What’s Your Twitter RT Etiquette?

Twitter EtiquetteI’m probably shooting myself in the foot by writing this, because it could be taken the wrong way.  But I would really like some feedback on this issue.

One common Twitter strategy that seems to be growing in popularity is when people @mention someone to let them know they’ve been mentioned in an article they wrote.

The hope is that the person mentioned will then RT (retweet) the article to their followers.  It’s a great strategy to get some exposure, especially if the person has a large following.

The other side of the story…

While it’s generous to give back to the person sending the tweet with the @mention (which I’ve done a lot), I also think you have to balance it out.  Look at it from your follower’s point of view.

For example, if Darren Rowse (111,000+ followers) RT-ed every tweet he was mentioned in, it may start to look a little braggadocious.  As a follower, I certainly wouldn’t want to keep seeing RT’s from him about him over and over again.  Of course, once in a while is fine.

Also, it’s also hard to know if people are genuinely doing this because they want to give a shout out, or they just want the RT.  Plus, when others see you RT-ing someone else’s tweet, they’ll often go and write a quick article in hopes that you will do the same for them.

It can get out of hand when you start to develop a larger following because more people want you to RT their tweets.

On one hand, you could say this is great because it means more backlinks for your site, but I’ve noticed that the quality of some of the articles is mediocre so you have to wonder about the agenda of some people.  Although, I do believe most people are being gracious.

About a year ago, a nice lady sent me an @mention to an article she wrote and asked me to RT it.  It was a very kind article, but it was 2 paragraphs long and there were several typos and a couple of grammar issues.

I thanked her of course, but that particular RT would have probably turned many of my followers off due to the quality of the piece.  I don’t want to appear ungrateful, but I believe you have to draw the line somewhere.

As I said above, I’ve probably just shot myself in the foot (no more @mentions for Lisa! 😉 ).  For the record, I’m not talking about anyone in particular here, and I certainly appreciate the love.  I’ve just been getting quite a few of these @mentions over the past few months, and I would genuinely love to know how you handle it.

My decision to RT (or not) is usually based on the quality of the article and my own RT frequency.  Of course, it’s nice to let your followers know someone has mentioned your site, but you don’t want to toot your own horn too often.  I also take note of how many times the same person sends an @mention.

What about you?  Do you RT every tweet that mentions you, your site or links to an article you’re featured in?  Also, if you are the person creating the @mention, do you expect the person mentioned to RT it to their audience?

Share your Twitter-quette! 😉

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  1. says

    I have re-tweeted a few times, but only when I REALLY like the tweet to begin with. I do notice that when I hit the “Retweet” button, it does not allow us to edit or modify – merely send it out to our followers.

  2. says

    I still doesn’t use twitter at all! :) I think your starategy of RT is right – you should care about what are you RT, not to RT anybody who asks, even if you are mentioned in someone’s article or anything else.

    Did you shoot your leg or this post helped you to get rid of “please RT me, i mentioned you in my crappy, made to just get RT post”?

    The right way here is not to use this tactic in crappy way, than it is OK.

    Thanks for the post!

  3. says

    Hi Lisa,
    Sorry I am so late for this thread, just came across it.

    I don’t want to create a firestorm, but I don’t buy into any RTs. Why not be “social” and sincerely tweet to your “friends” that they may be interested in looking at xxxxx because xxxxx. Make it personal by not using the RT.

    There, I’ve said it and you will notice no RTs in my twitter account.

  4. says

    I know what isn’t good etiquette, that’s making up RTs from people and then sending them out on Twitter claiming someone said something they didn’t. I’ve seen this happen to some celebrities and it can be pretty brutal/embarrassing depending on what is said.

  5. says

    Hi Lisa,

    I wanted to share my thoughts on this from a perspective of someone @mentions someone. For example if I was to link to your article. ‘great post on wordpress plugins by @2createawebsite:(link). My purpose of @mention to you would actually and always is for the benefit of my followers so that if they find my tweet and your article interesting they might want to follow you again. I can’t say I have ever done it with hope of a RT!

    when i select what I want to retweet I retweet posts from people I follow that I think are of interest to some of my own followers, I never re-tweet tweets @aimee1986 in modesty.

    I hope this offers some insight. I like your posts I should find time to comment more.

  6. says

    Wow! It just goes to show how little I know about Twitter (and just about all the other social media outlets!)! I have re-tweeted a few times, but only when I REALLY like the tweet to begin with. I do notice that when I hit the “Retweet” button, it does not allow us to edit or modify – merely send it out to our followers.

    I don’t have that many followers, and so I am uncertain whether or not anything I “tweet” even gets read. But, I enjoy it nonetheless!

    I am simply thrilled when someone actually responds to me! I love it!
    :) Kath

  7. says

    I rarely RT tweets that mention me, and if I do I will remove my own username from the tweet. There is no point in bragging on yourself – tweet content of value, and write good quality articles and you’ll get a lot of mentions – no need to carry that torch on yourself, your loyal readers will do it for you!

  8. says

    It depends on a day to day basis. If I don’t have much to tweet but I find the people who I follow sending amusing, interesting or something-to-share tweets, I’ll RT them. Not too much though, but I like to share!

  9. says

    Hi Lisa,
    if it is of high quality then it deserves a RT. There is nothing wrong with mentioning people but not to over do it and pee off some of your own followers.

  10. says

    As you said, I guess it depends of the article that talks about me/us. Reading it fully is the least you can do to “guarantee” the quality of your tweets and RTs.

    If it’s one that is clearly written to get a RT, I just thank them with no other detail. You can usually tell when an article is not “genuine”.

  11. says

    In general I usually just reply with a thank you. That said if it is a follow friday and I find the tweeters to be of value I will RT this.

    I find the fishing kindof typical of twitter with the I follow you follow me attitude of so many tweeters.

    I think there is nothing wrong with being selective. I tend to be very selective with who I follow, RT, FF etc.

  12. says

    I have to agree with this article and a previous one regarding Twitter becoming “cluttered”.

    It seems Twitter is becoming just another entrepreneurial tool. Of course I want to get my information out to the masses, but at what price am I paying for that luxury? I follow anybody that has an interesting topic and willing to gain my trust. Ive found out, however, that many of these pages are “false prophets” if you will and are merely trying to take advantage of a HUGE niche. The general population is not stupid. Do you think I’m going to respond to your obvious copy and paste email?

    -Bob The Tech Dude

  13. says

    I only RT articles that I think have high value for my followers; doing anything else would lessen my importance in their eyes.

    An important part of building a brand and increasing authority on Twitter is deciding who to associate with — and who to retweet.

  14. says

    I never realized people where mentioning me to get me to RT them. Whenever someone mentions me I just reply to them directly and thank them for the mention. I don’t write articles or mention people just to get a RT. I guess that’s why I never realized other people were doing it.

  15. says

    Hey Lisa. Guilty as charged! I’m one of those that gives you a shout out on my blog or in guest posts all of the time. However, if I send you a tweet, my goal is not for you to RT me. My hope (I know how busy you are believe me) is that you might comment on the post or add some additional information that I may have left out.
    Don’t get me wrong, if you (or anyone else I go on-and-on about) RT’s the post that’s great. But you’re followers already know about you, so it’s not news to them to see what fantastic resources you have to offer. It’s just that I get a little sick and tired of seeing “Chris Brogan said do this” or “Darren Rouse said do that” but hardly ever enough recognition for you and the services you provide. And I’m talking about the FREE stuff!!

    The bottom line is, I think you should be found on everyone’s top ten list and I’m not saying that just because I like you.

    But you’re right, I can imagine that it get’s annoying on your part (that’s why I didn’t even tweet you when I published my latest post).

    Thanks for your support Lisa and I appreciate ANY retweets or comments you send my way. Have a great week!

    • says

      Ileane, you do send me a lot of @mentions, BUT I wouldn’t put you in the category of “looking for a RT” because of the balance of your tweets. In other words, you may let me know if you’ve written about me but you also generously RT a lot of my videos and blog posts when you obviously have no personal gain from doing this so I do appreciate your generosity. :) Thank you!!

  16. says

    I never mention anyone just to get a RT. If I mention someone it is because I genuinely support or feel that person or article is worth mentioning to others. Sort of like if you have or know something good, you want to share it with others.

  17. says

    I think you make some very good and well-balanced statements regarding retweeting. I agree with Fred, for me, it’s all about QUALITY and about how well my audience is interested in said article.
    Great post!

  18. says

    I never mention anyone just to get a RT. Well, I am no Twitter expert so I didn’t even realize this is why people do it.
    I usually @mention someone asking a question I am really interested in.
    What I love about you is that you always answer and help. So although I am not trying to get RTs I am trying to get an answer and you are the best in that :)

    When you mention bad quality of articles, I keep seeing more and more of those. Maybe it is just the fact that I actually learn every day and I start noticing stuff like that, but people write just to write. No help, no content. It’s like writing an article on how to pour water in a glass.
    Not to mention more and more of those articles having links to who knows what with some non related KWs in them.
    But all this is better for you and all the people that actually work on their sites – the more bad quality, more we will turn to you!

  19. says

    I think quality of the piece is the best standard to use. It doesn’t matter to me whether the article loves me or loathes me. Love pieces are usually ho-hum anyway. The critical pieces get people to come to your site to decide whether they agree with the writer. But, as you say, mediocre writing is as common as dirt and wastes everyone’s time. Sorry to be mean. By the way, Lisa, I love you.

  20. says

    Maaaaan I cannot stand when people say everything in a RT!! First of all its weird because it just doesn’t make sense for the twitter world to repeat everything I say before answering me (especially when I say something simple like “hey” and you RT it to say “hey” back). Plus it makes them look like they’re showing off to show others how many people talk to them in a day. Ohhhh and I hate when attention seekers like Kanye start tweeting because you’d think he was a disciple who contributed to the Bible as important as others think his words are! If I wanted to see what Kanye was saying every 30sec, I’d follow him but because I don’t care, I don’t follow him! Sheesh! Next article: Tweeting 101

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