Should You Thank People When They RT?

03Jun09

This is something that has been bothering me for a while. I wish that there was a booklet that explained Twitter etiquette. That would make my life a lot easier. I tweet a lot. I retweet (RT) a lot. I really appreciate when people RT what I have to say. It means that they found it useful or enjoyed it. I have never sent a “Thanks for the RT” tweet that I’ve seen so many other people do.

Why haven’t I? I have always believed that it is important to show gratitude. It’s nice to show people that you appreciate them sending your message on. Until now, I have been so concerned that I would be contributing to the twitter clutter, that I’ve refrained from anything that might be seen as superfluous.

I’ve been missing out. There is already so much clutter on twitter, that it’s hard to imagine people reading every tweet that flies past them. It’s just impossible. Most people run twitter clients or services that point out when a person replies to them. The tweets stick out more to the person that you are sending the reply to. You can build a lot of goodwill by sending a simple “thank you”. It’s wonderful. It’s polite, and besides, it’s just the right thing to do. The answers is yes, you should thank people.  From now on, I will thanks retweeters.

I guess that I’m on the beginning of my own Twitter etiquette guide.

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6 Responses to “Should You Thank People When They RT?”

  1. 1 MLDina

    I think you can go either way- I don’t know anyone who has gotten insulted because I haven’t thanked them for RTing (must check my records re: related unfollows though). You can always DM them if you don’t want to clutter the twaves.

    • 2 Rena

      I doubt that anyone feels insulted that they don’t get at thank you. I never have. The nice thing about doing it in a more public way by replying is that you let all your followers see that this person found your article interesting. It’s also a way to expose the retweeter to a larger crowd, and potentially adds to the number of followers that they have. I’ve gotten some direct messages too. Those are very nice, but I’d like to try to give back to the retweeter as well.

  2. 3 Phil Harrison

    I just ran across this because of something that was said to me. Thank you and your readers for improving my perspective. My experience is the reverse. I started out thanking then began to wonder if it was unnecessary. You have all reminded me of the excellent reasons to continue the practice.

  3. I always try to publicly thank people for RT my stuff. It means a lot to me and I always think that when others see the public thanks they may want to get in on that action! 🙂

  4. 5 Evan

    I was just wondering the same thing today. I think I had the same concern you did about clutter. The same person retweeted me on two separate occasions recently. The first one, I did not send a thanks (he retweeted a random observation I had made), while the second one I did, but not on Twitter. He had posted a comment on my blog as well, and I put the thanks there. I think in the future, though, I will be like you and tweet some thanks.

  5. 6 Rena

    I’ve been reading “Twitter Power,” by Joel Comm. Joel points out the importance of being in other people’s timeline. Of course we never do anything for our own benefit (heavy sarcasm,) but thanking people puts our tweets into their timeline, giving us more potential to pick up followers. I guess this is a case where it actually pays to be nice :-).


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