How the New ReTweet Will Impact Your Site Marketing

Photo by carrotcreative
Reactions have been mixed on the new ReTweet functionality that’s recently been rolled out by Twitter. Some think it’s an elegant solution, others think it’s going to suck the life out of ReTweeting altogether. But no matter how you slice it, ReTweeting is going to change drastically in the very near future.
We all know that Twitter is a powerful marketing tool. (A good indicator of this is seeing how much spam has cropped up in the Twittersphere lately. Yikes.) ReTweets have provided a way for Twitter users to quickly share interesting tweets and links quickly, and nearly all Twitter clients have accommodated this unofficial feature.
But more importantly, site owners like you and I have enjoyed great exposure in the way our articles have been spread throughout Twitter with ReTweets. (Some of the articles on Web Jackalope have seen more than 100 ReTweets.) But as Bob Dylan sang, the times they are a changin’.
Twitter’s new ReTweet functionality could be even more powerful than before, adding more authority to your tweets and brand.

A Quick Word About Twitter “Marketers”
Ok, I know this is going to be controversial, but I’m going to roll with it anyway. When I use the term “Twitter Marketer”, I don’t mean the guy spamming your stream with 147 surefire ways to gain a gazillion Twitter followers. Those are spammers, not marketers. They’re gaming the Twitter ecosystem to hock their wares. They’re bad, bad people. There’s a major difference between “marketing” and “spamming”.
That said, I would add that anyone wanting to

add more followers
become more influential in the Twitter sphere
or find new audiences for your site

are all Twitter marketers. We’re all Twitter marketers, and there’s nothing wrong with that.
Gaining more friends and followers (in legitimate, non-spammy ways) is great for everybody within the Twittersphere. That means we’re tweeting more interesting, useful, and relevant tweets. We’re adding to the conversation, not adding to the noise.
Ok, enough of that. Back to more about the old ReTweet functionality.
The Old ReTweet Meant Flexibility
The way the old Retweet worked was pretty simple. Twitter clients typically had a built-in function that allowed for creating RT’s with a single click. You could then add text before the RT, like so:
RT @glenstansberry Thinking the new ReTweet on Twitter proper could change quite a few things.
Or you could even leave off the RT @username altogether and add a “via @username” at the end of the tweet.
Thinking the new ReTweet on Twitter proper could change quite a few things. (via @glenstansberry)
The core feature of the ReTweet up to this point was functionality. You could do whatever to the original tweet, as long as it had attribution.
If anything, ReTweets are going to become an even more powerful currency than they already are. Before I get to why, we need a little background on some important changes Twitter has made recently.
Twitter Wants to Help You Find Better Tweets and Tweeters
With the addition of lists, the Twitter team also snuck in a nifty feature: you can now see how many times each person has been added to other users’ lists.

With the new ReTweet functionality on the Twitter site, you can now also see how many times each tweet has been ReTweeted.

Twitter has silently added a few key features that show “social proof”. By showing how many times a user has been added to lists adds a quick way to gauge how influential a user is. By showing how many times a tweet has been ReTweeted, it shows what everyone else thinks of the tweet as well (lots of RT’s = awesome tweet).
Suddenly, it appears as though Twitter has made it very clear that they’re going to help you find and measure influential Tweeters and tweets. Not only that, they’re trying to protect attribution of original tweets. Twitter is trying to stop spammers and unoriginal Twitter users from taking over streams.
The New RT Brings Much More Potential For Site Marketing
The biggest challenge for Twitter marketers today is getting their tweets seen. The streams are getting crowded, and people don’t always attribute the tweet to the original poster. The new ReTweet functionality tries to eliminate some of that worthless noise in Twitter streams. If you have 5 friends who all ReTweet the same thing, you’ll end up seeing that original tweet five times.
The new RT feature eliminates all of that noise. When someone does a ReTweet, adds little avatars of people who have ReTweeted, and instead shows the original tweet. But here’s where it gets interesting. Every time you’re ReTweeted by a follower, your tweet with your avatar shows in their Twitter streams. Not only are you getting awesome attribution, your tweets are showing in a myriad of new twitter streams.
The viral potential of the new ReTweet is fantastic for Twitter marketers. Instead of having just a “RT @username” or “(via @username)” as attribution to you, you now get your shiny avatar and prominent Twitter handle displayed when you have a ReTweet.
The New ReTweet Means More Exposure
In a recent article on his personal blog, Twitter co-founder Evan Williams defends the new ReTweet functionality. In the heart of the article he adds an interesting little tidbit on the direction of Twitter (emphasis added by me).
Part of the beauty of Twitter is that you can follow your friends, organizations, public figures, or strangers you find interesting. But no matter how carefully you’ve groomed your following list, out of the millions of tweets written today, are you seeing the absolute most relevant ones to you? Or are you getting some good stuff, some stuff you don’t care about, and likely missing a whole lot of other killer tweetage you don’t even know is there?
I would argue it’s the latter. The perfect Twitter would show you only the stuff you care about—relevant, timely, local, funny, whatever you’re most interested in—even if you don’t follow the person who wrote it.
Twitter is all about discovery, and is going to keep moving in that direction. Evan, Biz and the gang at Twitter are going to keep innovating in a way that fosters more discovery of news, ideas and articles. For site owners, this can be a very good thing. There are going to be more and more opportunities for your content to be found on Twitter, and reach more people.
So What Does it MEAN for Site Marketing?
The mass-adoption of the new ReTweet functionality means one thing: Every word is crucial.
I’ll say it again.
Every. word. is. crucial.
People will be making snap decisions on your words more than ever. Previously, you might be able to get away with mediocre tweet text and an awesome link. Why? Because somebody after you changed the way the tweeted link read.
Original Tweet
“Awesome Post”

1st ReTweet:
“60 Resources for the Frugal DrupalCoin Blockchain Web Developer (via @glenstansberry)”

The new ReTweet functionality shows your original, unchanged tweet, and that’s it. There’s no flexibility.
This major change will separate “meh” tweets from killer tweets. Now there’s nothing for your tweet to stand on except what you originally wrote.
But the potential upside is major: now your Twitter avatar is front and center in a potential new follower’s stream every time you’re ReTweeted.
If you haven’t read the Science of ReTweets Report (free PDF download), do it. It’s a great way to learn what makes people ReTweet, and might even challenge your assumption of the tweets you’ve been sending. Here are a few things that make tweets more likely to be ReTweeted:

Word novelty
Higher reading levels
Time of Day (nobody ReTweets in the morning)

Also, because your Twitter avatar is going to be in front of new audiences, you’ll want to make sure you have a photo that accurately depicts who you or your site is, not necessarily a logo. (A very informal but Twitter poll confirms this.)
And lastly, a word of caution. For all the science presented in the ebook and ideas presented in this post, it’s important to remember that Twitter is first and foremost a personal platform. If you try and turn your tweets into a marketing channel and try to quantify and scientize your Tweeting, you’ll lose. People can smell a science experiment a mile away. Just tweet in such a way that helps everyone, and everybody wins.
If you’re creating stellar content on your blog and on Twitter, people will ReTweet you.
The best thing you can do is focus on creating killer content everywhere you write.

DrupalCoin Blockchain Developer

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