I was raised to use good manners; to always remember to say please and thank you. But when someone says “thank you” for a retweet, it always strikes me as a bit odd. I understand that it is a way to be polite, and perhaps even to acknowledge appreciation that the message is being passed along, but really, shouldn’t I be the one saying thank you? After all, the original tweet offered me value; that is why I decided to pass it along.
I do not retweet as a favor to the author of the original tweet. The RT is directed at my network. I respect the time and attention of my network and when I read a tweet that teaches me something, or provides an interesting perspective, I am eager to pass along the “gift.”
My Twitter network includes a wide array of folks in the public relations industry. Some are well established practitioners whose advice and knowledge is highly regarded throughout the industry. Others are students or entry level employees. But Twitter levels the playing field, providing everyone 140 characters to make an impression, to create that “gift.”
Rebecca Denison (@RebeccaDenison) is one PR intern who has become an extremely valued member of my Twitter network. Rebecca is currently an intern at StrategyOne and author of the clever “Dr. WHAW” (Didn’t Read While Hard at Work) blog. Rebecca’s enthusiasm for social media and for embracing new experiences comes across clearly in her tweets and it has been fun to watch her start her blog, attend her first tweetup etc. I enjoy following Rebecca and I learn from her fresh perspective.
Yet when I retweet Rebecca she’ll send me a DM that leaves me shaking my head. With her permission, I’ll share, “Thank you so much for all of your support! It always floors me when I see your Tweets!! Really means a lot, thank you. : )”
I would like to say to Rebecca (and others), know that I am tweeting about something you wrote, because it is smart and because you consistently demonstrate your professionalism and talent. Don’t be “floored.” I am the one who is floored and I should be the one saying thank you. You are doing an excellent job of building your brand, your reputation. While I know that people will continue to say “thank you” for a retweet (and yes, I get it), Most of the time, I would personally feel more comfortable with a “you’re welcome”!
I recently read a quote from Kevin Richard on Danny Brown’s blog. “You should wow your customers and let them do the talking.” When you “wow” people they talk. It’s what happens. Don’t be surprised. And please do keep that in mind as you continue your path to a very successful career in the field of public relations.
Do you say thank you when someone RT’s your tweet? Is your inspiration/motivation for Retweeting based upon the original author or your network?
Valerie Merahn Simon serves as a Senior Vice President at BurrellesLuce media monitoring and measurement, and writes a national public relations column for examiner.com. She is also co-founder and host of #PRStudChat, a monthly twitter chat between PR professionals and students moderated by Deirdre Breakenridge. She can be found on Twitter or LinkedIn. This is Valerie’s first (public) rant .
Note: Photo is credit of PS Photo Goods via FlickR Creative Commons.