Twitter Tuesday: How "be ReTweetable to be ReTweeted" is useless advice?

Sep 18, 2012 · 2 min read

"Want to be ReTweeted? Be ReTweetable!" What a great piece of advice! So simple, so right! Or is it?

I've seen this piece of advice on my Twitter timeline countless times. Sometimes as a RT. Each and every time I want to ask what the person Tweeting this what they really mean by it.

Most likely they wouldn't have an answer for me. Being ReTweetable isn't as easy as following some rules.

A while back the ReTweets used to be made only as what are called Quote Tweets these days. They started (usually) with "RT" following the handle of the RT'd person and then their original Tweet copied. To be ReTweetable in that world you had to write short enough Tweets so that they would fit in the 160 characters alongside your Twitter handle.

However this doesn't apply any longer due to all the technical changes. Now your original Tweet can be reposted as is. No need to worry if the extra chars your handle has will fit the RT or not.

Being ReTweetable is pretty subjective. What is ReTweetable for one person isn't such for another.

It doesn't necessarily have much to do with the content or other qualities of your Tweets. Often ReTweets are made in purposes of kissing the butt or being nice towards the RT'd person. People who are considered as authority figures or idols are more likely to be ReTweeted. No matter what they Tweet.

The action of ReTweeting must give value to the person doing the RT. The person is possibly hoping for you to notice them (and possibly follow or they want you to ReTweet or mention them as well. "I scratch your back, then you scratch mine."

People ReTweet things which they feel fit their feed. Thus the advice "Want to be ReTweeted? Be ReTweetable!" doesn't really apply. Why? Cause you cannot truly control what other people will find worth of their ReTweet.

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