The distinction between a retweet and a quote tweet might seem small and insignificant, but there are some situations where one works much better than the other. While the reasons range from readability to some unwritten rules of social media etiquette- and either of those can fall under some personal preferences- here are our suggestions for general rules of when to use each.
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When to use a Quote Tweet
Quote tweets are perfect for when you want to add onto an idea, quickly sharing both the original and your commentary.
— Maria Elena Duron (@mariaduron) September 15, 2016
Quote tweets are ideal for:
- Anything you want to clarify or question from another Twitter user, especially during something like a Twitter chat
- Starting a dialogue with the author of the original tweet; someone is more likely to respond to your thoughts in a quote tweet than to one of what could be many basic retweets
- Adding onto a point in a Twitter chat or other conversation
- Expanding, updating or clarifying your own previous tweets now that Twitter allows users to retweet themselves
When to simply retweet
Simply hitting the retweet button is best when you want to quickly share an idea and give credit to the author simultaneously.
Retweets are ideal for:
- Quickly sharing a joke or piece of information that doesn’t need any additional commentary
- Sharing a good piece of content you’ve read and don’t have anything to add onto, but that you think your followers would find valuable
- Some use retweets as a sort of bookmark for content they want to come back to later, but we suggest favoriting those tweets instead
We recommend sharing only what you’ve actually read- or at least skimmed- or share from authors or publications whose reputation you absolutely trust enough to blindly share their content.
Remember, your followers (and Twitter strangers) will hold you accountable for the content that you share, especially if your following is large and your brand well-known. Taking a moment to consider the most appropriate means to share a tweet could prevent a bigger headache down the line.