ReTweets are a great way to grow the influence of your Twitter stream. This goes for both the ReTweet (RT) you give others and those others give you. I hold that the Retweets that grow a stream’s influence and followers the most are the ones we give, although it is assumed it is the ones we get.
The key word above is “influence”. In one way or another we are all going through life somewhat influencing one another, in person and via social media. Human beings are by nature, all influencers from birth.
Babies, almost from the moment that they are born, interact and attempt to gain what they want. Babies have a message, which may vary from time to time depending on what the baby wants or wishes to do at the moment.
On Twitter every tweet seeks to have some sort of influence. Our Twitter streams can be understood as our own unique micro-blogging channels. This is true for companies, and the rest of us who seek to connect and share in various ways.
Content is Primary
Like radio and TV channels, we each need content for our Twitter channels. My Tweets tend to be about art (including introducing my Post Conceptual UnGraven Image Art and theory, plus free art events in museums and news from the art world), the brain (and how to use it better especially in relation to vision and emotional freedom), tolerance, spirituality, social media, and also I can be uplifting, inspiring or funny.
Also, I am helpful and give tips re social media, pitch in an emergency (from phishing to a news item such as an earthquake when tweets have relayed vital info to the people involved as other forms of communication were compromised) and enjoy celebrating shared events like holidays or honoring someone who contributed greatly to society and has passed away.
When someone tweets something that fits what I want to share, the kind of influence that I want to have, it is like getting a free show for my micro-blogging channel. A tweet worth ReTweeting is a kind of gift of free content.
Here is an example that wonderfully fit my Twitter channel that I sent out recently: “RT @succezstwittey When everything seems to be going against u, remember that the airplane takes off against the wind, not with it. – Henry Ford #quote”
I chose this example as up until my above RT, I had not interacted with this follower, who I follow back. This member is not a celebrity or a known high ranked twitterer, but it was a swell Tweet that I grabbed up and gratefully ReTweeted to my other followers to also inspire them.
Thanking People for a ReTweet?
Many people thank the people who RT them. I always think that I should be thanking the people I RT for the good free content..
Before I had 30,000 followers I went along with thanking people in the stream for RTing me. When I had 30,000 followers it dawned on me that whatever I said could possibly be seen by that many people and a stream filled with Thank You’s is kind sweet but soon rather dull. Besides, it had begun to feel more like bragging that I’d been ReTweeted.
So instead, I try to ReTweet people who Retweet me. Often I RT whatever I said that was RTed. On a good, short quote, we’ve reached as many as six tweeters in a row on one Tweet. That is a lot of fun!
I will also troll the stream of someone who RTed me, looking for content to ReTweet that will benefit my followers. A RT back is better that a Thank You. However, I must find something worth tweeting and sometimes I do not, or I find it months later. That is OK, as any relationship is built over time.
Endorsements and Testimonials
I also just about always ReTweet someone who RT’s a link to my blog or articles, web sites, videos, free e book, free webinars or anything that helps me get my basic visual inspirational and life changing message known. These tweets are a kind of testimonial. Plus, I tend to think that my followers must to some degree like me or be interested in me and what I have to say. Of course, I want to introduce them to other people who like what I have to say: my followers! In face-to-face life, I tend to introduce friends to one another, too.
Since I follow back all followers (except for very explicitly sexual accounts who I block), I tend to only ReTweet people who follow me. I like to promote my friends, and if someone, including a company, museum or celebrity cannot be bothered to follow me back, even if I previously gave them a RT, the content of their Tweet has got to be stupendous for me to ReTweet it and give them free advertising.
Stupendous does happen. Here are a few examples and exceptions when I reTweet non-followers.
The first exception is current events news media like CNN, the New York Times, BBC, etc. They tend not to follow back but do provide pertinent information about breaking news that I sometimes share for the good of my followers. However, with magazines and papers dying and becoming smaller, I have noticed that some of the wisest reporters and media are following people back. Local news is most likely to follow back and this is a smart way to gain tips.
The second exception concerns social media news, especially if it involves Twitter and is an urgent or a helpful update. Being a good Twitizen and ReTweeting important data, especially as it involves Twitter seems to produce more followers. For instance, when there were attacks via phishers I reported that as I want my followers to stay safe. ReTweeting a recognized social media authority who had the best, most helpful story gives can be useful for my followers. This falls within my channel’s ongoing sharing of tips and helpful information about social media, which also includes this article. Plus, I usually follow everyone who ReTweets these helpful tweets, especially during an attack, and they are also good Twitizens, and the kind of people I want for friends
Know Thy ReTweet
I strongly suggest that if you want to grow your Twitter influence you only ReTweet information and especially links that you have personally checked out and endorse for your followers as if this is your own stuff. This builds trust and influence.
- Never RT a link, even from a source you trust, like a news source, unless you have personally checked it out and read the article.
- Never Retweet a link – even your own link without first testing it to make sure that it still works.
ReTweet for the Good of Your Channel (followers) not as Favor for a Friend or Follower
Since I heartily endorse and believe in follow/follow relationships I get followed by some spammers who send me DMs with links that I never open and simply delete. People, including non-spammers, send me DMs asking me to ReTweet their causes, blogs and also business news or products. Usually I hardly know these people, but sometimes these are people I consider Twitter friends. About one in ten people offers to reciprocate and RT something for me once also. This is a silly deal to offer anyone unless you have more followers that they do, and most of these offers come from people who have not cleared the 2000 followers hurdle yet.
When a Twitter member (channel) accepts paid advertising or quid pro quo arrangements, or tweets things that are really not fully and personally endorsed it substantially decreases that Tweeter’s influence. If someone’s friendship with me is based on favors, then it is OK to lose that follower as I would prefer to keep the trust that I have built with my other Twitter friends.
People follow celebrities because they can—they want to feel closer to someone they admire.
I am most likely to ReTweet what is said by celebrities who follow me back, when it fits my channel and is good information for my followers.
Since it is enjoyable for my followers, I will ReTweet a celebrity who hosts a fun event on Social Media, like @aplusk did via Ustream when he had the charity contest with @kingsthings (Larry King) to see who would be first to have one million followers.
I will also ReTweet information, especially a good quote from a celebrity who says something inspiring that I want to share with my followers. Since people admire and even trust celebrities, this can help me spread inspiring and uplifting ideas. I will also RT something that is side-splitting funny – but I am a sucker for side-splitting funny from anyone.
Some people, usually newbies or people who have not reached voting age, RT celebrities simply because they admire the celebrity. Generally this does not increase influence or trust with anyone old enough to vote
Make your ReTweet Policy re DMs Known in the Stream
People sometimes take things personally, especially if they believe someone is a friend. However, being a friend on and off of Twitter does not include doing anything that a friend requests, even when it seems easy to do. A ReTweet is actually an easy one click process, but as discussed above, it can have consequences that will erode trust and followers.
In the public Twitter stream make your ReTweet DM policy known about once every month or two if you have one.
I make it known that I never RT anything sent in a DM including info from people I consider Twitter buddies. I also DM back people I have chatted with in the stream who have sent me unrequested DMs asking for a ReTweet that this is my policy. I am only going to RT what is in the public Twitter stream – unless I have specifically requested the info and a link to be sent to me via a DM, which occasionally I have done in relation to a charity or art event I wanted to share.
Social Media is a conversation that is fun or at least interesting enough to take time away from other pursuits.
We are each the CEO of our Twitter stream. We are the ones who decide what content we Tweet, including ReTweet just as the head of a TV, radio, magazine or newspaper decides what information is conveyed through their channel.
A ReTweet puts free content on your channel, which is a kind of a gift to you as long as that content is about something you really endorse, which includes ideas and articles that you have found useful. This kind of RT will build trust and gain you followers and even RT’s if others also find it useful.
So if you found this article helpful RT the Tweet with the link that brought you here. Or, Tweet about it yourself to help your followers!
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Judy Rey Wasserman is an artist and the founder of Post Conceptual Art theory and also the branch known as UnGraven Image Art. Download a free copy click: Manifesto of Post Conceptual Art– A Painting’s Meaning is Inherent in its Stroke.
Check out the limited and open edition prints in the estore.
Follow her on Twitter at @judyrey .]