Twitter can be an incredibly powerful tool for making connections and sharing information online. One of the biggest secrets for building great relationships on Twitter is to give credit where credit is due.
The basic rules for Twitter
The basic idea of Twitter is that you want to talk to others, engage in their topic areas, and give credit where credit is due. You should also make a point of being topical and conversational. Talking out of topic or posting only about one topic will quickly get you marked as a spammer.
Why credit is important
Offering credit for the information and quotes you share on Twitter is a basic tenant of the social network. The first and most basic way of offering credit was the re-tweet, usually indicated with a “RT” at the beginning of the tweet. Many times, an RT is considered the same as a set of quotation marks, and because a RT is a way of sharing someone else’s words with your followers, who may not be following the same people, that credit provides a traceable way of crediting ideas.
The new forms of credit
Since the first days of Twitter, when a RT was the first way of providing credit, several new ways of providing credit have popped up, and Twitter has built a retweet function into the service. There are several was of building credit into the tweets that you post, be they direct quotes or not.
- Direct RT – if you click “retweet” in twitter instead of doing it manually, then the other person’s tweet, with their name and picture, will show up in your follower’s newsfeeds.
- Manual RT – this is where you copy-paste another person’s tweet, and then type “RT @Username followed by a quote.
- MT – known as “modified tweet,” the MT is where you modify another person’s words to edit it for length or to add your own content. MT is gaining popularity because often times, a retweet gets too long for the 140 character limit.
- HT – also known as a “hat tip,” an HT provides credit for a piece of information that you got from someone else, without directly quoting anything.
- Via – putting “via @username” at the end or beginning of a tweet is a way of providing credit for the information without a direct quote that is more easily understandable than “HT.”