To request a retweet, or not to request a retweet?

twitterThat is, indeed, the question. has an infographic up at the moment, talking about how to amplify your tweets.  The infographic is based on an earlier report by BuddyMedia on strategies for effective tweeting.  By the numbers alone, both the report and the infographic are accurate.  But the problem is that this simplistic form of amplification optimisation is being widely applied by business and individuals, increasing the potential for duplication of content in tweet streams, and reducing the ‘purity’ and relevance of content for users.  So the numbers encourage adoption of a process that generates the equivalent of noise rather than engagement.

What purveyors of these overly simplistic amplification tactics fail to realise is that for short term gain they risk massive long term reputation damage.  The drive for amplification comes without consideration of what value is generated for audiences and what engagement outcomes are really desirable.  Instead of engagement, you get repetition.  That isn’t business optimisation. It’s advertising. And as such, it systematically reduces the value of the medium for participants.

The reason why twitter works as an information channel is that it enables access to unique content and perspectives, not merely an undifferentiated stream of mass re-tweeted drivel.

Next time someone asks for a retweet from your audiences, ask yourself this: is it *really* worth it? Or would it be more sensible to add your own perspective to that content?

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