Retweet: The Ins and Outs

There’s plenty of talk out there about Twitter, and opinions abound on how to use it to your (platforming) advantage. I’ve seen a lot on how you need to get in there and get involved with hashtags (those long letter combinations with the number sign in front of them) and whether or not auto-follow is a good idea. ( “You followed me! I’ll follow you back for no reason other than you followed me first! If I follow you will you follow me back? PLEASE?!?” ) But, I haven’t seen a lot about the retweet. Maybe I’ve missed it? (If I have, leave me a link in the comments!)

The Truth About Retweets
Retweets (aka RTs) are a wonderful way to share content you find on Twitter. Take, for instance, a writing contest has just opened up and you see @soandso tweet about it. You know plenty of people out there who would LOVE to get in on this contest so you retweet it. It all goes something like this:

@soandso I just found a great writing contest hosted by
That’s My Write! Check it out!

And then you:

@thisisyou RT @soandso: I just found a great writing contest hosted
by That’s My Write! Check it out!

The ReTweet is a simple and easy way to share stuff you find interesting with others who might also find the stuff interesting.

The Ugly ReTweet
Yes. They exist. It’s a rare thing to see an ugly retweet, but once you see one, you never forget. They go something like this:

@soandso Hello Tweeps!

And the ugly retweet:

@thisisyou RT@soandso: Hello Tweeps!

If @thisisyou is you… Stop. If you want to reply to @soandso, go ahead. Say hello back! Don’t just retweet it! If you want to tell people hello as soon as you get on twitter, do it! Don’t retweet someone else’s hello!

The Constant ReTweet
I’ve come across profiles that are like this and I want to hurl myself through the computer and scream, “SAY SOMETHING!!!” to the people behind the profile. All they do is retweet. You scroll down the profile and it’s RT after RT after RT. No original content. Something like this:

RT@soandso: I just found a great writing contest hosted by
That’s My Write! Check it out!

RT@suchandsuch: Get the best writing advice EVER!

RT@whozzawha: Much Ado About Everything: A Review

RT@soandso: Hello Tweeps!

And it goes on and on and on. Don’t be that Twerp. Twitter is about talking to people in 140 characters or less. Don’t waste those characters on what someone else has to say ALL THE TIME. Pick and choose and choose carefully. Retweet the stuff you find interesting, but don’t just retweet. People follow you because they want to get to know you, so be yourself. Talk through Twitter and people will respond. Something like this:

It gets bigger when you click it

Here you see me retweet a few people with things I find interesting. I also reply to a couple of people when I find what they say interesting, and say something myself “I have to many books to choose from…” This is what Twitter is about. Sharing who you are with others.

What about you? How often do you use retweet?

About Katie Doyle

Katie Doyle is an avid reader, writer of NA and Adult fiction, a mom to two tornadoes that resemble an eight and six year old, and pet to a tuxedo cat named Oz and a German Shepherd/Boxer rescue named Charlie. If she's not reading, writing, or getting Oz out of a tree, she's screaming at characters on TV and trying not to curse around her kids.
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6 Responses to Retweet: The Ins and Outs

  1. Not nearly enough. I admit, my tweeting times are very limited. I'll only retweet valuable info that I feel others may benefit from.

  2. I only use retweets when I'm spreading the word about a book or a contest, but often times I go and link it myself.

  3. Tonja says:

    I just signed up. Mostly to see how I can make use of it some day, maybe. I was really put off by several agents and editors tweeting about their coffee, the weather, how they are late for whatever. I didn't see how it could be particularly helpful for authors except to advertise yourself, but I'm not sure how your self-promotion would get through all the other stuff. I'm probably just not getting it.

  4. Kathleen says:

    @Tonja That's what a lot of new comers to Twitter see. And you make a good point: What use is it if this is all it is?I think I have another Twitter post brewing that will answer that question…If you can't wait though, check out Kristen Lamb who is a social media goddess. Search her blog for all of her twitter posts and you'll find some great information.(

  5. JEFritz says:

    Like you say, Twitter is about sharing yourself, so I don't RT too much. Usually, I only do it for a contest or something of interest to my writer friends.

  6. im bad im still in facebook phase, and forget that i have a twitter account half the time. great post, found you through Alex J. Cavanaugh's insecure writers support group. new follower here.

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