By Shea Bennett on October 17, 2013 9:00 AM
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Posts Tagged ‘twitter retweets’
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Retweets are the backbone of the Twitter network. Thanks to the ripple effect, a retweet allows any user’s message to be seen by any and everybody – theoretically at least, your single tweet could reach 140+ million people.
This isn’t hyperbole – it’s a literal statement. All those interlocking micro-communities mean that everyone is connected to everybody else.
But, it takes effort. You can’t just put any old garbage out there and expect your network to lap it up. You need to do the work.
Calls to action are a well-established and powerful marketing tool that help brands drive awareness of products and services, and they have proven to be very effective in digital marketing.
But how do you make them work on Twitter?
Use an exclamation point!
Barack Obama has been re-elected as President of the United States of America and his victory tweet has quickly become the most-retweeted message in Twitter’s history.
Obama’s simple message – “Four more years.” – accompanied by a photograph of the President embracing his wife, has now been shared on Twitter more than half a million times.
As you might expect, Twitter’s list of the most retweeted tweets of all time is dominated by celebrities.
And it changes a lot. Currently, Twitter’s retweet champion is President Barack Obama, with his November 7 re-election victory tweet racking up more than half a million shares, good enough to keep previous title-holder Justin Bieber very much in his taillights.
Is it time to say goodbye to the all-too-common disclaimer seen on social networking accounts telling us that “retweets do not imply endorsement?” It seems we’re abusing it and using it as an excuse to post whatever we want without consequence. Should this trend continue or should we own up to the fact that you really are what you tweet and like it or not, your retweets DO imply some form of endorsement.
Last week Twitter unveiled a brand new user interface on Twitter.com, which included a number of changes to the way Twitter looks and feels. The company introduced a range of different icons to standardize their brand across all of their official products, including web, Twitter for iPhone, Android and TweetDeck.
The revamp also included some feature re-arranging which has confused many users. Direct messages (which Twitter claims aren’t very popular) have been almost hidden away, and the three retweet folders have gone completely. Instead, you’ll find your retweets in your Connect folder, under Interactions, and the retweets of the people you follow are hidden away in the Activity tab (which is now buried under Discover).
So how do you get your old retweets back?
Twitter’s had a torrid few months and continues to have problems with error rates and API calls, but that’s simply scratching the absolute tip of the bugs and issues iceberg.
Here are five big holes that Twitter needs to fill.
Twitter is clearly understaffed. The company is actively hiring – there are 39 vacancies at the time of writing – and that’s a good sign, but they really need to step it up.
The company has documented their void in engineering, but of equal concern is the size of their support team. @Delbius et al do the best they can, but more often than not support enquiries still get little more than an auto-responded list of frequently asked questions and a rapidly-closed ticket.
I’m not sure exactly how many of their 241 current employees work in support, but I do know that only three of the 39 vacancies are in this area. In both cases, it isn’t enough – only 11% of my readers rate Twitter’s support as good to excellent. A whopping 79% rate it as below average to terrible.
Better Privacy Solutions
As I’ve documented on various occasions on this blog, Twitter’s block is not actually a block at all. The only way to get true security on your updates is to make them private. There needs to be a middle ground.
This one’s perhaps a little controversial. But still – things to say.
Go to Twitter search, and have a look at all the retweets.
(And this doesn’t even include the internal retweets, which for some reason do not show up on Twitter search. Somebody explain that one to me.)
Take a moment to look at the page and add up what you consider to be worthy of a retweet, and what isn’t.
Sure, this is absolutely subjective. But in a broader, collective sense, you would hope that most people have a rough idea about the value of things, and about when a piece of news or information is significant enough that it warrants sharing with everybody you’re connected to.
It’s not just the little people, either. Roger Ebert is a fantastic movie critic, an inspiration, and seems like a decent guy. He does this thing every evening where he retweets the latest message of his last three followers. It’s cute, and occasionally he sends out a gem, but most of the time it just means putting fluff back into the system, except now it comes with the stamp of approval from a respected celebrity.
And when a celebrity retweets, dozens of people immediately jump on that same bandwagon, often (it appears) without paying much attention to exactly what it is they’re also putting their good name to.
This isn’t a science, and there really shouldn’t be any rules. Absolutely everybody should feel free to retweet whatever they want.
(Exception – don’t be a metweeter.)
I’m simply proposing that a little more thought is given to the consequences of what it means to pass on a message to your network. If these people look to you as a figure of authority and trust the information that you share, then you absolutely have a responsibility to ensure that the messages you’re sending out meet their expectations.
And if they don’t look at you as a figure of authority, and don’t trust the things that you have to say, maybe, just maybe, that has something to do with what you’ve been retweeting.