Last year, at my invitation, several members of IBN gathered in our private online networking area to discuss how we could support each other on Twitter. It was decided that on Fridays, each participant would select a person, comment on one of their blog posts and then ReTweet the post on Twitter. The goal was to see if this process served to improve each other's Twitter influence. We did this for about a month.
One of the most exciting things about doing this was that I began to see many of my members come out of their shells to get an idea of how Twitter could support their business goals.The flip side was that it was inefficient. First, you had to locate participating members, then you had to read a few blog posts to choose the one you would comment on and then, you had to share it with your followers.
None of this was in any way negative in and of itself. In fact, many members enjoyed increased Twitter engagement and feedback, and we all had a good time getting to know others in the IBN family. Nevertheless, I terminated the program because the real value of a ReTweet lies not in its existence, but in its authenticity.
The Value of a ReTweet
A ReTweet is like an endorsement. It's saying, “Hey followers who trust me! I found something interesting, and I want to share it with you!” Anything other than that runs the risk of seeming contrived, and that's not a good reflection on anyone involved.
From time to time, I have asked other people to Retweet one of my Tweets. And from time to time, I Retweet things at the request of others. Both instances are rare, and occur between me and people I have known for a period of many months. Also, the Tweet has to be something my followers expect me to Tweet about.
In Twitter as in real life, there's no crock pot formula for creating value and influence on Twitter.
It's a mistake to sacrifice authenticity for efficiency.
My philosophy is that if you want people to comment at your blog, follow you and otherwise generally give you their time, you have to first give genuinely give them yours.
ReTweets Are Gold. Treat Them That Way!
ReTweets are like little pots of gold. And like all the other pots of gold in life, they have to be earned. Oh! And one more thing! A big thanks to Stuart Foster (pictured above) for being one of my little pots of gold last week!
So that's what I think, at least in a nutshell.
Question: What do you think?