Recently, I’ve had a number of clients ask questions about Twitter outside of the normal “who to follow” and “what to tweet”. In particular, they’ve had questions about replies, retweets, quote tweets and favorites. I’d like to take some time right now to explain how I use Twitter which will hopefully shed some light on these questions. As the saying goes, “there’s more than one way to tweet a cat”. Just ask my favorite local power users (oh how I hate that moniker) @laurenoostveen, @allisomething and @megnorris. If you’ve ever wondered how a cat felt about fake blood and slasher films, politics and the Atlanta Braves and card games and vegan burgers, these are the people to ask. Speaking of favorites, let’s start there.

There are multiple reasons to favorite a tweet. It doesn’t always mean that you particularly agree or disagree or even that it’s your “favorite”. Many people use favorites in Twitter as a “read later” option. There are several apps that allow users to put something in their back pocket (see Pocket in the app store and on the web) but many people favorite something in order to put it in a list so that they can refer to it later. I admit that I used to do just this. I would favorite a tweet even if I vehemently disagreed with the tweet, just so that I could read it later. Now, when I favorite a tweet it means that I really liked it, or really felt it was important and I use Pocket as a read later service.

If I really want to get a message out there, I will often use the quote tweet option. This allows me to add my two cents to an existing message and this is a big part of how Twitter can be used. Many people use Twitter as a megaphone. “HEY, LOOK WHAT I’M DOING OR WHAT I THINK OR WHAT I SAY OR WHAT I ATE!” however I don’t agree with using Twitter in this way. Sure, I will occasionally use Twitter to get my ideas out there but the part that I really love about Twitter is the engagement. I love the ability  to have a multi-user conversation, in the public forum in a truncated manner that really makes you say what you mean. Sometimes, I only have room for six or seven characters as a comment on a tweet, so you have to make it count.

For me, a retweet is used in two scenarios. The first and most common is that the original user has crafted a tweet that’s close to the character limit and I have no room to comment. The second is that there is simply nothing I have to say. Maybe I thought the user already said it perfectly or maybe I think that there’s just nothing I have to say or that it speaks for itself.

In general, you can use Twitter for whatever purpose you want. You can use it to advertise, to comment, to engage or, in the case of a lot of users, to enrage. But I think it’s a good idea to understand first how YOU want to use Twitter and then to understand second how some other people MIGHT be using Twitter. And remember, you can delete tweets, but you can’t erase people’s memories…yet. Just ask Dr. Phil.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!