It’s Twitter Tip Tuesday — every Tuesday we’ll focus on one Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy. This week we show you the difference between retweeting and re-tweeting your own content, and why you should do the latter, not the former!

The 140 character limit on Twitter means that every character has a big impact on your tweets. Sometimes a very subtle change in your choice of words can alter the meaning of your tweets significantly. And as the title of today’s article demonstrates, you can even use spelling and punctuation strategically to convey your message more effectively.

Retweet Other People’s Content

Retweet Other People's Content

A retweet (with no hyphen) refers to the act of passing along a tweet from someone else and reposting it for all your followers to see.
Retweets are an effective way to acknowledge great content on Twitter. If you feel moved or inspired enough to pass along content to your followers, this says a lot about the quality of the original tweet.

Retweeting is also a great way to get on the radar of accounts that you’d like to follow you. When you include the twitter handle of the person you’re retweeting, that person will see that you’re sharing his or her content with your followers. You may wind up getting that person to follow you back, or perhaps returning the favor, and retweeting some of your content too! Keep in mind though, that sometimes a retweet is not enough to engage with people you’re trying to target.

When it comes to retweeting, you should always stick to using someone else’s content. It may look a little self-aggrandizing to retweet your own stuff. Plus, including your own twitter handle in a tweet that’s already coming from you is a little redundant — and looks a little silly.

Retweet Your Own Tweets

Re-tweet Your Own Content

A re-tweet, by contrast, simply refers to tweeting the same content more than once. Re-tweeting is a way that you can get your own content seen by people who may have missed it the first time around.

The average Twitter user has 126 followers. Assuming that the average Twitter user tweets just under five times a day, that works out to over 500 tweets streaming by the average person’s Twitter feed in the run of a day. That’s a lot of tweets to take in!

Increase the number of people one follows (and the frequency of their tweets), and it becomes clear that it’s not possible for all your tweets to be read at all times, by all your followers. In other words, some of your tweets are not being read by people in your target audience.

So, what’s the solution to getting more of your tweets read? Re-tweet them. Yes, it’s a completely legitimate (and effective) strategy to re-tweet at least some of your content more than once. Try re-tweeting some of your best content on the weekend; research shows that Twitter engagement rates are 17 percent higher on Saturday and Sunday compared to weekdays!

You can even use two new powerful features from Sprout Social — Queue and ViralPost — to help you find and schedule the most effective times to re-tweet your content. These features analyze your audience to determine the times that they are most likely to see, read, and interact with your tweets.

Of course, like any social media strategy, balance, moderation and monitoring are keys to its success. Make sure the majority of your content is still original, useful material. But don’t let your best tweets become one-hit wonders. If your content is good, don’t be afraid to “tweet it again, Sam!”

Have any great Twitter Tips you’d like to see in Twitter Tip Tuesday? Let us know in the comments, along with how we can reach you if we use your tip!

This article discusses Sprout Social, our social media management tool for businesses. To learn about our editorial ethics and our commitment to objective coverage of the social media space, visit our About page.