Why Retweets are more powerful than Tweets



We are learning very quickly that the true power in our Twitter community is not in our tweets. It’s in the ReTweets.

What’s a ReTweet?

If you tweet something interesting or of value to people, they will often repeat your tweet to their followers. This is called a ReTweet.

Alistair Croll just posted this great article about the possibility of creating a sort of Twitter pagerank, using Retweets to measure “downstream” authority. He calls the social analysis of Twitter, communilytics.

Here’s an elegant visual overview:

How to ReTweet

To ReTweet something, simply type RT + [username] + [Message you want to Tweet]. So your ReTweet might look like this:

RT @Twitter_Tips Why ReTweets are more powerful than Tweets http://cli.gs/MdmjTM

Right now we have about 3500 followers on Twitter. But that’s not where most of the conversation about the NFB is happening. It’s happening one step away. With the Retweets.

For Example

Let’s take a look at this tweet we posted this morning about a classic Leonard Cohen film that we put online:


This message was ReTweeted 18 times by our followers.

@TheNFB tweet went out to 3514 people
@LoupNoir ReTweets it and it goes out to his 164 followers;
@RachelatVenture picks it up and it goes out to her 488 followers.
@BookOven reposts it for 1639 people
And so on…

Add up all the followers that see the post and you get 13617 messages that went out.

Look at the graph at the top of this post to get a picture of what that looks like.

Retweets are Socially Targeted

This sort of message is especially powerful when you consider it’s socially targeted.

People usually only retweet things they’re interested in or they think their followers might be interested in. So as the tweet travels through the twitterverse (for lack of a better word), the message is finding people who are more and more likely to be interested in its content.

What do you think? Are we on to something here?

Also of interest:
Follow the Film Board on Twitter

Check out this great article, The Science of ReTweets.