Twitter Personal Brand Strategy: Get the Most Out of Re-tweets

What does your Twitter personal brand communications plan look like? Do you have a plan, or do you spend a lot of time tweeting about what you had for lunch or what movie you saw last night?

Along with creating on-brand original tweets that will resonate with your target audience, consider building a re-tweeting strategy to fully leverage the value of Twitter.

In fact, if you do nothing else on Twitter, posting relevant re-tweets can be a powerful way to build brand evangelism, a quality Twitter following, and get on the radar of people you want to rub elbows with, such as subject matter experts in your niche and hiring decision makers at companies you’re targeting in your job search.

Here’s some advice on how to re-tweet (RT) appropriately and courteously from social media strategists, the people at Twitter, and finally, me:

You may not be aware of this, but according to Twitter Support, “Re-posting another person’s updates without giving them credit and without their permission is a violation of Twitter’s rules”.

Twitter further states:

1.  Re-posting others’ updates, regardless of stating authorship, is a potential form of spam.

2.  Re-posting others’ updates as one’s own without giving credit to the original author is tantamount to plagiarism.

For some in depth statistics, read Dan Macsai’s (@dmacsai) 9 Scientifically Proven Ways to Get Retweeted on Twitter, at @FastCompany.

Here are some of my “give to get” re-tweet strategies (Tweetdeck and other applications will help you manage it all):

  • Your re-tweets should be consistent with and support your brand. That doesn’t mean you can’t RT off-topics and humorous tidbits.
  • Don’t automatically re-tweet something containing a link without making sure it works and that it doesn’t lead somewhere you don’t really want to send people.
  • Structure your original tweets so they’re short enough to allow for more than one re-tweet without alteration.
  • As a thank you to new followers you may or may not follow back, find a tweet of theirs to RT.
  • Take the time to tweet a thank you to people who RT you, even if you’re not the tweet originator.
  • It’s always nice to include your own brief supportive comment with a re-tweet that’s exceptional. If you’re having a hard time generating conversation on Twitter, re-tweeting in this way will help.
  • Boost a Twitter newbie by checking in on them from time to time and re-tweeting their relevant tweets.
  • Don’t change the wording of the original tweet, except to abbreviate for space.
  • However, use abbreviations sparingly. A jumble of single letters and numbers can be confounding and doesn’t give a professional impression.
  • If you have the time to track down the original author of the article or post you’re re-tweeting, give them attribution with an @username.
  • Many blogs now have the nifty Tweetmeme (or other) re-tweet button alongside each post – a great time saver. But sometimes the blogger hasn’t customized the plug-in to include their @username in the RT, or the generated tweet includes the blog name, making the RT too long, or a guest blogger wrote the post, but the Tweetmeme RT doesn’t attribute them. Take the time to restructure and tweak the RT to resolve these issues.
  • Use hashtags in your RTs when you can. Read BenParr’s (@BenParr) HOW TO: Get the Most Out of Twitter #Hashtags, at @mashable for all the skinny.
  • Regularly, but respectfully, re-tweet people whose attention you’re trying to get and who you’re hoping will follow you. Also, if you’re not already following them, coincide a re-tweet of one of their original tweets right after you hit the button to follow them. Sometimes this gets their attention. But realize that some popular tweeps don’t want to follow a lot of people, so they may never follow you.

If you have other re-tweet tips, please let me know in a comment. I’d love to hear your strategies!

Related posts:

14 Reasons I Won’t Follow You On Twitter

Best of Twitter for Personal Branding and Executive Job Search


An Executive Personal Branding, Online Identity and Job Search Strategist, Meg is a 20-year careers industry professional and one of only a handful of people worldwide to hold the Reach Certified Personal Branding Strategist and Master Resume Writer credentials, both gold standards.

“I love my work collaborating with savvy corporate leaders and entrepreneurs who know where they’re going, but need help differentiating their unique promise of value in the new world of work and executive job search, and positioning themselves to work their passion. My clients are typically c-suite, senior-level executives and rising stars.”

Find out more about Meg at Executive Career Brand, and by viewing her LinkedIn profile and following her on Twitter.


Add yours
  1. 1
    Ryan Rancatore

    Great article, Meg! You've provided excellent insight into why retweets are incredibly powerful, and I couldn't agree more. For me, a retweet given is a way to show my approval – and a retweet received always makes me feel as if I've done something right.

  2. 2

    Meg, I really like this article! The tips you have provided here are ones I have used since getting on Twitter, and it's worked well for me.

    One thing I would add is that you should actually read the article/post you are retweeting. Titles don't tell the full story of what a link will be about, so you want to ensure that what is retweeted does support your personal brand. There have been a few times that a tweet sounded interesting, but when I read the post, it wasn't a good fit for me to retweet at all.

  3. 3

    This is a nice concise list of the key points for jobseekers. Building a reputation and following thought leaders in your function/industry opens a lot of doors to the hidden job market!

  4. 4

    This is a nice concise list of the key points for jobseekers. Building a reputation and following thought leaders in your function/industry opens a lot of doors to the hidden job market!

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