Please Don’t Retweet

Angry Birds vs Angry Cats

I’ve come to an opinion on something (and as with all opinions, it’s about as useful as sesame seeds on a bun):asking for a retweet or mention of something – that isn’t cause related – isn’t cool.

Here’s my thinking: if your idea isn’t strong enough to fly on its own, then why should you chum the waters asking for it to be shared?

Go right now and look at the results of this search. How many of these actually seem worthy? See what I’m smelling here?

Please Don’t ASK for Retweets

Again, unless it’s a cause, and then ask shamelessly and often for retweets or mentions, but otherwise? Let your work live or die on its own creative merits. It just doesn’t make sense to bother people to ask them to falsely spread information that wasn’t interesting to get there on its own.

But, I could be wrong.

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  • Anonymous

    I agree with what Charlie Green said below.  I don’t ask for retweets because it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy when I get them spontaneously.  If I ask for them I’ll have to wonder if I’m getting them because someone liked what I said (warm and fuzzy) or only because I asked (meh).  Obviously I’d prefer the former.I also don’t want to create a system of favors.  I retweet things I genuinely enjoy, and I don’t feel any obligation to do it any other way.  If others start retweeting me as a favor to me, I’ll start to feel obligated to retweet them, regardless of quality.

  • http://www.i95dev.com Henry Louis

    No, you are not wrong Chris. I would completely agree. There isnt any need for begging. If the Tweet is sounding good then the people would retweet it themselves without a need of a request. If the Tweet was good enough & someone wanted to Retweet it but bcoz the tweeter had asked to retweet it thus the reader might not retweet it. There are even chances of loosing  valid & authentic retweeters.

  • Anonymous

    I agree with Chris is rude to ask for being RT, be creative, optimize your tweets and make sure you broadcast what your followers likes to read and you will be retweeted with out asking for it. I got sick reading some blog post from some “experts” explaining that random RT is cool coz more you RT more you will get RT. Well doesn’t work that way I am sorry to say. I do RT often and a lot, but only content / tweets that are relevant to my followers. At least i can say i know what they like. Problem comes when people go and do massive follow, no engagement and they think every one will RT just because they ask to be RT. If someone really thinks their Tweet should be RT, they can polity ask via DM, or ask people that they engage with most but not every single person on Twitter. Let’s not forget a bad products / service will not be fixed even not with 10K RTs.  

  • http://joshshear.com Josh

    Replace “retweet” with “sale,” and read it again. No matter how awesome you are, sometimes you still have to ask.

  • Doncadora

    Asking for a retweet is like asking someone to send chain mail. If it’s for a good cause, yes do it. If not your bypassing the purpose of the retweet. I retweet what I think is cool. Shouting “Hey tell everyone this is cool!” doesn’t help you with that.

  • Brittany Hardy

    I’m on the fence with this. I understand the concept of being tacky and definitely know what that looks like. But, ideally, we have built a sense of community with our followers, ask for retweets rarely, and only do so when we really think it will benefit our community. This may not be for a cause; maybe it’s for a really cool contest that’s mutually beneficial for us AND our followers. There’s a way to do it well. That’s why we call ourselves marketers.

  • http://twitter.com/RayBeckerman RayBeckerman

    I don’t really get your headline. It has nothing to do with what you’re saying in the body of the article.

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  • http://twitter.com/ListenUpBucko Cynthia C

    Asking for a re-tweet is like saying, “Ooohhh, tell that funny story about me…” or “Oooohhh, show them that really flattering picture of me….” I agree, cause is cool, otherwise poor form. 

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=651110134 Leah D’Emilio

    I agree, Chris. I think asking for a RT was necessary back in the day when most people were unfamiliar with Twitter etiquette or needed the “power of suggestion” to understand what to do next with great information. However, I do think that most people today know how to use “the Twitter” and if they read something that moves them, then they will take action on their own. I think asking for a RT comes across as n00b, annoying behavior. Even asking for a RT for a cause can seem desperate because, again, if people care and are inspired they’ll RT on their own. 

  • Juul Martin

    I think asking for help is the smartest thing to do. cool or not. If we all help each other it would all be a lot easier nd more fun in this world. #daretoask

  • DanneHotchkiss

    I think your opinion on asking for RT’s could be equally applied to the ‘promoted’ tweets.

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  • http://www.trustemedia.com Tracy Terry

    Totally disagree.  1. It’s a call to action to get your audience to do something.  2. That call to action spreads your content and expands your reach.  3. Expanding your reach helps you to get your message out farther and grow your business and generate more leads.  Makes total sense.  You always have to tell people what to do.  Even if you are just looking for a RT as opposed to a download or something.  

    Placing a Share This or Add This button on your blog or website does the same thing.  Even the Google +1 button.  It’s there because you are asking people to share your content.  Are you going to take those down?  Of course not.  It’s what we do in hopes of reaching more people who are interested in our content.

    To touch on something commented below:  Twitter gets new participants every day, so not everyone knows to ReTweet things they like.  You still need to cover those who are are new and there are a lot of those.  I teach people every day and have come across a lot of people who didn’t even know what RT stood for.

    • http://twitter.com/NewCustomersNow Joe

      Chris, I was starting to comment until I saw Tracy’s post.

      I’m with Tracy on this one. I think it’s important to give a clear call to action. 

      While my blog is fairly new I didn’t start seeing engagement until I would ask people to leave comments. I see RTs the same way.

    • http://www.alspaulding.com AL Spaulding

      I’m going to co-sign with Tracy as well and say that I disagree with you completely Chris. I feel that for today’s up and coming blogger it’s important to have that “call to action” yet be polite about it. I saw the amount of shares, RT’s, go up on my site when I made it a point to politely ask and tell people to “please feel free to share this post with your peers.” If my content wasn’t good then it would not be shared no matter how I asked. I have read pretty crappy posts on other blogs and not shared at all whether they asked or not. I think that if you are going to make that claim in your post that you should go into a bit more depth with it.  Ranting about it over a 6-7 sentence blog post did not do this post justice in the least. To be honest I mulled over whether to say anything at all being that it was the first post of yours I did not like but I couldnt help myself..
      ~AL

  • http://cashwithatrueconscience.com/rbblog Ryan Biddulph

    Asking for a RT is like asking for a favor. If you send a good friend a DM asking for a share, this might be OK. If you send out a tweet with the request, I am of the same school. If it’s good, people will RT it.

    This is different than your own private space, your blog. Feel free to ask for shares, because it’s your home.

  • Matt

    Hey Chris,

    I agree – if your tweet is valuable, people will naturally retweet. By being confident about the value of your content, there is no need to ask for anything.Matt

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  • http://twitter.com/MattSearles Matt Searles

    Well here’s the thing.. I think.. a part of what we are doing is building these networks.. its all this give and take.. asking for a re-tweet.. is just that.. I mean.. what are you doing when your asking you’re readers to help spread the word of your new book? You’re asking for a re-tweet.

  • http://netbitsblog.blogspot.com Pankaj C.

    totally agree with you chris…

  • Anne Web Agent

    I agree with Matt.. its a give and take of info nothin really wrong with spreading info. Its up to the reader to believe it or not.   

  • http://www.clickandinc.com/blog Sarah

    Very interesting, both the article and the contrasting points made in the comments. I’m still a bit uneasy with Twitter, myself — I can’t quite get the hang of weeding through the limited-character grammatical horrors and stream-of-consciousness delusions of grandeur — and being such an outlier, I tend to agree with you. As a consumer and someone who’s really trying to appreciate the world of Twitter, I like to think it’s enough that I’m listening. Don’t turn me off by begging me to help spread your word.

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    I agree with Matt..

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