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You share information on Twitter to promote your brand and build a relationship with your followers. Retweeting is introducing your followers to another person instead of building your own relationship.

Retweeting helps promote another brand, without benefiting you at all. As you can see in the picture, when I retweet Sam Hurley’s tweet, it shows up on my profile, but is not attributed to me in any way. It only says “you retweeted” right above the tweet.

The retweet also appears in my followers’ Twitter feed but it is not associated with my brand apart from the small text above it that says “AbramDMurray Retweeted”. In this way you are promoting another person’s or company’s brand at the expense of your own.

There is an option when retweeting to quote the tweet and add your own comment, as I have done in the image below. This allows you to take “ownership” of the tweet so that when it shows up in your follower’s Twitter feed it is associated with your brand. 

The major problem with this method is that if a follower taps on the tweet to read the article, they first are taken to the original tweet, and then from there they have to tap again to get to the article. In today’s social media climate, asking a person to tap twice, especially on mobile, is like asking them to fly from New York to D.C. via a layover in London. It’s just not going to happen. Furthermore, it may remove some of the formatting, such as the article’s image, thus making the retweet far less attention grabbing. And what good is sharing a tweet if your followers aren’t even going to see it?
You will also notice when retweeting that you are unable to see analytics for the retweet. You do not benefit from any likes, you cannot see if any of your followers retweeted, and you cannot tell how many impressions it made.

So what should you do instead?

If you see a relevant article or such in a tweet, copy the article’s link into a tweet of your own. Most importantly this associates your brand with the tweet when people see it in their Twitter feed. Creating your own tweet allows you to choose the formatting, text and hashtags you want to use. (Notice how different the tweet in this image looks from the previous two images.) It also provides you with the analytics for the tweet, so that you can see likes, retweets, impresssions, etc. 

If you want to give credit to the original author or tweeter, you can do so by tagging them with the @ symbol. Tagging that person notifies them that they have been mentioned in your tweet. Anyone who is following both of you will see it in their Twitter feed.

Did you find this helpful? Are you going to reconsider your practice of retweeting? If so, leave a comment below or connect with me on Twitter @AbramDMurray.