Twitter Brand Monitoring, Tracking, Reporting and Analytics

Twitter Retweet Best Practices

The common method to spread a Twitter message (or update) is to “Retweet” the message. And for those new to Twitter, a “Retweet” is a method for republishing a message to your followers that gives attribution to the Twitter user who published the original message. In essence, it’s a simple way to help a message go viral.

The problem is that there are different methods for Retweeting a message and many Twitter users may not know which methods are acceptable best practices — and can help to spread a message — or that other methods such as using “r/t” can all but eliminate any chances for the message to spread further.

How To Make Sure Your Retweets Get Found In Twitter Search Results

Let’s look at some of the ways people Retweet messages.

  • RT (Best practice)
  • Twitter’s native Retweet option (Best practice)
  • via (Best practice)
  • r/t or R/T (Don’t use – bad for search)

Of the methods listed above, the two most common best practices for Retweeting a message is to use the widely accepted “RT” and Twitter’s recently integrated native Retweet support. The following video shows how to Retweet a Twitter message using TweetDeck (many other Twitter applications also use a similar process).

Aside from being an acceptable best practice, the primary reason for using “RT” to Retweet is to make the message easier to find when people are searching on search.twitter.com and TweetReports. Considering that over 6 million Twitter searches are conducted every day, you can understand how important it is for messages to be found and displayed when users are conducting a Twitter search — especially when their search includes “RT”.

The third most common method for Retweeting a message is by republishing the message and giving attribution to the original publisher using “via”. This is generally accomplished by adding the “via” to the end of the message followed by the originator’s Twitter username. Such as; “/via @username” or “via @username”.

A common reason why people use the “via” Retweet method is because the person Retweeting the message wants to spread the information but either edits or entirely rewrites the content while still giving attribution to the original publisher. Both of which still allow the tweet to be found when filtering messages to show Retweets.

Of all the Retweet methods, using “r/t” or “R/T” is the worst because the slash “/” symbol is interpreted by Twitter to represent different things.

For example, if you conduct a search for “r/t”, not only will the results include tweets that are actual Retweets (those that include “r/t” and “R/T”) but it will also include tweets that include “R T”, “R.T”, “R-T” etc. that aren’t Retweets. Which means Twitter searches are diluted with inaccurate results. And, as you know, accurate search results are imperative to successfully monitoring your brand on Twitter.

So if you’re looking to Retweet a Twitter message, using the three demonstrated best practices are the best options for spreading information and generating good will on Twitter.

What’s your favorite Retweet method? Which do you like best and find easiest to use?

See also: “13 reasons why you should use the “traditional retweet