Luckily, you don’t have to come up with every tweet yourself: Retweeting is an honorable Twitter tradition.
You can retweet anything you think your followers would find of interest — a funny quip, a pithy observation, a useful link, breaking local news — that they may not have seen already. There are two ways to retweet (or RT, as the cool kids would say); each has specific uses.
Let Twitter retweet for you:
Go to the post you want to share, and either click on “expand” or just mouse-over in that area to see your action options, including “retweet”:
When you click “retweet,” a box will pop up so you can confirm that’s what you want to do:
Then, after you’ve retweeted, the tweet will appear in your list of tweets. It will have a green arrow on the upper right-hand corner of the tweet and the mouseover will say “retweeted” in green:
This is obviously the easiest way to retweet, and it goes to everyone who is following you on Twitter, except those who are already following the person you RTed. These tweets also don’t go into any feed you’ve got hooked up to Twitter, such as Facebook or your blog. If you want the tweet to be posted in another feed as well, you have to create your own.
Retweet “by hand”:
Click on “retweet” as above, then, instead of confirming the RT, highlight the quote and the tweeter (@whoever), click ctrl-C to copy, then click “cancel”:
Hit the blue “write” box, and use ctrl-V to drop in what you just copied:
Add a “RT” at the beginning of the post and take out those extra spaces that are making the tweet too long,
then click “tweet.”
Doing a cut-and-paste retweet will make it your tweet. It will go to everyone who follows you, including those who may have seen the original, and sends it to whatever other feeds you have linked to Twitter.
It also allows you to add a brief comment to the front of the tweet:
The downside is that the “RT @whoever” you need to add goes to your character count, so it can make the tweet a little too long, especially if you’re adding a comment.
If you need to trim the quote a bit to get under 140 characters, tag the quoted material with an “MT” (modified tweet) rather than a “RT.”
In this example, the original tweet was about twice as long; I chopped off everything but the part I was responding to, the news that a reviewer I like is leaving the magazine where I read her.
Any questions? Leave them in the comments, and I’ll be happy to answer them. Next up: mentioning another tweeter by username. See you soon!