on your wall. If your followers find it interesting and decide to Retweet it (which, as they are following you, they are likely to) then the original tweeter will appear on their account and get all the exposure.
If you simply 'quote the tweet' word for word instead by putting RT (showing it's a Retweet) at the front of it then the @name of the account that originally tweeted it will still appear on the tweet. Now if any of your followers see it, like it and decide to Retweet it, it's your account that appears on their feed!
A good example of Retweeting an interesting tweet but still owning it yourself. If anyone following @mjdicker likes this and Retweets it, it's @mjdicker's account that will appear on their wall, not @mashable's
On most phone apps you can do this by pressing 'Quote Tweet' when you hit the Retweet button. If you are using Twitter on a computer you will need to copy and paste the tweet. Make sure you put RT at the front and the @name of the account that originally tweeted it - there's nothing worse than trying to make someone else's tweet appear as you're own - if found out it dis-credits your account to your followers.
A Retweet with your authority stamped on it
Two really simple ways to get your point on a tweet, engage in a conversation or stamp your view on it is to quote a tweet with your answer on the same tweet (if there's space) or to modify someone else's tweet so it reflects your own view. If you are doing the latter, simply add the letters MT (Modified Tweet) to the front of it, edit and Retweet it as in the same way as the RT system (mentioned above).
Retweet publicity stunt
The best form of advertising is word of mouth. If someone has used one of your products or viewed something you have put online that they agree with and have tweeted about it with a link to that particular thing, then if you're yet to tweet about it, why not re-tweet what they have written and use that as your publicity. It's promoting your post, item or whatever with an endorsement and review all in one!
Here @RemConway has simply Retweeted @Beatbullying promoting his video, better than him tweeting about it!
Of course, the pr savvy amongst us may even stage this, or set a competition for people to tweet about the product....but I didn't say that!
And finally....remember the number one rule
Do not Retweet everything you see that interests you. Think carefully about the kind of Retweet you want.
Hopefully now you know why and what to do instead
But incase you don't....
On @Beatbullying's wall can you see any tweets from them? Doesn't this lose their identity a bit?