5 Great Reasons to Retweet Others on Twitter

October 20, 2010

One of the key characteristics I (and many other Twitter users) use when determining whether I should follow someone back on Twitter is the level of interaction in their tweet stream. Do they ask questions? Answer them? And most importantly, do they ever retweet others’ content?

Be sweet - retweet on TwitterNow virtually every blogger and business user on Twitter tweets their own content, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that—it’s one of the strengths of the platform. But Twitter is a social tool, not a broadcasting medium. Tweeting only their own stuff makes a person look like one of those cocktail party boors who only want to talk about themselves. More often than not, they end up talking only to themselves.

Retweeting is a key part of the social interaction on Twitter. Here are five great reasons to share content posted by others.

1. It helps those you retweet. Retweeting provides others with both social (“nice work!”) benefits as well as the practical benefit of driving more traffic to their content. It’s a nice thing to do, and (usually) appreciated.

2. It helps your followers. Tweeting and retweeting interesting and valuable content helps those who follow you. When you help your follows discover new knowledge and information, you become a valued information source and build trust.

3. It generates more retweets for you. Others are more likely to retweet your content when they view you as someone trying to share helpful content with the community rather than just broadcasting your own material.

4. It makes others more likely to follow you. People want to be retweeted. Having retweets and other interaction in your tweetstream makes you a much more attractive person/entity to follow than someone whose tweets are one-way and obviously done on auto pilot.

5. It gets you more #FollowFriday recommendations. For all of the reasons above, retweeting makes others more likely to recommend you to their followers, which in turn grows your following.

It all comes down to the “social” in social media; people value tools like Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook for the interaction with like-minded individuals they provide. Those who focus on “broadcasting” only their own content through these media tend to be shunned or ignored. Conversely, those who interact and add value grow their networks, influence and trust over time. Sometimes the best way to advance in social media is to retweet.

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19 Responses

  1. rakes 

    Ok good., I got this. twitter is really important.. indirectly it gives online visibility to promote our business.
    And what about. domain names , for a B2B companies. I saw that most of the companies who are in B2B business usually buy all related domain. But I didn’t find any companies focusing into .tel domain name. its been an year of .tel domain release. Even google are doing there best to optimize there search engine to prioritize .tel in there search result to easily find contact information of any companies. there are lots of domain like trademart.tel tradeindia.tel indiamart.tel domain didin’t configured to provide contact information to reach company easily. even some of the domain are for sale like tradeindia.tel owned by someone who are into domain business.

    i want an answer please. I”M PLANNING TO START MY OWN B2B business. help me collect the maximum information to work on.

  2. Tom 

    Sorry Rakes, afraid I don’t know a lot about .tel domains. It seems, however, that they have some issues. http://www.readwriteweb.com/archives/tel_domain_names_go_on_sale.php

  3. I totally agree. Re-tweeting has so many benefits. As far as following, I like you, tend to follow those who show a higher than normal sign of engagement. I want to follow people who offer a good amount of value so that I can benefit from them

  4. I love this post! Thanks for putting the “social” back into Tweeting. I will definitely retweet this and post it to my Facebok page.

  5. Tom 

    Thanks Kathy! Glad you found it helpful, and I appreciate the positive feedback. And the RT/FB of course. :-)

  6. a great way that I get and really works for me is provide good free resources upon what your followers might like.

  7. A very fantastic post!!I really enjoy to used tweeter account… of course to follow tweet has a great benefit for me…

  8. Great post…have learned a lot, Thanks!

  9. David 

    Great point about being willing to retweet others, show some love get some love.

  10. Great advice! I believe people follow others on Twitter mainly in the hopes of reading interesting, amusing or informative tweets in the future. Re-Tweeting can certainly be one way to deliver these kind of posts to followers and reduce the burden of always having to think up original content. Sometimes it is hard even to come up with 140 characters of “good stuff.” However, it is important to re-tweet selectively and not too often.

  11. Joel 

    I’m just getting started with the various social media providers/resources to promote my business. I hadn’t really thought about retweeting as being of value to others, but the way you framed your points really makes sense. Thanks for putting together this concise information.

  12. Good article! Your points are well received. Very soon all those “social bores at cocktail parties” are going to have huge problems in terms of their Internet marketing efforts, because as indicated by Google’s Panda update, Google is now placing much more weight on social interaction like “Likes” and “Tweets” and on-page citations etc. Google is caring less and less about how many links there are to pages and less about the PageRank metric too, and is becoming more about how people are interacting WITH those pages and talking ABOUT them.

    I struggled a bit with the idea of Twitter at first, despite quite liking Facebook. But no matter where you are on the spectrum of social media preferences, if you’re an Internet marketer, blogger or SEO consultant, and plan to stay in the game I don’t think we really have any choice. I will persist with Twitter. Thanks for the great article! :)

  13. Tom 

    Thanks for the kind words Margaret, and your comments regarding Google’s Panda update and the important of quality (in engagement as well as content) are spot on.

  14. Harry 

    There really is no point being on twitter if you never retweet anyone else’s stuff. Good tips!

  15. Tom 

    I certainly agree Harry, but some people still seem to view it as a broadcasting platform.

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