ReTweet Etiquette

This post was inspired by a conversation I had with TED’s Chris Anderson. I’m not a big fan of “rules” for social media, but in certain circumstances it does make sense to conform to a certain community-set convention. With the existence of several ReTweet counting services and my ReTweet mapper, a certain regular format can also help make sure your ReTweets are counted and analyzed. Etiquette in social media is also pretty important, as it can help ensure that everyone gets along nicely.

TweetDeck has a ReTweet button so it has defined a kind of de facto standard format for ReTweets. It then places the cursor at the end of the tweet so many people add their own thoughts there.

RT @username: Original Tweet [Your Take]

Here are also some good rules of thumb to remember when ReTweeting:

  1. Do not start the ReTweet with an @ sign, as this will mean that generally only people following both you and the person you’ve @’d will see the ReTweet, defeating its purpose of increased reach.
  2. Try to credit at least the original Twitterer who posted the Tweet. If you have room, also try to credit the person who’s ReTweet you saw.
  3. The most common ReTweet format is RT: @username. Typically this is reserved for the original poster. A good way to credit the person who’s Tweet you saw, try adding (via @username) to the end of the tweet.
  4. If the original tweet included a call-to-action (like “please ReTweet”) try to keep that in your ReTweet, if you have enough room.
  5. If the original tweet has a link in it, keep it there. Also, try not to re-shorten the link using another service.
  6. If the original tweet has a hashtag, try to use it in your ReTweet as well (if you have room).
  7. Try to keep as much of the original tweet intact as possible, but it is acceptable to add your take on it (especially at the end, in parenthesis)

Did I miss anything? Do you have any ReTweet pet peeves? Let me know in the comments below.