Twitter: Retweeting Best Practices
Retweets, along with @replies and mentions, put the social in social media.
A retweet is a re-posting of someone else’s Tweet to share with all your followers.
Here are a few retweeting tips:
Use RT instead of native retweet
Retweeting someone else’s Tweet is a practice created organically by Twitter users and became such an integral part of the Twitter experience that the good folks at Twitter co-opted and tweaked it into something less than useful. So now you have two options: hit the “retweet” button or manually enter RT @username and the Tweet. Hitting the retweet button ends your engagement. Instead, manually enter “RT @username” and the original Tweet. You can also use “via” at the end of the Tweet, but always credit the source. Others now have an opportunity to easily retweet or thank you.
MT or Modified Tweet
If you’re editing the content of the original tweet in a substantial way, use MT instead of RT. For more on this, see our discussion on modified tweets.
Tweet length: keep it short
It all starts with a Tweet. If you want to increase your chances of being retweeted, keep your Tweet to around 100 characters, leaving ample room for RT, @username, and a comment. Not everyone will take the time to modify a long Tweet to make it retweetable.
Retweet with Comment
Add your thoughts to a retweet even if it’s just “great read” or “useful tips.” This generally goes before the RT. You don’t have to do this for every retweet; shoot for around 50 percent.
Keep hashtags to a minimum
More than two hashtags is too much, or else it becomes a Tweet of more links – hastags + two usernames + link to article – than descriptive text. It’s hard to read and it’s annoying.
Use Buffer App
Check out the wonderful Buffer App which integrates with Twitter in your browser and automatically formats retweets. We love Ari and appreciate his tweet, but in the example below, it will take a bit of editing to retweet his Tweet. Buffer app makes it a lot easier: just click on the “Buffer” link in the Tweet and a pop up window correctly formats the retweet. You can now quickly edit the Tweet and send it out or “buffer” it to go out later.
Below is the result of the edited retweet. Sadly, we didn’t follow our own advice and neglected to include “Thanks” in the Tweet (thanks, Ari!).
(How did I center-align this embedded tweet? See this useful HubSpot post)
Other tips to share? Feel free to add in the comments below.
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