Friends Don’t Let Friends “Retweet” #FF Shoutouts

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Dear Twittersphere:

Yes, I do feel like my calling is to be a superhero. I presume people don’t know what they’re doing and feel compelled to educate.  That’s the end my disclaimer.

The Problem:

A few years ago, Twitter took what was an organic movement, the retweet (RT), and made a button.

Buttons don’t always make things easy, much to the dismay of Staples “That Was Easy” Marketing Plan.

Pressing a button does not constitute engagement.

I don’t know how to say this any other way.  Why would you expect people to respond to you if you behave this way?

I often see the question in a tweet: why aren’t people responding to me?

Now, until recently, you didn’t even “know” that someone pressed the Retweet Button unless you used a third party application like TweetDeck (now owned by Twitter) so it was even more pointless than it is now.

But I digress.

You may think I am overreacting.  However, I think I raise valid points.

Below are some of my comments with screenshots.  

Read. Apply. Rinse. Repeat.

Here is a screenshot of a recent “mock #FF shoutout” I used in order to demonstrate this bad habit without having to call out anyone in particular and hurt their feelings.

That said, let me make this clear:  It isn’t about your feelings.  

It’s about how to communicate with others. Social media is social. There are rules within any social context. Pay attention and shed the bad habits.

screenshot 1

The only way Twitter tells you that someone pressed the Retweet Button is by showing you a list that “so-and-so” retweeted you. You are unable to respond to them unless you click on their icon and start a new tweet. This is not an effective method for thanking people for a shoutout of some type.


I hate to admit but I see way too often a #FF group tweet Retweeted (RT’d) from a user who isn’t even mentioned in the #FF group. So, they press the Retweet button and it shows up in their stream essentially announcing to the world that they do not understand twitter, how to engage, or the point of social media. Is that what you want for your brand?


There are occasions when pressing the Retweet Button is acceptable (as noted by this screenshot from the Social Media Police). Notably, they agreed with my tweet

and wanted their followers to see it. If the quote is too long to “old school RT,” via cut and paste, then it is perfectly acceptable to press the Retweet Button.


I double-dog dare you to try it for a week; heck, get wild and try it for two weeks.  I bet your engagement will increase.

It’s up to you to stop the insanity.


The Guru

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5 thoughts on “Friends Don’t Let Friends “Retweet” #FF Shoutouts

  1. Agreed! I much prefer to add my own comment (or two), room permitted, to the front of a RT anyway (to engage).

    I can easily do this on my Droid, using the “quote” option…but when I’m on my work computer, using the .com site, frustrated that I can’t do the same…have to copy and paste the text, which drives me crazy!


  2. No, no, no. People should use the retweet button because if a bunch of people retweet the same thing, I absolutely don’t want to see the same thing 10 different times on my timeline. It’s pointless and the only reason to do it is to push your own “brand” instead of just pushing along relevant information.


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