Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Pay it Forward – The Art & Etiquette of Retweeting a Retweet

Pay it Forward – The Art & Etiquette of Retweeting a Retweet

Retweeting is becoming a common practice on Twitter. I love it as it gives me a chance to give others the exposure they deserve. And, since I’m not completely altruistic, I also love the exposure it gives me. If you’ve set yourself a goal of a certain number of tweets a day in order to stay connected, try retweeting a few times a week. Sometimes, the best self-promotion you can do is to promote others.

Just when I think I’m getting past the newbie stage of Twitter, I uncover a really basic question that I think I should know the answer to. Today’s question is:

What’s the etiquette for retweeting a retweet?

Let’s say that someone retweets a tweet. The retweet includes a link to a blog post that you really like and you want to share it with your followers too. Do you retweet the original tweet? Do you retweet the retweet? The latter gives exposure to the first retweeter, which seems only fair, but can get kind of cumbersome. You only have 140 characters and a lot of retweets contain a short comment plus the original tweet. That’s not much space for two RT @(userID)s.

When in doubt, go to the source – The Blogosphere. (Almost as good as going to the mountaintop, but a lot closer!) Here are some thoughts from a randomly selected group of experts:

Are You a Twitter Retweet Thief?
This post focuses on the importance of giving credit to the original tweeter. That just seems to be common sense to me, but I thought I’d include this well written post as food for thought.

At least one of the commenters says that you must also give credit to the retweeters. If you run out of space, just shorten words - “are to r” for example. That just goes against my writer’s instincts. I’ve learned not to cringe at using less than full sentences, but I still prefer to use full words.

How to Retweet
This post shows you how to retweet a retweet but doesn’t really address the problem of too many RTs. I include it, however, because it makes a great point about why including RT in front of the @userID is so important. If you don’t, all you will be doing is replying directly to the user. This is something to keep in mind if you do want to reply to a user, but want your followers to be able to see it too.

“Twettiquette” Lesson: The ReTweet
This one gives a couple of great examples of how to retweet – especially when you are retweeting a retweet. Always give credit to the original tweeter. If there’s room, you can give credit to the retweeter as well. A nice example of how to do that is given.

If a tweet has gone viral, don’t keep giving credit to the retweeters. The blogger gives a great example of a reporter who cites his source by saying “It was heard from Mrs. Jones that Mr. Marks heard that John Doe heard that Mary said she like tofu.”

This last post makes the point nicely and with that I’m satisfied that I have found the answer I was looking for. Do you see it differently?

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