To Like or to Retweet? Does it Matter?

It matters.

When you Like a tweet, a cute little heart turns red. It’s a warmand fuzzy thing. You’re sending a message that you enjoyed the tweet or found it useful. Somewhere, that makes someone happy as everyone, everywhere, not just on Twitter, wants to know someone liked something they said.

A Like is also a form of bookmarking. You can go back and review a list of your Likes, easy to display in a column in Tweetdeck.

Liking a Retweet can be tricky. If you like a tweet retweeted with a quote,  you are liking the Retweet, not the original tweet.

That’s the simple stuff about Twitter Likes. If you want the academic stuff, the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence has published a study Towards Understanding Twitter Favouriting Behaviour.

What about Retweets? Even simpler. If you retweet, you share the original tweet with your followers, who in turn might share it with their followers. It’s a bigger stamp of approval and importantly, helps promote the tweeter and the content.

When you Like or Retweet, just maybe, someone will notice you. If they have notifications turned on, they’ll see what you did. In addition, on the Tweet against the count for number of Likes and Retweets, your profile will appear.Maybe they’ll click. Much more important than potentially finding a follower, it might be the beginning of a conversation or even a friendship. Did someone whisper networking? Yes, the best kind. Honest, authentic and open.

But back to the original question. To Like or to Retweet? Why does it matter? It depends why you’re doing it. A Like gives a big thumbs up and brightens a spot in the world. That’s got to be a good thing.

But it doesn’t share the word. So if a friend announces some important news (new book! new book!), Like it, certainly, and Retweet it, definitely.  If you want to help out a friend or fellow writer, do both. Discerningly, of course.

A Retweet is a chance to be actively helpful. Remember how your Likes are a form of bookmarking? Have a look through your Likes for this week. Is there something there that deserves to be shared? Power up your Like with a Retweet and help a friend.

So the moral of this blog post is, go forth and Retweet thy writerly friends.


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