‘Retweeting’ is pushing someone else’s tweet out to your own audience. It could be a tweet about a sentiment you agree with, or perhaps a link to an interesting industry article.
Retweeting is a great way to help someone out; you’re promoting them and their content. You might initiate the retweet yourself, or you might be asked to do so.
But stop and think for a moment. While you didn’t write the tweet yourself, are you effectively saying it yourself by retweeting it to your audience? Will your audience view it as an endorsement?
What if the tweet has a spelling mistake? (Not a good look if you’re a copywriter). A broken link shows carelessness. And these issues can, fairly or unfairly, reflect badly on you.
Are these things too small to care about? Absolutely not. Since the vast majority of your followers have not (and most likely will not) meet you in real life, your Twitter stream might be all they have to judge you by. It’s weighty.
So what can you do to use retweets to your advantage?
Rather than just retweet the tweet as is, go one step further and add your own message (albeit brief). This shows you’ve given actual thought to what you’re tweeting, and that you’re not just sending it out for the sake of it.
And this tactic is not just limited to tweets you agree with. If it’s, say, promoting a blog post you disagree with, comment on the blog post itself, and then retweet the tweet, saying you disagree and to see the comments as to why. Not only does it show thought, it shows confidence – and expertise.
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But wait, there’s more. In doing so, you’ve most likely kindled a relationship with the author, who might just return the favour.
This is the checklist I run through before I retweet anything:
- Are there any spelling mistakes?
- Does the link work?
- Is my audience actually interested in this tweet? Or am I just doing someone a favour?
- Can I add more value to it by incorporating a message or comment of my own?
- Is the content in line with my social media policy?
Can you see the importance of retweeting thoughtfully? Or are you completely oblivious, paying no attention to such minute detail? Share your retweeting tips below, and of course, please feel free to tweet and retweet about this article.