Category Archives: Retweeting

Top Tips and Tricks to Getting More Retweets:

When someone retweets you, they have two choices: they can just click the “retweet” link to retweet it, or they can create a tweet that comes from them, and adds a credit line (such as RT @user) in the tweets.

And while you can add “Please retweet” to your tweets, I would do this very, very sparingly. It’s often inappropriate or annoying. I use “Please retweet” only once every several hundred tweets, mostly for crucial, time-sensitive tweets.

Click image to enlarge:
The Art of Getting Retweets

Courtesy of: Quick Sprout

Should You Repeat Some Tweets? I Do. Here’s Why:

If there’s important and popular information that’s helpful to people on Twitter, generally I repeat it within a day or so…even though some people are annoyed by the repeating.

I don’t earn anything by repeating tweets, and 99% of what I repeat is not written by me or anyone I work with.

So I’m not doing it to promote myself, my friends, or to earn money.

What I’ve found is that important, popular information gets just as much readership (and retweets/favs) when it’s repeated as it does the first time it’s sent out. Even if it’s repeated as much as three times (which I almost never do, but occasionally I will repeat something twice.)

Repeats Double, Triple or Quadruple Readership And Retweets/Favs

The statistics don’t lie: most people appreciate the repeats. If I send a really important and popular tweet out three times, it gets three times as much readership. That’s why many top users, such as Guy Kawasaki, repeat their tweets four times. That’s too much for me though. It seems to push the annoyance factor too far for the average user, even though stats show that each repeat gets as much activity as the previous ones when you send them out at different times.

I repeat tweets because it helps people, and people appreciate the information.

Why should I keep that information from people who obviously want it, and tweet something less important instead?

Instead, I choose to get the important information out to as many people as I can. I do this even though some people unfollow us because we repeat tweets.

However, as a courtesy to people, I label most repeats with a “r/t” (without the quotes) so you can avoid clicking on repeats. I started doing this years ago, because people were annoyed when they would click on a tweet they had already seen.

Also, some people asked me for the fastest way to go though our tweets and see only the most important ones. Just pull up our twitter feed and do a search (Ctrl-F) on the page for “r/t” (without the quotes).

Too Much Repeating, Or Just Enough?

So if some repeating is okay, the next question is, do I repeat too many tweets?

This is a harder question to answer. I would say that I probably do repeat too many, in that we would have quite a few more followers if we repeated less (or hid them and tried to make it less obvious).

But I would rather get important, useful information out to people that want it than worry about losing a few followers here or there.

Should you repeat your tweets?

Most people do repeat tweets about their business or things they themselves have written. Generally, my first repeat is 12 hours from the initial tweet: I want it as far as possible from reaching the same readership.

If the information is not particularly current or urgent however, I may wait a few days, while still keeping it at the opposite time of day from the initial tweet.

I also repeat really useful tweets about 6-9 months after the first tweet, if the information is still current and relevant.

How about you? Do you repeat your tweets? What do you think about people that do?

Infographic: Should You Avoid Twitter’s Official Retweet Button?

Most people don’t fully understand the different types of retweets. The traditional, user-created retweet is sometimes also called “retweet with comment” or “classic retweet.”

But even if you don’t add a comment to a retweet, there can be benefits to avoiding just clicking the retweet button on (or setting your app to work that way). Here’s a comparison infographic between the two kinds:

If you want to read more about the different kinds, check out “Retweet the old fashioned way, using ‘classic’ or ‘traditional’ retweets only.

If you want to have an option from to choose your type of retweet, you’ll need to add a plugin to your browser, such as:

  1. For Firefox
  2. For Chrome
  3. For Internet Explorer, Firefox or Chrome
  4. With cool built-in scheduler (My favorite—you’ll need to sign up for a free account)

To learn more about the different methods of doing a “classic” retweet, see the “Retweet Glossary, Syntax and Punctuation.”

Hoax: Steal a retweet scam, lie about it, get media coverage

Dozens of folks have used a word-for-word identical tweet claiming they made a bet with their boss to get Twitter retweets. You’d think someone would at least change one word!

One of the most successful of these scammers copying tweets to get retweets was @PoultryKeeper. They even wrote a blog post lying about what they did to back up their fake retweet scam and stolen tweet.

After writing the blog post, media outlets like The Next Web covered it as a real story, despite existing blog posts explaining it was a scam.

Update: The Next Web has followed up with a report noting that it is a scam.

The “bet with my boss” scam. Please do NOT retweet it

The “bet with my boss” tweet scam (see bottom of this post) gets people to retweet to help someone make their boss pay for doubting the power of Twitter! However, it’s a scam. People (and some spambots) are just copying a tweet that they’ve seen has worked for other people in order to get more retweets. Don’t fall for it!

Some people are having fun mocking the scam:

People are always trying to come up with ways to get retweets. A popular one is to ask for retweets for a particular reason, for example,

“I’m demonstrating Twitter to a friend, please RT so I can show them the power of Twitter.”

Many tweets I see like that one appear legitimate. However, the “bet with my boss one” is NOT legitimate. Here are a few examples:

The same scam has even made it to LinkedIn and gotten media coverage. Thanks to @Hermaniak for pointing this out:

An easy way to get someone’s attention on Twitter

Find out what people like, and what others like about them. Then retweet or engage them on what they like, or what others like about them. The easiest ways to do that:

Read and retweet their all-time most popular tweets.

I love doing this. Favstar and Topsy will show you the most popular tweets of many users.

Simply go to their username here and in the left sidebar click “More” and “Most Retweeted Tweets” or “Best Of” (example).  Be sure to login to Favstar yourself to get the most features when going through your own tweets.

To use topsy, simply replace “USERNAME” in the URL shown below with the Twitter user name of the person you want to check out:

Whenever I find someone fascinating on Twitter and I have a minute, I look through their top tweets at Favstar or Topsy like this, and inevitably find something cool to retweet.

Read a person’s favorite tweets to learn how to engage with them.

If a person you are interested in has favorited any tweets, read them! E.g. view this link:!/type their username here/favorites, for example!/Alyssa_Milano/favorites

You can often learn a lot about someone by looking through the tweets they have favorited. It may give you some ideas on how to engage with them.

Or, you can retweet whichever of their favorites you think is most likely to get their attention. Sometimes people favorite nice things other people have said about them, or their best blog posts. Either of these are great things to retweet.

But the simplest thing of all is simply to retweet whichever of their favorite tweets you like the best yourself.

When favorites don’t work

Watch out for folks who are using their favorites for unusual purposes. If you can’t make heads or tails of why they are favoriting things, they may have a purpose that is not evident. Some people favorite tweets to remind themselves to reply to them, for example, then unfavorite them like checking off an item on a check list.

So, if their favorites seem strange, best to ignore them and look instead at their most popular tweets using Favstar or Topsy.

Simple tip to get more retweets

Here is a great simple Twitter tip inspired by Mack Collier and mentioned by Tamar Weinberg.

Tweet your own posts at the same time you tweet about other people’s posts.

Doing this will get more engagement (clicks, retweets, comments) on your Tweet. Why? Once the people you have shared something about will see what you have done, you have their attention. Some will check out your tweets. By sharing their stuff, you are getting their attention to look at your stuff.

In fact, if you can, pick a key hour of the day and share something of yours, then something from several other people, then again something of yours. That way, the people who see you sharing their information right away will catch your first tweet, and those that don’t notice until awhile later will catch your last tweet. Tweet maybe 3-5 times for that one hour, spaced 12-20 minutes apart.

Remember not to overtweet! Don’t do this for more than an hour or so at a time, and not more than 2-3 times/day.

Joining a Twitter or blog retweet group: Should you do it?

There are services that will promote your tweets or blog posts for you. While each offers different controls and methods, most have you join a group where everyone in the group promotes everyone else.

There are variations of how you choose who is in your group, create groups, get invited to groups, etc. And variations on how much you will be required to promote others, costs, etc. Two popular services that fit in this category are Triberr (reviews in favor and against) and BlogGlue. Triberr says “Every time you publish a new post, Triberr sends it to everyone in your tribe and they tweet it to their followers.” BlogGlue adds “related links” to your and others’ blogs as well as autosending tweets when you publish a post.

Is this a good idea?

Really this is just an organized way of what a lot of folks already do informally. It’s a kind of micro-joint venture. Many of the largest social media accounts on Twitter for example, trade retweets with one another. It can be as informal as seeing someone has tweeted something of yours and then reading their tweets for the first time and being pleased to find something you would like to retweet. Or it can be organized, using tools to check who is retweeting you and then spending time to see what you can retweet of theirs.

Instead, do big things with a few key people, rather than small things with a lot of people.

It’s true that joining marketing/tweeting/blogging groups of any kind can be a good way to meet new people. Just be sure to keep growing your relationships! Make your relationships deep rather than just wide.

What I mean is that your best opportunity is to build stronger relationships with a few key people, rather than a watered down relationship with many people. For example, if you find someone marketing to the same kind of people you do, you could each give the other a free ad in the other’s newsletter as long as your products/services are synergistic rather than competitive with one another. There are many kinds of joint venture opportunity like this, big and small. It could be as simple as becoming “guest commenters” for one another, trading writing comments on each others’ key blog posts. You could plan contest-style events together, and so forth.

What does @TweetSmarter do?

If @TweetSmarter did this, we would get a lot more retweets, I’m sure! If you send me links and ask me to tweet them, I will look at them, but I do have rules about what I will tweet. I generally find that it keeps my life simpler neither to accept nor to give favors, so I haven’t joined any groups of any kind. Ethically and in some other ways, I’m really more like a journalist on Twitter than anything else.

However, I work with a variety of people doing interesting things to help Twitter users. If you fit MY definition of someone that helps others, and you do it on Twitter, and it benefits Twitter users, then I’m happy to help! But please don’t send me a sale pitch about how helping you will be “win-win” or say “I’m sure you’ll love this.” I hear every day from someone wanting us to do something for them that it will be “win-win” that I will “love”…and they say this about the crappiest, most off-topic things imaginable. For that reason, we actually even discourage folks from auto-tweeting our blog posts, or automatically retweeting our tweets. I don’t want to accept  favors of ANY kind from people I’m not working with already.

Another problem is that 99% of what I tweet are links less than 24 hours old, and I can’t tell from someone’s tweet if they are tweeting something new or now. So read the rules about what I will tweet before asking me to tweet something, and don’t suggest old posts. Thanks :)

Retweet Glossary, Syntax and Punctuation

“RT” and “via” are the most common abbreviations used, and you can provide retweet attribution to the curator at the beginning or ending of a tweet with a wide variety of punctuation. A good reference to familiarize yourself with is Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended, which includes information on how and why to credit multiple usernames.

There is no one “right” way to format a retweet (but if you remove the username of the account you found the tweet from you’re doing it wrong). Virtually every Twitter application provides a one-click retweet function, and there are many different standards for how the resulting tweet looks. Some allow you to edit the retweet before sending it, and some (such as the native function at do not allow editing.

1. Glossary of common abbreviations

  1. RT Short for “Retweet.” This is even sometimes spelled out instead of abbreviated.
  2. via Similar to HT or MRT (below), via has lately simply become more of a catchall, often seen simply as an alternative to using “RT.” But ideally, it indicates a modified tweet. See “Why do some people use “via” instead of “RT?” for retweeting?
  3. HT “Hat tip” This is a way of thanking the person who brought something to your attention. It’s sometimes used interchangeably with MRT (see #3 below). More exactly, according to the Blogossary, “Hat tip [HT] is an acknowledgement to someone (or a website) for bringing something to [your] attention.” If you’re not sharing a link or quote from someone, sometimes it’s better not to reference anyone at all lest you seem to be putting words in their mouth. Although it’s source comes from the phrase “Hat Tip” it has since also been thought to represent “Heard Through” (HT to @AndrewSpong for pointing this out).
  4. MRT or MT Short for “Modified (re)tweet,” this usually indicates that you’ve edited the retweet a little, otherwise only a very small amount of editing can  justify sticking with a regular “RT.”
  5. IRT Short for “In reply to” or “In response to” (or very rarely “Ironic Retweet”).
  6. OH “Overheard.” Similar to HT if attributing to a specific Twitter username. Otherwise, just another popular Twitter acronym :)
  7. /by The preferred method for author attribution. Sometimes used with no slash, e.g. “Great article by @user”
  8. /cc This is just a way of including another username in a tweet so they will be notified of it. It comes from the email cc standard to send a “copy” of the email to another person. “CC” originally stood for “carbon copy,” coming from the old business letter-writing standard. Also commonly used with no slash, e.g. “I love this pic [link] cc @user1, @user2″
  9. ta (British) or Ty (American) is slang for “Thank you” that some use: “[Tweet text and link, if any] ta @user” (Thanks to @EditorMark for pointing the British version out.)
  10. QT Means “quoted tweet,” favored by Japanese Twitter users. (Thanks to @DanJDubya for pointing this out.)
  11. r/p or r/t A repeated tweet.
  12. TRT A translated retweet (invention credited to @dominiofeminino)

2. Syntax and punctuation

Here are some common examples (I’ve bolded #5 as my personal favorite):

  1. RT @TweetSmarter: Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended:
  2. RT @TweetSmarter Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended: (same as #1 but with no colon after username)
  3. “@TweetSmarter: Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended: ” (make sure there is a space before the final quote mark if the tweet ends with an URL)
  4. “Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended: (RT @TweetSmarter)
  5. Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended: RT @TweetSmarter
  6. Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended: /rt @TweetSmarter
  7. Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended: /via @TweetSmarter
  8. Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended: /@TweetSmarter
  9. Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended: > @TweetSmarter
  10. /@TweetSmarter: Why Misunderstanding Retweets Can Get You Suspended:

3. How to link to or post a copy of a tweet

There are a number of options here. The main two scenarios are:

  1. Needing to link directly to individual tweet ►
  2. Needing to post a copy of a tweet on a website ►

4. Why are there so many different ways to retweet?

While users experimented a bit with different methods, Twitter shares a lot of the blame. At one time they hid retweets from some in timelines intentionally without telling any0ne, causing an explosion of people experimenting with different methods, believing that Twitter was blocking tweets that had “RT” in them. Then when they created the non-editable style of retweet, they promised that tweets would be updated to show additional information, such as the chain of people who curated a tweet, then dropped that initiative. That’s right—at one time Twitter was working on giving tweets an additional part that could carry more information beyond 140 characters. (It was to be called “Twitter annotations.”)