February 24, 2016, @aistemos tweeted an observation (reproduced below), which struck home.
The Lady shares in their frustration as it is something she has had to deal with on her personal and blog timelines. With the volume of retweets on her timelines, the Lady is often confused as to who she really follows. For this reason, the Lady has resorted to a regular schedule of Twitter purge during which she unfollows handles whose content are largely retweets. On her personal timeline, the culprits are often birthday celebrants and celebrities (I do not for the life of me understand how people follow celebrity handles).
On her blog timeline, however, the Lady admits that she has been guilty of the occasional retweets that clog your timelines with information you probably just read. (Apologies m’kind followers). Her defence? Just cause. The Lady will now proceed to justify this occasional annoying retweets on the following grounds:
- Support: This a huge part of Social Media visibility. You want to promote your blog? Comment (furiously) on other blogs and sign off with “check out my blog at ipmanor.wordpress.com”. On Twitter, you do this by retweeting others as opposed to commenting. Retweeting is perceived as a symbiotic relationship. People retweet others with the intention of catching their attention (a follow back). In some cases, the recipients attempt to return the (albeit) unrequested favour by retweeting you. It helps if they have a huge followership. The Lady, however, draws the line at retweeting retweets of your tweets.
On the other hand, it could be you trying to promote the other person’s emerging platform.
- Perception and Audience: Handles often have different followers. Sometimes, the line is blurred and you have similar followers especially when it is a niche area like IP. For instance, the odds are that IP enthusiasts in Europe follow @JeremyTheKat or @Ipkat. If the Lady were to retweet them, her IP followers from Europe will probably find this repetition mildly irritating. However, other followers may appreciate the retweets until they start following the original handles.
- Content: In some cases, the tweets in question are of news value, so you simply retweet. After all, providing content is often one of your aims. The proviso here is that these retweets will complement existing original content.
Sometimes, retweets are also an indication of agreement. By retweeting someone’s opinion, you are telling your audience you agree with that line of thought and you probably could not have expressed it better. Related to this, is sharing content you find too interesting to keep to yourself.
On the other hand, it could be an indication of disagreement in which case, you would follow it with a disclaimer and proceed to express your thoughts on the subject matter.
4. News Aggregation: Some handles exist as news aggregators for niche areas – @3DPrintBoard, for instance. There is, however, a thin line between this function and lack of original content. You can still be original as a news aggregator by using your words to introduce the link.
The observation by @aistemos has reminded the Lady that audience perception is very important. We do not want @ipmanor to be counted as one of those annoying handles so we shall strive for originality on all platforms at all time. What about you?