“Twettiquette” Lesson: The ReTweet
The ReTweet – This is an issue that’s come up in my Twitter stream quite often as of late, so I thought it best if we addressed the issue here in the most public of public forums: the blog on social media!
I’ve always felt that good retweeting is akin to being a good journalist: Always cite your sources and don’t be a thief.
Soooooo, for those NOT in the know, a “retweet” is the act of forwarding along someone else’s post on Twitter. As one of the primary means for sharing and disseminating information when you’re limited to 140 characters or less, the retweet is a vital tool on the Twitter platform. Yet is amazes me how many people don’t know how to do it, do it incorrectly or just overdo it altogether.
Often seen as a compliment, being “retweeted” can mean anything from others think your content is compelling, important, timely, funny – the list is truly endless. Here’s something to think about as you begin posting other people’s content in the Twitterverse:
RULE OF RULES: Pretend you’re giving a reporter an interview. Being “misquoted” or even worse, not being quoted at all, will make you frustrated, think ill of the reporter, the reporter’s publication and possibly the entire reporter’s family and the gym he/she belongs to. The family dog isn’t even safe when it comes to misquotes and failure to credit.
Thus, to make the retweeting process one that is clear, concise and friendly to Tweeps everywhere (and their family dogs), here’s a step-by-step process on how to PROPERLY retweet someone on Twitter:
- OMG! OMG! @RedheadWriting ‘s last tweet was SOOO FUNNY! I want to share that with all my followers, LOL.
- Copy the entire text of @RedheadWriting’s tweet and place “RT @RedheadWriting” in front of the tweet.
- If the text now goes over 140 characters, it is acceptable to abbreviate/omit words, but PLEASE do not change the intent or EDIT the post to suit your fancy.
But hey, Erika— what if @RedheadWriting’s post was retweeting someone ELSE’S tweet? Those often look like this:
RedheadWriting: RT@theclimbergirl I loved this blog: http://www.rockclimbergirl.com
How the heck do you retweet a retweet? Simple – you credit the original tweeter and it looks like this:
RandomTwitterUser: RT@theclimbergirl I loved this blog: http://www.rockclimbergirl.com
It could also look like this if you’ve got room:
RandomTwitterUser: RT @RedheadWriting @theclimbergirl I loved this blog: http://www.rockclimbergirl.com
But it should NEVER look like this:
RandomTwitterUser: RT @RedheadWriting RT@pbeiser RT@chrisbrogan @theclimbergirl I loved this blog: http://www.rockclimbergirl.com
Just determine who posted the tweet first and remember to credit them. Share credit when you’ve got the room, but there’s no need to overdo it by citing every bloody Tweep who happened to be in the food chain. After all, you never hear a reporter say: “It was heard from Mrs. Jones that Mr. Marks heard that John Doe heard that Mary said she like tofu.”
That’s just silly, now, isn’t it?