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Retweets not endorsements. Really?!

Since I opened my Twitter account several years ago, but especially in the past year, I often saw the phrase “Retweets are not endorsements”. So why do people (and especially organizations) mention this in their Twitter profile?

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase

I started looking at various explanations into social reach on Twitter and how a Tweet reaches people once is posted. Officially, all tweets (if not protected) are visible for everyone to see, but for example, if I post a Tweet, only the 690+ people who follow me would see it in their Twitter streams. So that is a pretty low reach. If someone retweets my original tweet (because they liked it), it would appear in their followers streams also, increasing my social reach exponentially. More about this can be found in this article HERE (via @gregpincus).

The Twitter API (explained from the guys from @HowStuffWorks) calculates your social reach by the amount of people who potentially read your tweet from the original post, retweets (and modified tweets), mentions, direct messages, favorites (through a very weird algorithm that I don`t understand, but I am sure that it is very well-developed).

So why do people and organizations still say that retweets are not endorsements, if a single retweet can actually increase your social reach by up to 7.5 times (according to this article by Nir Yariv via @ niryariv)?

Although the answer is not totally unexpected, it is surprising. With a plethora of social networks and tools at their grasp, people, but especially organizations don`t know on what to focus. And most of the times they mimic the behavior seen in others. There are thousands of social media trainers, coaches, consultants out there that will tell you that if you want to reach more people you MUST increase your network (and so lists, groups, website of “most connected” or “top followed” people have been created). But, unless if you are Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga, Barack Obama, Twitter or the CNN you will NOT make it to that list. These “influencers” have tens of millions of followers just because of who they are, not because of the quality of their content.

As a common Twitter user that wants to grow or even a big company that wants to become an influencer, retweets ARE endorsements. People should focus on creating quality content, targeted at a certain type of audience and engage their followers as much as possible. After all, this is SOCIAL media. Here are a few more tips on how to increase your social reach from Spokal (via @getspokal).

4 thoughts on “Retweets not endorsements. Really?!

  1. Codrin, I agree that RTs are endorsements. But I think the missing catch is this – most of us RT without actually reading what we RT, which by nature means we share some crappy articles. Those of us that do this on a regular basis will find readers stop clicking on our links.

    So, unless you actually vouch for what you RT, you’ll see a slow and gradual decline of the engagement of your followers, which is dangerous. Moral of the story: RT’s are endorsements, so be sure what you endorse is what you want to endorse.

    p.s. Thanks for including us! (Think you might have missed the link?)


  2. Oops…it seems that I pushed the wrong button when I put in the Spokal hyperlink. I corrected it now :).

    @AlexandraSkey: You`re absolutely right. You have to vouch for what you retweet (mention, DM, favorite) the same way you do for what you actually tweet. That`s why I am saying that if someone wants bigger social reach they should be end-user oriented. Content quality beats…well, pretty much everything. If you have great quality content, you go viral.


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