Not a lot of people seem to know this one but it’s really useful and something I use often when I’m really trying to push something. I used it a lot during the #LASPO campaigns and most recently when I published Saving Justice and I wanted to make as much fuss about it as possible and keep it in the timelines of as many people as possible for as long as possible
Here’s the situation:
Someone tweets something that you want to retweet eg about you, your organisation or just something you want as many people as possible to read. You retweet it. It then gets seen by (a) any of your followers who happen to be on Twitter looking at their timeline, and (b) anyone who is browsing (stalking) your tweets at a later time or, someone who might come across it through searching hashtags or keywords. The point is, once it’s been retweeted it’s been retweeted and that’s it, right?
There are more things you can do to get more out of that tweet from someone else. First one, when using a smart-phone, is to ‘quote’ the tweet so you’ve got the straight retweet in your timeline from earlier but now a later a new version of it but this time coming from you. Depending on your OS and version of Twitter, you might put a ‘RT’ (retweet) at the beginning or, without the ‘RT’ and just the whole tweet in speech marks. This gives you two more bites of the cherry and maximises the number of people who might see it. Depending on what apps you are using you might also have other variations on this. But that’s it, right?
No two tweets can be identical. So, thinking about quoting/retweeting the tweet above, you can quote it again but change it slightly – remove some of the text or abbreviate part of it, anything so long as it’s different to your earlier quoted tweet. Make sure here that you add “MT” (modified tweet) at the beginning though, just to make it clear that you’ve changed something that the original tweep said. OK, fine, but that’s got to be it, surely?
Here is the one that is far less known and used – multiple retweets of the same tweet. This requires a jump of logic and an understanding of how retweets work and how they relate to the Twitter timeline. What you have to remember is that once something has been dropped into the timeline eg when you’ve retweeted it, the accepted wisdom is it’s like dropping a stone into a pond – it sinks out of immediate view under the weight of all the subsequent tweets and that’s it, you’ve had your shot
However, what if I said you could pull the stone out of the pond and drop it in again? That you could retweet that exact same tweet again and again and again and again, perhaps an hour or so later, that evening, the next morning and so on, when other/different people will be on Twitter and looking at their timeline? Well, it’s possible
First thing to do is retweet the tweet as normal but then sometime later, ‘undo retweet’ (tap on the button that you used to retweet and it will give you this option). This has the effect of removing your retweet of someone’s tweet from your own timeline. However, this does not matter at all – that tweet had its impact an hour or two ago when you first retweeted it – people saw it then and took note. If it disappears from your earlier timeline that is entirely irrelevant
Second thing to to is retweet it again – as you’ve undone your previous retweet you now have the option to RT again. That simple. Now your most recent retweet of that tweet appears in your timeline again, but right now, not an hour ago when you first retweeted it. So, different people see it and hopefully interact with it. You retweeting, undoing your retweet and retweeting it again has no effect whatsoever on what others might do with that particular tweet at any point
As an example: I retweet a tweet at 11am and 50 other people see it and retweet it as well. At 2pm I undo my retweet and retweet it again: 70 people who were not on Twitter earlier see it and they also retweet it. By now, two lots of people have seen my retweet and in total, 120 people have retweeted it. And so on
One little tip on this – favourite the tweet you’re going to want to keep retweeting so that when you ‘undo retweet’ if it’s awkward to find again you can just pick it up from your favourites
Lastly, there’s always the chance that Twitter might prohibit this kind of behaviour at some point. Whether they do is anyone’s guess. For now, it works. Enjoy