ReTweeting

Retweeting 1, 2, 3 with Re-Tweetiquette

Retweets at Twitter are the modern town crier in the Twitterverse - the universe of Twitter. Retweets spread the news in the typical "hear ye, hear ye" town crier style. You receive a Twitter message and you simply pass it on to others.

And simple is the optimum word when we are referring to retweets! Retweets can be sent in 2 or 3 steps - even in 1 simple step! Yet for whatever reason, newbie Tweeples (people who Twitter) are not given much direction about "how to retweet!" Lucky for you - you've discovered Mr. Floris and the simple steps to the Re-twitterverse - universe of retwitter.

Retweeting 1, 2, 3

Retweeting In 3 Simple Steps

The Twitter web interface requires you to follow 3 steps to retweet that message. Trust me - the 3 simple steps are truly - simple! Standard retweets begin with RT - short for retweet. Almost everyone uses RT to send retweets.

Not everyone knows, however, that you can send retweets by beginning with any word. "Reading" has been a popular option. Even LOL (laughing out loud) will suffice to resend that message.

So why do most people begin retweets with RT? Characters are like gold in the Twittersphere. "Reading" uses 7 - RT uses 2! Also, RT has become the "standard" and helps everyone recognize a retweet.

After RT in a retweet, you leave a space and follow with @sender.(A retweet begins as RT @sender.) You can manually write in "@sender" or just select "reply to" and "@sender" will magically appear in your message box. Then you simply allow a space and copy/paste the message that you want to send out into the Twitterverse.

If I receive this message:
mrfloris Retweeting 1, 2, 3 with Re-Tweetiquette - http://www.mrfloris.com
and who wouldn't want to retweet that message!
I would retweet it as:
RT @mrfloris Retweeting 1, 2, 3, with Re-Tweetiquette - http://www.mrfloris.com

Retweeting in 2 Simple Steps

So retweeting with the Twitter web interface is as simple as 1, 2, 3! Yet with the help of amazing applications, it becomes even easier to retweet a message! Just 2 simple steps and no copy/paste hassle! Both Tweetdeck and Seesmic Desktop allow you to just hover over a profile picture and click the bottom left icon.

Retweeting In 1 Simple Step

If you think retweeting couldn't get any easier, then you've overlooked retweeting in 1 solitary simple step! When you choose "retweet" in TwitterFox, it automatically copies and pastes the message into your status box - complete with RT. HootSuite is truly a "hoot" and for more than its one-click retweeting feature. With HootSuite, you can manage multiple Twitter profiles, multiple editors, and even pre-schedule tweets!

Ok, Retweets Are Easy But Why Would I Want To Retweet?

So you never dreamed then of being a modern day town crier - commanding attention wherever you hang your hat? Have you ever been inspired by words, ideas, or music that deserve to be released into the Twitterverse? If the answer is yes, then you need to retweet at Twitter!

Retweeting gives a new life to a message and runs with it. And retweets pick up admirers along the way. Retweeting connects you with people who share your tastes and interests. Quality retweets can also earn you some of that "town crier" respect. Expert status may be just a retweet away!

Ok, But What Messages Should I Retweet?

The wise Twitterer never retweets "low quality" messages! It goes without saying that you never pass on any obectionable messages. Report any questionable post but never retweet it!

Retweets of the highest quality add the most to the lives of Tweeples. Your retweets don't always have to be serious in nature but they do have to nurture by nature! Don't ignore humorous retweets! Everyone needs a good laugh now and then!

Timely topics always make good retweets. Retweets which offer "free" stuff might fly for awhile. But beware - if not legitimate, they will quickly fizzle out in the Twittersphere, Your credibility can be crushed with any questionable tweet!

So Is There Re-Tweetiquette?

Yes indeed! There is etiquette for tweets and retweets!

The 1, 2, 3 of Re-Tweetiquette

1. Keep Messages Intact

Modify a message - only if necessary - and only to add a positive touch to the message! A "great tip" remark might qualify as an acceptable add-on. My preference, however, would be to totally respect the copyright of the original poster down to the last letter. Never claim credit for another's message! Never change links and redirect followers!

The potential exists that retweeting can be abused and used to spread malicious gossip.Tweeples have to be on their honor and not interfere with messages. Of course, the Twitterverse is a vast arena so retweet offences should be easily fished out of the stream.

Sometimes, however, retweets need a minor adjustment. When writing messages, it is recommended to write a few less characters than the maximum. Using less than 140 characters gives your message a better shot at becoming a retweet. Extra space is needed to include - RT @sender.

2. Keep Viruses Out and Watch The "Viral" Effect

Never rewteet a link without a quick browse around the locale. Even if you have complete trust in the sender, mistakes can happen in retweeting messages. An honest mix-up in an url can result in a huge embarrassment for everyone.

Nobody wants to see their credibility ruined by a bad link! On the other hand, valuable retweets create a memorable impression on Twitter. Their effect spins out of control in a viral fashion.

"Viral marketing" is the current buzz word in entrepreneurial circles. Retweets are a "free" form of viral advertising. Blog posts, online stores, your Mom's recipes - anything can turn "viral" on Twitter.

3. Keep The Spirt Alive

Twitter was built on a hope for community. In the midst of our busy lives, it was meant to fill a niche - cater to our desire to connect but do so in 140 characters. As Twitter expands in leaps and bounds, retweets help fuel the passion and recharge the community.

And Re-Tweetiquette helps build on that sense of community! Tweeples respond favorably to those who retweet their messages. Nobody should retweet just out of obligation. Quality should be the determining factor when sending retweets.

A sense of awareness, however, adds to the Twitter community. A touch of sensitivity and a friendly attitude just might "up" the quality of retweets for all Tweeples. And yes, even polite gestures are noticed in retweets!

A study noticed that posters react favorably to "please retweet" messages. Please Retweet Me thrives on that theory of niceness. This gracious tool fills out your tweet and adds "pleaseRT.me" at the end. Tweeples might be even more appreciative if you write your own polite tweets.

Maybe Tweeples can even go beyond pleasantries with retweets. Worthwhile causes always benefit from a few supportive retweets. It's easy to retweet messages on Twitter! You know the basics of Re-Tweetiquette! So what message will you retweet today?

By Mary Teresa Fowler, on behalf of Floris for mrfloris.com

Next Article: Summer 2010