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Repeating Tweets: Good Practice or Bad Move?

By on Friday, January 16, 2015

You may have heard the buzz about repeating tweets from Guy Kawasaki (who chose to re-run tweets 4 times 8 hours apart), or Marketing Land where they view content as running over a lifetime (an interesting approach), or in the New York Times – is it a good practice or a bad move?

What prevents people from re-tweeting is twofold. One, the nature of content sharing is to hit the button, share the blog post we worked on for hours, and then check it off our lists and be done with it. That blog post is out of sight, out of mind. Two, many people worry about being labeled a spammer and avoid sharing content multiple times. Users worry they will degrade their feed if they repeat information.

And there are good and valid reasons to re-tweet. There is tremendous competition for attention on Twitter. Your audience may only be paying attention part of the time and it may be global and scattered across multiple time zones. And if you’re not a news media outlet with breaking news that changes by the minute, and your content is evergreen (or at least has a long shelf life) and it’s useful to your followers, why not re-tweet it?

Wise Metrics analyzed 1 million tweets from 1,500 Twitter accounts and found that 55% of Twitter users are repeating their tweets. Just because the crowd does it, should you?

Wise Metrics found that on average, the second (repeated) Tweet performed 86% as well as the first one. They also found that Tweet performance decreased slowly as the number of repeated Tweets increased. Even after 6 re-tweets though, the (repeated) Tweet performed 67% as well as the original. On average, only 14% of your followers will see the (repeated) Tweet twice.

So what’s the best advice?

Repeating Tweets does not seem to harm you. Yes, it is ok to repeat your Tweets, if you modify or edit them a little bit so they are not verbatim copies of the original. It’s also worth considering stretching them out. If your blog post today is evergreen, could you re-run it 3 months from now, and program that using an editorial calendar or scheduling software like Hootsuite?

Get creative. Copying and pasting the same tweet is against Twitter policy. Edit your copy to be a little different, draw out a different nuance, cite a statistic or anecdote instead of the title, or at least start differently. You can include the same link, but don’t run the same identical copy over and over.

Break it up. Spread out your tweets a little bit from each other and run other content in between. If I am running a blog post on my Twitter feed, I try to break up the tweets a little bit, to ensure that they are not running one after the other and that other content is flowing in my feed.

Thanks to Creative Commons for this image.

Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, a virtual and independent public relations practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media advice, writing services, and creative design for publications and websites. She blogs frequently about media relations, social media, public relations and other issues. She also reviews books on her blog about public relations, nonprofit life, work-family balance and social media practice. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.

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