Is Reposting a Tweet Bad Form?

By Mark Evans - Thursday, September 23rd, 2010 at 9:09 am  

Tweets are like floats in a parade. Once they pass by, that’s it, you’re not going to see them again. If you turned around to buy some candy floss just as the super-cool float came and went, it’s your tough luck.

Unlike a parade in which floats aren’t able to circle back for another loop, a tweet can be reposted. For example, if you posted a tweet about an upcoming event at 7 a.m., it might be sense to post it again at 10 a.m. to give more people a chance to see it.

The question is whether this is a legitimate or acceptable practice.

Does reposting a tweet go against the “rules” in which tweets are supposed to happen in real-time and be unique. If something is reposted, it is spam or simply a move to give a tweet a second shot?

My take is reposting is completely acceptable as long as it’s not a blatant attempt to sell a product or service. If it’s spreading the word about an event, an interesting newspaper article or a new blog post, there’s nothing wrong with thrusting it into the spotlight again.

After all, it’s not like the people who follow you are on Twitter all the time and reading all of your tweets. Sometimes, a good tweet slips through the cracks so it just makes sense to repost it.

What do think? Is reposting a tweet good or bad form?

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9 Responses to “Is Reposting a Tweet Bad Form?”

  1. Chuck Harris says:

    I agree. Unless you are on twitter 24/7 there is no way to take in every tweet and even then I am sure there would be many tweets that you miss. As long as the tweet has some good relevance I am all for re-posting, but if you keep posting the same tweet about how many followers you can make me, well then I just don’t like you as a person :).

  2. My gut says don’t repost. Sometimes it even says don’t post at all. If you’re content is great, it will be found, shared, and loved. That’s what the focus should be. Focus on creating, no propagating.. err something like that?

    That said, posting at different times of the day is generally OK in my books. Especially, if you happen to know which time zone(s) that majority of your followers are in.

  3. Sean says:

    As a blogger & vlogger who posts daily content (sometimes & often multiple-daily content), figuring out just the right times to post a link so that the most people can see it is an evolving science. It is always on my mind that I don’t want to re-post too often, but I definitely want to catch different groups of people at different points of their daily routine. How else are we going to know what time of day gets the best response if we do not experiment? What about people who were not around to see the post the first time? Isn’t it a disservice to them to not repost it?

    Filling up my stream with rapid reposts is bad. Reposts a few hours apart are perfectly acceptable – especially considering that no one except the hardest of the hard core Twitter addicts is going to see it the second or third time. Comedy Central takes no heat for re-airing The Daily Show and The Colbert Report throughout the day. It’s the same thing.

    And my final thought on this topic – my reposts are in direct proportion to the value I have packed into my content. As a personal rule, I need to have something new to say about it for every repost which is why a big event vlog entry gets a bunch of reposts but one that’s just a minute and a half of me talking to the camera does not.

  4. Lenny Neslin says:

    In my experience, I think reposting identical tweets is bad form. But linking to content in a different way is very acceptable.

  5. Paul Marek says:

    I think it depends on the context of the repost. If it’s to announce an event or similar that needs immediate attention, than yes, reposting is OK, but reposting a blog is very iffy… – leave it up to your followers to do the retweeting/reposting?

  6. Sean Bailey says:

    Many times I tweet a couple times in a day about my new blog posts (morning & evening). I’m not a fan of people re-posting content, regardless of what it is, every half hour, for example. If the content is important enough, people will generally RT it or share it elsewhere on their own.

  7. I agree with Lenny, linking to content in a different way is totally fine (in moderation of course!). Depending on how many people an individual follows, a tweet can get lost in the shuffle near immediately.

  8. Pat T says:

    Way to justify the Twitter arms race. The more you retweet, the more noise you make, the fewer people will have their tweets heard–because of your extra noise–forcing them to escalate their own retweeting. Where does it end? With total user apathy and complete devaluation of the tool. Look up ‘tragedy of the commons’. In this case the resource being plundered is society’s aggregate attention span.

  9. Jamie says:

    I don’t have see there being a major issue with re-posting at various times in the day, and as Derrick said, especially if you’re talking about different time zones.

    You touched on the key point for me when you said that you didn’t think it was appropriate to re-post if there was “a blatant attempt to sell a product or service”. I generally agree with you but I would say that many of us (including yourselves) are creating content to drive people to our sites, build a community, enhance our brand image and essentially sell a product or service. So it’s not “blatant” selling but there is a commercial objective somewhere down the line.

    I think the deciding factor of if its “ok or not” should be if the content of the tweet/post brings value to the community (selling or not selling) – and if it does then attempting to reach different people at different times in the day is probably acceptable.