The Basics of How to Retweet, and Advanced Retweeting for Better Twitter Use!

  • Date: November 6, 2017/
  • Categories: Beginner, Retweets/
  • Author: Ernest Thompson

In the old days, when Twitter first started, you didn’t have to learn how to retweet as there was only one option. Your only option was to push the symbol which looked like the recycling logo, and that was it. Why you still have this option, there are now other ways to retweet content that you find on Twitter.

This article will look at the basic ways to retweet, as well as more effective ways that are a bit advanced. Once you are done reading this article, you will know every way there is to retweet on Twitter.

The basics of how to retweet

The original style of retweet has not gone anywhere. You can still do a classic retweet by pushing the retweet button at the bottom of any tweet you find on Twitter:

how to retweet old style

When you do, it winds up looking like this:

Every retweet will say:

  • RT, for retweet.
  • The original @username of who tweeted it first.
  • Then the text of the original tweet.

This is the original way that everyone learned how to retweet. Twitter has since expanded to allow you more opportunities to inject your own thoughts.

How to do a manual retweet

Another classic way to do a retweet is by doing it yourself. The way to do this is:

  • Copy the text of the entire tweet that you want to retweet.
  • Paste that into a new tweet.
  • Add ‘RT,’ and the @username of the original tweeter.
  • Push the tweet button when you are ready.

A manual retweet will allow you some flexibility as far as space to add your own comment. You can edit out certain parts if you need to make more room, and generally customize it to what you want it to be. Be aware of the fact that you are editing someone else’s words, and they might not appreciation it.

Take note of any URLs in your manual retweet as you may have to fix them. Twitter has a bad habit of breaking them. Especially with an ellipsis at the end, you know, this…

How to retweet with embedded tweets

Twitter recently gave the option for everyone to embed tweets inside of their own tweets. This now gives people much more space to comment on what other people say on Twitter. Once you choose this option you have 116 characters of space to comment.

Tweets with other tweets embedded in them, also known as quote tweets, look like this:

how to retweet quote retweet

This allows for a more complete picture of your thoughts, and the thoughts of the original tweeter. Those who follow you will be able to get up to speed on the conversation very quickly, allowing them to comment as well.

Keep in mind the entire point of Twitter is to communicate quickly. If your timeline is nothing but these types of retweets you could drown out your account. It could simply be too busy. Used in moderation, this style of retweeting is a great way to get more engagement.

You can also do this with your own tweets, which comes in handy for Throwback Thursday.

Important note on links

Something you should note about this style of retweet is that links in the original tweet can no longer be clicked on directly. Instead, your followers will have to click on the tweet, this will open the tweet up in another tab, and then they will be able to click on the link in the tweet.

If the entire point of retweeting something is the link, you will not want to do an embedded tweet. This applies to hashtags and account names as they are links to other tweets, and other accounts, respectively.

Retweet by using a screenshot

This is a bit of a newer style of re-tweeting. It is usually done by those who do not want the original tweeter to know that they are sharing their content. You will simply take a screenshot of the tweet, and then embed that as an image in your own tweet. How they look depends upon the person who takes the screenshot, but here is an example:

This will give you a lot of room to discuss the tweet, and do so without the original tweeter knowing about it, or being able to do a search to find who has mentioned them.

How to choose which retweet to use

Choosing which retweet you will use is important. Those on Twitter are hyper-aware of communication, and if you choose to communicate with them in the wrong way they could ignore you, or even mute you.

Here is the general thought process:

  • Find a tweet which is relevant to your audience. There’s absolutely no point to retweeting something with your audience will not connect with. You’re not on Twitter just to make noise, you’re on Twitter to make real social connections with people who are sharing interests similar to yours.

You have four choices now:

  1. You can simply re-tweet it. If it’s full of useful and good information, or is just funny, you can just send it right along to your followers.
  2. If you have something more to say, you can you do a manual retweet. If the tweet is short you will have enough space for a few words, but rarely a whole sentence.
  3. You can choose to embed the tweet if you have a considerable amount of commenting to add. This type of retweet gives you 116 characters of space.
  4. If you have even more to say you are going to have to take a screenshot of the tweet. If you want the original tweeter to join in on your commentary, you will need to tag them with their @username.

Which one you choose basically comes down to how much you have to add to the discussion. If you don’t have much to say, the first option is what you will choose. You then work your way down the list depending on how much you have to say.

Which one can get you more retweets

Retweeting someone else’s content in order to get more retweets for yourself is difficult. If your only goal is to get more retweets for yourself, I would suggest using the retweet with a screenshot option. This way, when the tweet is retweeted by one of your followers it is your account which gets the @mention.

Getting more retweets by retweeting content is not typically what you are looking to do. Most people are trying to stir engagement with their account, and have conversations with their own followers, and with the original tweeter.

Which gets the most attention from the original tweeter?

Often, people retweet other accounts in order to get those accounts to notice them. Each type of retweet above has different types of notifications sent to the original tweeter. Let’s look at them now:

  1. Classic retweet: This will show up in their notifications tab, but they will not get anything in their mentions tab.
  2. Embedded tweet: It will be exactly the same as above. They will see a notification in their notifications tab, but there’ll be nothing in the mentions tab.
  3. Manual retweet: This will actually show up in the original tweeters mentions tab. It is treated differently because it is not an actual retweet, it is a standard message with their account being mentioned. This is very important to note as people tend to rely on their mentions tab for conversations about them. This is especially true for popular twitter users. They typically do not want to look at their notifications tab which is full of every single retweet, like, and reply that they get.
  4. Retweet with screenshot: If you choose to not @mention their Twitter account they will receive absolutely no notifications. If you choose to go the other route and you do @mention their account, it will show up in their mentions tab.

If your only goal is to get the attention of someone, the best thing to do is a manual retweet. They will get a notification in their mentions tab. To truly maximize this moment you should use our Twitter Retweet Service to really get their attention as they will see their content become popular thanks to your tweet. 

Retweeting images

It is worthwhile to note that if your sole intention is to re-tweet a cool image, you will want to use the classic retweet. If you add commentary by embedding it you will make the image a small thumbnail. This is not good if you just want to share an image.

Learning how to retweet has gotten complicated

Originally, the only thing that you could do when you wanted to share someone else’s tweet was the classic retweet from pushing the retweet button, that was it.

Twitter users were not satisfied with this. They first found ways to get around it on their own with manual retweets. Twitter realized that people were doing this, and came up with the embedded tweets, or quote tweets, option. All of these retweet options come down to engagement, and you must be sure that you know how to engage with other people properly in order to build your account.