In the beginning
Once upon a time you always knew when someone retweeted you. The accepted way of doing it by users was to put “RT” in front the Twitter name of the original account and the content it sent. This elegant solution was created by Twitters users. Twitter clients such as Tweetdeck or Ubersocial automated this process.
These original retweets also now known by various names such as “classic retweet” meant that someone sharing your content always showed up as a mention of your @username.There were other benefits such as being able to add value before the RT and being able to thank people who retweeted you.
The retweet is reimagined
Then Twitter took ownership of the retweet. If you used Twitter.com, you just pressed “Retweet” under a tweet and off it went without leaving any indication that someone shared your tweet with their followers.
This style of retweeting became more common as new users joined Twitter and used its website. Also Twitter clients began to follow the lead of Twitter.com while trying to keep long time users happening and offering some of their own ideas such as using quotes around the original tweet. So today Blaq on my Blackberry Z10 offers me four retweeting options.
The result was that tweeps began to lose track of when they were being retweeted and by who. More frustrating still, I noticed that different Twitter clients shared different information about retweets.
Who’s retweeting you?
A while back I noticed that a Twitter change that I hadn’t heard about that once again lets you know you retweeted you. So I wanted to make sure you knew that this information was available to you especially if you like my posts on learning how to use Twitter or make the most out of it.
This may not be news to you because it looks like the change was made almost two years ago. But I missed it and I still think it’s information many tweeps don’t know. I missed the change in part because I seldom use Twitter.com though it’s still my preferred way to see new followers. So for me the @ Connect menu item was just a new way of seeing my mentions. On top of that, what I saw whenever I clicked it was my mentions.
Then one day I noticed there was a second option under @ Connect called Interactions and it was actually listed first. I was pleased to see that retweets can be found in this section. Also included is other activity such as new followers and people who favourited your tweets. If you haven’t explored that section, be sure to do so regularly even daily.
So then I started looking for it on Twitter clients and began finding it although in several distant ways. Setting a client up on Tweetdeck, I saw you could have a column showing when you’ve been retweeted or for your new followers. But on Hootsuite, I need to click on the small link in the My Tweets Retweeted column to see who retweeted me. And on Blaq I only see it when I go back to one of my tweets. So you’ll need to see how your preferred tool shows you this information.
Why is it important to know who retweets you?
There are several reasons why it’s important to know who retweeted you:
- It’s a good way to use Twitter to build relationships.
- You can say thank you! I’ve been saying thank you for retweets since I started on Twitter because I’m thankful people are sharing my content forward. They don’t have to do that and I appreciate it. I didn’t like that I wasn’t doing that enough anymore and like that I can more often now.
- You know who is engaged with your organization and its Twitter account. This knowledge is especially important if the person is an influencer. You may want to put these people in a special list or make an effort to engage them. Maybe even let them know when you’ve got great content on the way.
- You may discover new people that you want to follow because of their demonstrated interest in your account and your topics of interest.
Should you also thank someone who follows you or favourites your tweet?
Personally, I don’t think it’s necessary to thank new followers. I guess it can’t hurt but the connection is weak so I don’t think it is terribly meaningful or beneficial. I’ve never done it and it hasn’t been a negative. I think it’s more important to try to interact with people based upon their content or when they engage with your tweets.
I definitely don’t recommend thanking people for favouriting your tweets. It’s common for people to use that function more as a bookmark for a tweet they’d like to save and come back to later–especially when it’s linked to an article or video. There is no other way to do this function (yet anyhow!). I’m sure some people use it for their favourites but I expect they are more the exception to the norm.