How to Retweet: A Simple Guide

This is a guest post by AJ Vaynerchuk. He blogs about social media, marketing, and SEO, and spends a lot of his time on Twitter.

Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter while you’re at it.

Many bloggers use Twitter as a platform to promote their own blog. That’s an easy concept, no need to waste our time there. Instead, lets focus on something that is under-utilized by most bloggers: promoting other blogger’s content by “retweeting.”

The art of “retweeting” is best described as taking a twitter message someone else has posted, and rebroadcasting that same message to your followers. When broadcasting this message, you should give credit to the original poster. While retweeting sounds great for the original tweeter (since there is usually a link involved), retweeting can actually benefit you just as much if not more.

How to Properly Retweet

Before we get into the greatness of retweeting, it would probably be a good idea for you to understand how to properly retweet.

The common syntax starts off with the use of a label. My favorite label to use is “RT:” – the label “Retweeting:” and “Reading:” work as well.

Next comes the crediting. You can credit the original poster by simply using the @reply syntax, for example: “@originalPoster”.

Lastly, you should add the link along with a quick note about the link and why it is relevant. Here is a full example of retweeting:

RT: @originalPoster The 5 Best Blog Tips – great tips

Now that you understand how to properly retweet, lets move on to some basic concepts of retweeting.

Only Retweet Content You Find Truly Interesting and Relevant

The natural instinct many of you will have is that if you retweet another individual’s content, then there is a better chance that the original poster will retweet your content in the future. While this holds true (and I will cover that in a minute), you should not simply retweet everyone’s content for your own personal gain. You must be selective when you retweet since the whole point of this practice is to benefit your followers.

Retweeting Provides Value to Your Follower

There is a reason why people follow you, value. If you can provide value to your follower you will not only make that individual happy, but you will most likely attract more followers. Providing quality content is always a great way to provide your followers with value. The first thing that comes to mind is writing up a great blog post, and linking the post in a tweet. While this is one way to approach this concept, it is not the only way. Another way to provide your followers with great content is to link to other relevant and interesting content.

Retweeting Will Benefit Your Personal Brand

Retweeting will most likely build your personal brand as well as your follower’s loyalty. If you point a reader to an external source that is truly relevant and beneficial to them, the amount of trust that individual has in you will increase. The next time you post a link, whether it be to your blog or to another source, the chances of that individual clicking that link are higher than before.

Retweeting Will Help You Build Relationships With The Original Posters

As mentioned previously, the likelihood of being on the other end of a retweet increases as you retweet. Retweeting someone else’s content is an act of kindness, and for the most part bloggers like to return such acts. This isn’t to say that you should expect someone to retweet your content just because you retweet theirs. Again, retweeting is all about providing value to your followers, and an individual isn’t going to retweet a post of yours if it is not top notch.

A Concern: Doesn’t Retweeting Steer My Followers Away From Me?

Actually no. In my opinion retweeting will never lose you a follower or reader (unless you send them to some sort of spam, or even worse you RickRoll them!). Why would someone stop reading your blog or following your twitter because you sent them off to another website? Keep an open mind when it comes to your readers, they are usually smart and good people.


Retweeting is a great way to add quality and value to your Twitter. If used incorrectly retweeting can actually hurt your personal brand and future traffic. If done right, retweeting can help you educate your followers, build your personal brand, increase future traffic, and connect you to other bloggers / content creators in your niche.

576 comments so far and counting

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