Retweet. It’s a word in the dictionary, added in 2011 a few years after Twitter was founded in 2006.
Look for it in the Oxford dictionary and you’ll find it’s a verb and noun with the definitions, “(on the social media website Twitter) repost or forward (a message posted by another user)” and “a reposted or forwarded message on Twitter” respectively.
Yes you can read the definition… but what exactly does it mean? How do you use a retweet? Why should you retweet? Which kind of retweet should you use (yes there are different kinds)? Questions, questions, questions… This is your guide on how to retweet on Twitter.
What’s a Retweet?
Let’s say you’re on Twitter reading tweets in your timeline. If a tweet catches your attention and you’d like your followers to see it too, you would Retweet or for short, RT it.
1. Share valuable content
The tweet you find worth retweeting is probably of some value. (Hopefully you don’t retweet every tweet you see on your timeline!) This tweet whether a quote, link, text or picture is something you think your followers would also find valuable.
If you retweeted a tweet from someone you are following, they will see that you retweeted it and may thank you. Then you can start having a conversation. That’s engagement. Another example is if one of your followers sees a tweet that you’ve retweeted and also finds it valuable, they may want to talk to you about it. This is also engagement.
3. To help
On your timeline, if you follow your favorite charity, you may see their tweet about their newest campaign. To help them out, you can retweet their tweet. This spreads their message by reaching more people.
How to Retweet on an App: Retweet or Quote Retweet?
Chances are you use Twitter mainly on an app and not a desktop. Twitter has even said on their blog, “…mobile is often the primary way people around the globe experience Twitter.” Since this is the case, here’s how to retweet on Twitter on the Twitter iPhone app:
1. For this example, we’ll be using the Four Seasons Magazine’s Twitter account. I love this magazine and their tweets!
2. Click on the tweet that you want to retweet. Locate the retweet button, which is a symbol of two arrows.
When you select it, two options will pop up that is Retweet and Quote Retweet.
3. If you select Retweet, this is how it will show up on your profile.
It’s the exact same tweet that Four Seasons Magazine tweeted, just on your profile now.
4. On the other hand, if you selected the Quote Retweet option, this is what will show up.
5. You can see that Twitter has copied the tweet’s text into a new tweet. All you have to do to retweet it is add “RT” in front of the text. You can also add something like “Love this!” before writing RT.
6. Another thing to note about Quote Retweets is if you’re quote retweeting a picture.
For example, Four Seasons Magazine tweeted this picture of a dessert from Bottega Louie, a restaurant in Los Angeles.
7. I used Quote Retweet to retweet this picture including a little commentary before the RT.
8. After I tweeted it, the picture showed up on my profile’s recent photos.
Note: You can’t Quote Retweet on your desktop. Instead, you’ll have to manually copy and paste the tweet into a new tweet, put RT in front of it and then only tweet.
Should you use Retweet or Quote Retweet?
It’s really up to you but here are some notes to help you decide.
1. Regular Retweets can be turned off
There’s an option to turn off retweets from a user, meaning they won’t see the tweets you retweet.
2. Share your opinions or support
Only Quote Retweet will allow you to add a little of your opinions, commentary, or praise for the tweet that you retweet.
3. More engagement?
With Quote Retweet, since you added some of your thoughts to the tweet, this may encourage the original tweeter to talk to you about it.
4. Not too much
Try not to use the regular Retweet too often or no one can see your own content especially in mobile. If you view your profile on the iPhone app, it only shows three of your most recent tweets. When someone clicks on your profile and only sees Retweets, it’ll look like you don’t have any content to show for yourself.
Update: Please note that this way of retweeting has sine changed. Stay tuned for an updated post. In the meantime follow and tweet me @bethanylooi 🙂