Social Media Strategy, Social Media Tools, Top 10

7 Ways to Thank Someone for a Retweet

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Angie-SchottmullerGuest post from Angie Schottmuller, an interactive Jedi, e-commerce expert, and multi-channel strategist at Interactive Artisan.

If you’re an active Twitter user, you’ve likely seen a “Thanks for the RT!” post at some point. You’ve possibly even posted them yourself. So is a “retweet thank you” polite Twitter etiquette, or is it an over indulgence of bragging that folks like your content? The argument can potentially go either way for both personal and business accounts. Here are some tips to help you decide if, when, and how to display retweet gratitude. 7 Ways to Thank for a Retweet“Thanking” someone doesn’t have to mean you send an actual thank you message. It simply means you recognize or acknowledge the user in some regard for sharing your content. 1. Follow the User Don’t assume you already follow them. If they took the time to share your content, review their profile to see if they’re a good follow and then follow them accordingly. 2. List the User Add the user to one of your relevant lists. For example, if they primarily post quality “email marketing” content and you have a list for that, add them to your list. 3. Reciprocate View the user’s Twitter profile and scan their timeline for good content to retweet. (The “Retweet” button makes this quick and easy. You can go back later and manually retweet with your personal shortened URL link if necessary.) 4. Retweet a Retweet Yes, in essence retweet yourself. Since Twitter no longer allows posting the exact tweet more than once, a RT of a RT is a way to recognize the user and also put quality content back into your stream. 5. Conversational Mention Reply to a RT with a conversational response about the post to ignite discussion. By using “reply” you enable other users to easily follow the conversation thread. 6. Group Mention List the users that retweeted the content and include a comment or thank you. 7. Conversational Direct Message (DM) Send a private response with a personal value-added note for discussion. (This can be handy if you don’t want to cloud your public stream with @mentions of thanks.)

Retweet “Thank You” Exceptions

There are certainly scenarios where recognizing users for sharing your content is unnecessary or impractical.

  • Ignore Twitter “bot” retweets since there’s no human relationship to build.
  • Beware of retweets by “get rich quick” and MLM tweeps. Their primary objective is growing followers. Show thanks at your own peril. (Note: Initiating conversation with these folks will likely result in a flood of their MLM friends also following your account which makes it difficult to follow back your legit followers.)
  • If someone retweets you several times in one day, be selective in how you thank them. It’s not necessary to match tweet-for-tweet in your thank you process.
  • If you post quality content, it’s possible that numerous users retweet it. (Wahoo!) In those cases, thanking each and every user may be time consuming. If it’s a business account, my advice is to minimally ensure that you’re following those users on Twitter accordingly. (Note: For the “Retweet”, Twitter only displays up to 14 most recent retweeters.)

5 Tactics to Avoid with Retweet “Thanks”

1. Do NOT post numerous thank you tweets back-to-back. It makes your profile timeline non-value-added for new prospective followers viewing your profile. Twitter features the three most recent tweets in the user profile preview pane, so consider two your maximum number for consecutive RT thank you’s. 2. Avoid posting RT thank you’s during peak content retweet hours. (Retweeting a RT is the exception.) Instead, target off-peak Twitter times (likely 6pm and later) so as not to bore your following. 3. Don’t publicly post a generic “Thanks!” or “Thanks for the RT!” It provides no value to your following. Aim to include the original tweet or link if possible. You can also include a hashtag (i.e. “Thank you for the #CRO retweets!”) so your followers or other users can identify other relevant folks they may want to follow. 4. Do NOT send a DM that merely says “Thanks for the RT!” This has no conversational value and equates to spam. Especially in the DM world, it’s likely to appear automated, which mutes the objective of building a relationship. Personalize the message so it adds value or ignites conversation. 5. Don’t periodically post public RT thank you’s specific to select individuals. You’ll risk the chance of offending the majority of folks that you didn’t thank for retweeting your content. (Occasionally missing a user here and there is expected, and much less likely to be noticed in the chaos of the busy Twitter stream.) Be consistent in your public thanks. Leverage direct messages for occasional individual thanks as needed. Try setting aside routine time (daily, weekly, or monthly based on your retweet volume) to engage and “thank” your retweeters and followers. TIP: Leverage social automation tools to schedule retweet thank you’s. (SocialOomph is great for this.) Scheduling empowers you to space out tweets and easily post during non-peak times as needed. It also helps you to schedule and manage your time so you’re not consumed with Twitter management all day long.

Benefits of Retweet “Thank You’s”

There are two core benefits of retweet thank you’s that help you build relationships:

  1. It brings a conversational aspect to your tweets.
  2. It builds loyalty and a relationship with your followers.

Ask yourself this: If a user that you highly respect took the time to mention or “thank” you for a RT, how likely would you be to RT them again? (…More likely than if they hadn’t!) These guidelines should help you build a more engaged following on Twitter by recognizing your followers and their value. Always ensure that your responses are value-added to both the user and your following, and it will have a noticeable positive impact on growing and nurturing your social media relationships. Do you recognize folks that retweet your content? If yes, how do you “thank” them? If not, why not? …and might you choose to do so after reading this post? We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Facebook Comments


  1. says

    Hi Angie,

    You’ve tackled a DELICIOUS topic here, and you’ve done a great job.

    There’s just 1 point I strongly disagree with, and that’s the retweeting of retweets. This is actually one of my pet peeves on Twitter. You see it a lot on Follow Friday, for example, and it gets to be almost like the Theater of the Obsurd.

    Person A thanks you and 15 other people for rocking

    Person B hits the retweet button, so your name is mentioned, again, with 15 other people.

    Person A retweets the retweet to thank person B for the retweet and the #ff.

    It really gets ridiculous.

    I find that the same thing happens (or can) when someone retweets a post. The person who wrote the post retweets that, and then the retweeter sometimes comes back and thanks the person for the RT!


    I prefer saying “thank you” rather than retweeting a retweet because I think it shows more human effort. You’re actually expressing gratitude rather than just retweeting.

    I’ll be writing a post soon with some of my other opinions on this issue – you’re quite a muse :)

    • says

      I know what you mean about Follow Friday tweets turning into a mess. It certainly makes the Friday Twitter stream a blur. I think the rule of ensuring posts/mentions are value-added to both the user and your following can go a long way. The #3 RT “thanks” tactic to *avoid* was the generic, “Thanks for the RT!” The same logic could be applied to generic #FF posts like you mentioned. Beyond listing “people who rock”, it would be more value-added to say what they rock at. 😉 Popping in a hashtag would be better yet. (Example: #FF Awesome #career tip tweeps! ….)

      Excellent point. Thanks for sharing!

    • says

      OK, greta post but I agree 100% with Margie. I thank almost every RT-er out of simply humanity. (minus spammers, bots and MLMers)

      There is so much noise on Twitter that is sooo much worse than me sending 1 or 2 “RT Thx” out during the day. I do agree that there are other ways to thank people as well. I often reciprocate a multiple RT-er by RT them later on and I try to comment on their blog or refer to them in my blog at some point (I have bowed in gratitude to both Margie and Jay this way)

      To look at it from the other side, not doing anything to express gratitude for the sharing seems to be the worst offense of all.

  2. says

    Angie, this is the best advice on the RT I’ve seen. I don think it is a very important part of building social capital to recognize and thank people for engaging with the content you share on Twitter. There are two types of content I curate on Twitter, my original blog posts and the blog posts of others (e.g. this one). I always thank people when they retweet my original content, but I don’t thank for the RT when the content belongs to someone else. I think the original author of the content needs to do that both for me and for my followers that also helped spread the content. Thanks! Bret

  3. says

    Excellent, strategic insight here! There is in fact an art to the RT and it’s great to see your valid, well-thought through points on the topic. I’m guilty of thanking for the RT during peak times and hadn’t thought of it from the perspective of a new follower who might get bored with that sort of ‘content’. Good reminder to schedule those for later in the day!

  4. says

    This is a tough issue for me, not because I feel compelled to send out tons of thanks, but because I have friends who don’t seem to “get it.” Or, on the other hand, when I think of a few of them, maybe they understand all too well how “Klout” interprets those rementions of names!

    I try as hard as I can not to comment, but it’s getting tough. If it’s a really clever comment, I can see it being RT’d a few times. But when it’sm Mmm, popcorn is good! I don’t see sending that out several times. But I promise you—it’s happening! I guess it’s not my place to comment.

    Thanks Angie, and Jay. I always learn here. :)

  5. says

    Well said! I agree with all of the points of the post.

    Deep down, it’s like high-fiving people after you said something great or did something cool. No one would run off stage and high-five everyone who applauded them. Simply, it’s an acknowledgment and not a requirement for every RT people do of you.


  6. says

    While I think these lists of things to do, things to not do, and things to be aware of were well-intended, I happen to think that they detract from the idea of growing human relationships since so many of the tips are steeped in being fearful of what other people think and of other people’s judgements.

    The more we tell people to do things out of fear, the more they’ll tend to do things out of obligation and less out of what they’re inspired by. To me, the first step in building human relationships, is to just be human and, I think, overthinking (especially from a fear-based perspective) how we tweet ends up subverting that.

    I understand that there are people whose career and businesses that depend on their use of social media and the attraction and keeping of followers can be a concern, and maybe these might be helpful. In the long run, though, I think being weighed down by all of these concerns end up homogenizing the twitter feeds of the people who take them to heart. We can’t tell people to be passionate and to dance like no one’s watching, and then lay “by the way, everyone *is* watching and it just might cost you followers if you’re doing it wrong” upon them.

    I actually think what Joe Manna commented is right on; we definitely wouldn’t step off stage to high five everyone who applauded us. But, we also wouldn’t show our gratitude to a distinguished member of the audience who applauded us by hopping on stage during their conference keynote to high five them just because it’s when our thank you would get most noticed and be most visible. It’s good to remember to map what we do on Twitter and social media to a human scale.

  7. says

    This is an EXCELLENT post, Angie. I personally the thank you’s and appreciation is so important to building relationships online with those who’ve shared a little of their social capital with you. I absolutely agree with scheduling out thank you tweets. It helps prevent a block on content that can bury people’s lists and columns. Great insights here…

  8. says

    Good tips here. The only exception is the tip to “schedule” a thank you. I’d like to think that if someone mentions/engages me – they are live, using the tool in that moment – that’s the beauty of twitter for me.

    • says

      Great point, Bobbie.The conversation aspect is key to consider. Scheduling can be still used over a short time period to space out tweets (so as not to hog the news feed) and still keep conversation in sight. Spacing of 5-10 minutes has worked well for me. What delay duration do you think is the max to keep discussion live?

      • says

        Good question. I have never had so many retweets that I have had to space thanks or responses :)
        But at any rate – somehow planning to space a genuine thank you just seems a bit strange to me. Be in the moment and just do it. Or use your many other Wonderful suggestions to engage in conversation. Speaking as an observer only and really do appreciate this post.

  9. says

    Many thanks for the great post. If we’d all just keep in mind what’s genuine as opposed to what’s being counted by the various cloud apps, this would all be a LOT easier. For instance, I don’t need to be thanked for retweeting a post – I’m doing that for my community rather than saying bravo to the first poster. My community thanks me for creating content or aggregating content by following me or engaging with me. I do the same.

    I think it’s time we moved past the conventions of early twitter, where people had to help others grow numbers of followers, etc. Let’s just let the quality of the content drive the followers and engagement and let the rest of the chips fall where they may.

    • Doug Long says

      I agree with letting content drive followers. Even dreaded MLMers can occasionally provide beneficial content and a decent product now and then. =) If they provide content I like and want to experience they get a follow and even retweets from me!

  10. says

    “Great minds think alike”
    I just posted a guest article on Michael Cohn’s blog CompuKol on a very similar topic, “Working out a Gratitude Philosophy.” We have some of the same ideas, but if I’d had your article for my research, my own post would have been longer.

    I liked your organization, particularly the “Exceptions to RTs” and the Benefits. Lots more to think about. Sometimes I am guilty of thanking for an RT without giving it enough thought. But after writing my own article and reading yours,I certainly will be more deliberate EVEN if that means taking more time. The rewards, as you point out, are worth it.

  11. Anonymous says

    Excellent write up. I almost passed on reading this and I’m glad that I didn’t, because I learned a lot. I figured out that when my response to a title is “duhhhh, that’s obvious” that I’d better read it, because it’s never obvious.

    Thanks for the lesson!

  12. says

    Nothing like seeing thanks for the RT over and over again in my stream from people I follow thanking all 200 people who RT their post. lol.

    Great article Jay

  13. says

    Thanks for posting.

    I like your ideas on different ways to thank others for RTs. Especially useful was your point about keeping engagement in mind if thanking someone so as to continue the conversation.

  14. says

    This blog is certainly worthy of a retweet! My humble opinion is there is no point to thanking someone for a retweet. They retweeted you because they thought your tweet was worthy of retweeting, not because they were doing you a favor. It is a wonderful pat on the back to retweet and I feel very happy and grateful to be retweeted. But thanking the person who retweeted me implies they were doing something nice for me when, in fact, they were doing something nice for their followers

  15. says

    Thanks for the thoughts. Often I wonder if there is a ‘best way’ to thank others. I appreciate it so much when someone retweets me, it makes me feel like people are actually out there listening.

  16. says

    I think it can get a little daunting at times when you get several ReTweets coming through at a time, we would all like to thanks everyone, but as you mentioned in the post, some are bots and we have to quite selective on who we thank.

    Sometimes I will RT the RT as a thank you and other times I may even follow the ReTweeter if they look interesting enough 😉

  17. says

    Some random thoughts from an early adopter…

    Thanking people for retweeting you is a waste of bandwidth, period. It’s right up there with individual #FF tweets for 20 different people, back to back to back to… Well, you get the idea.

    Twitter is about building relationships. Automation in any way is not going to achieve this honestly. “Schedule retweet thank you’s?” You’re not really serious, are you? Please don’t encourage scheduling of any sort of “personal” communication.

    If you tweet to someone the way you’d talk to someone, you’re doing it RIGHT. You’re also doing it honestly. I don’t thank people for repeating my comments to others. I also don’t use automated tools to thank anyone for anything. If you do, you really need to reconsider what honest relationship building means.

    • says

      Bravo, Maria. I cringe when people thanking someone for an RT include the body of the RT in their thanks. However sincerely intended, it comes across (to me) as self-promotion. You don’t need to tell the whole world you’re thanking someone; just thank them via @ reply or DM if so moved, or show your interest by praising something they’ve said or engaging in conversation.

    • says

      Bravo, Maria. I cringe when people thanking someone for an RT include the body of the RT in their thanks. However sincerely intended, it comes across (to me) as self-promotion. You don’t need to tell the whole world you’re thanking someone; just thank them via @ reply or DM if so moved, or show your interest by praising something they’ve said or engaging in conversation.

  18. says

    Very interesting information here and learned some new things about Twitter posts. My opinion in regard to RTs is that, I RT blog posts because I think they have value to my friends in other social networks.

  19. says

    I might miss a few folks along the way, but I make every effort to thank people who took their valuable time to read my content and Re-Tweet. You make an EXCELLENT point about not just posting “Thanks for the RT”. It doesn’t hold any weight. And for peeps that Re-Tweet a lot of your content, how could they possibly know “which” piece you’re thanking them for?! Show people you care and appreciate their time and courtesies.

    I’m hoping “thank you” never goes out of style! :)

  20. says

    Wow! Great post! I still to this day sometimes wonder how Twitter works and what etiquette to use, but I must say I think you’re right about a generic “Thank you for the RT”~ you always want to be genuine and never want to abuse something to simply get more credit for yourself. Thanks for sharing, I will be considering many of these suggestions the next time I post on Twitter! :)

  21. John Nolan says

    The etiquette on twitter is evolving quickly.

    It is helpful to hear from you how you have figured out some best practices, it saves my brain getting over heated.

    Thank you.

  22. says

    This is very good filled with info that will help the beggining tweeter. I just would like to say I do not personally like the DM thankyou. No matter what you say it sends the message that your not really thankful. IMO if your really thankful tell everyone.


  23. eddie_stephens says

    Good post. I plead “guilty” to some and sighed a “whew…glad I do that” on others. Grateful the social-sphere is forgiving for the most part. And posts like this keep the mistakes to a minimum.

  24. says

    Thanks for clearing up twitter retweet etiquette. It isn’t the easiest thing to get the hang of that is for sure. Having this great guide to fall back on when unsure will definitely help.

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  26. n.a.pdx1 says

    About retweeting a retweet, fair or foul? : a company I follow just retweeted 12 tweets from different followers back to back, each of which was the same share of headline/link of said company’s press release.

    • aschottmuller says

      That’s not cool. The Twitter stream should always present a unique display of content. This is especially critical of the 3 most recent tweets since that’s what displays to users in the quick preview. Multiple retweets of a retweet would be OK if the content was unique. If it’s the same content, it’s basically spam.

  27. planetshark says

    Jay – Once again – you nailed it and hit a home run with this post! While I agree with @aschottmuller about the RT’ing the RT stuff, I can also see how doing this on certain occasions could be beneficial to all tweeps involved. And of all the things you wrote, Jay, my fave was: Ask yourself this: If a user that you highly respect took the time to mention or “thank” you for a RT, how likely would you be to RT them again? (…More likely than if they hadn’t!) … This is something everyone on Twitter needs to ask them self whether they have 5 followers or 5 million! :)

  28. AbsoluteAlicia says

    A really useful post on RT etiquette and some interesting comments.I agree with Michael! I always thanks people for RTing in one form or another – they’ve taken the trouble to look, open, read and pass on my tweet to their followers. That deserves some gratitude in my eyes. Something else I don’t think has been mentioned here is that @replies are only visible in someone’s stream if they are following you and the recipient. It’s Twitter’s way of cutting down on noise. So unless you’re RTing the original RT it’s unlikely you’ll flood your followers’ streams with ‘thanks for the RT messages’.Regardless, I don’t think any tweets should be sent in quick succession.Thanks for a great article!

  29. says

    Reciprocating is very important for building and expanding relationship with users on social media, whether it is via ReTweet or sharing the users content in return or following them back. Not doing anything will only lead to missed opportunities.

  30. ninaguzman2 says

    I definitely enjoying every little bit of it I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post . Thanks @

  31. says

    Having just had someone retweet one of my tweets for the first time, I was delighted to find this quick guide as to the etiquette of ‘thanking’ them. Thank you.

  32. says

    Having just had someone retweet one of my tweets for the first time, I was delighted to find this quick guide as to the etiquette of ‘thanking’ them. Thank you.

  33. says

    What an awesome post on RTs. I never knew the topic could have so much to talk about. i didn’t know there was a limit to posting the same tweet. Thanks and I will be keeping some of these in mind.

  34. Upcycled Jewelry says

    I tweet a few lists of TY’s a day; some people just never have an original tweet to RT or I just don’t want to clutter things up with endless RTs of junk, and then there is #FF……

  35. vinceoutlaw says

    Great information! I guess it’s never too late to learn (based on the date of the comments here) 😉 What’s a “good follow” and what do you mean by “follow accordingly”.