Sunday, October 21, 2012

On Twitter Brand Retweets Are Up but Original Posts Are Down

To Tweet or ReTweet, that is the question. Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to speak to the world in words that are your own; Or to share the words already crafted by informed others and by not opposing them, give in to the trend?

A new study by Bazaarvoice says folks are now leaning more toward the reTweet than the Tweet but can you blame them? reTweeting is easy. It’s mindless. Whereas creating new Tweets takes time and thought.

This chart from The Conversation Index Volume 5 shows that the proportion of original brand Tweets (the turquoise shaded area) has dropped to 78% from 85% in 2010. Branded reTweets are on the rise (the dark bar). Just look at how far we’ve come since 2010. But is this a good thing or a bad thing?

On the good side, it’s nice to see people spreading the word. Every reTweet is the start of a new pool of potential customers. The downside is that reTweets get muddy with every hop. Most Tweets are too long to begin with so adding a comment in front of a reTweet means some of the original message will be truncated. If you put your links at the end, as most do, then you’re asking for that Tweet to spread without this critical information.

Many people simply RT without any added comments. It preserves the integrity of the original message but doesn’t inspire receivers to take note. It’s the difference between cutting an article out of the newspaper and mailing it to a friend, or mailing it along with your opinion of the article in a note.

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