3 Things You Should Do Before Retweeting a Post

before retweeting

In this day and age, we’re all pretty quick to retweet something on Twitter. By retweeting, you’re essentially endorsing this tweet that you have then shared to your feed and your community. It only takes a few seconds (as you can see in my post about retweeting/quote tweeting) and anyone who is following you can see it.

Retweeting is a really handy feature whenever you want to easily share something. However, it can pose a problem if you aren’t careful. Even the guy who built the retweet confessed he has regrets about this feature back in 2019. So, before retweeting that next post… Read this!

3 Things You Should Do Before Retweeting a Post

To prevent you and your brand from getting into any kind of trouble, here are a few things to know before retweeting a post. Ask yourself these questions and if everything is good to go, you’re safe to go ahead and retweet!

1. Is This Account a Reliable Source of Information?

Unfortunately, false information can spread like wildfire across social media as people will rush to share the latest news with their online community. This is especially the case during times of global crises and other breaking events. For that reason, you always want to consider the source before retweeting a post.

Ask yourself if this source is known for providing reliable and accurate information in the past. If it’s an account that you’re not familiar with, it would probably be best to confirm the information they’re sharing with another reputable source instead.

2. Have I Actually Read the Content That’s Linked in This Post?

Before retweeting a post that contains a link, you absolutely need to read the linked content before sharing it. This is where so many people go wrong on social media. They want to spread the word about something and are in such a hurry to do so, that they often don’t click on the link before sharing. Instead, they rely solely on the headline, which can sometimes be misleading.

“But the button also changed Twitter in a way Wetherell and his colleagues didn’t anticipate. Copying and pasting made people look at what they shared, and think about it, at least for a moment. When the retweet button debuted, that friction diminished. Impulse superseded the at-least-minimal degree of thoughtfulness once baked into sharing. Before the retweet, Twitter was largely a convivial place. After, all hell broke loose — and spread.”

(from “The Man Who Built the Retweet” on Buzzfeed News)

These days, many content creators rely on clickbait tactics to get more traffic to their website. And ultimately, the headline you read and share a post based on may not fully convey the content within the article. Don’t worry about being the first person on your feed to spread the news. Focus more on being a trustworthy source of information. Take a few minutes and read any linked articles before sharing. And if you can’t read the article, don’t share it.

3. Will Retweeting This Post Hurt My Brand’s Image in Any Way?

And lastly, before retweeting a post, you want to consider how sharing this particular piece of content will reflect on your brand. You’ll want to consider things like: whether or not the topic at hand is something you should talk about within your brand, if the content is appropriate or if it could be taken in a negative way, and if the brand/person you’re retweeting is someone you want to be associated with.

For instance, retweeting political posts doesn’t always go over well with companies because they often lose customers based on which party or candidate they choose to align themselves with. It’s better to stick to topics that you know won’t create an issue for your brand.

As you can see in the example above, I chose to do a quote retweet when sharing this post from a fellow content creator and marketer. I shared this content because I found him to be a reliable source of social media tips, I read the article he linked to in his original post, and I know my audience will find it valuable.

Yes, You Can Undo a Retweet, But…

The reality is, once you post something on social media, it’s out there. Even if you delete it, there’s still a chance someone else saw it and took a screenshot before you were able to remove the post. It’s not worth risking your brand’s reputation by blindly retweeting a post without considering the source, the content, and how your audience will respond.