Automatic and Manual retweets on Twitter: The differences

Jillian emailed me with an issue she had after attending my Introduction to Twitter workshop the other week:

If I press the retweet button I can’t edit anything so presumably I have to copy and paste it into another tweet.  But then the link doesn’t go with it.  for instance I wanted to retweet your fibre optics post and say where does she keep the rechargeable batteries, but the link doesn’t go over and so when I go back into your tweet to pick up the link the RT has gone too!  Spend far more than half hour each day on this as I go all round the houses. 

Twitter uses the automatic retweet button for its own analytics. It can tell how many times a Tweet has been rebroadcast


Clicking on the Retweet link brings up a dialogue box.  you can not edit the link, but reproduce it entirely.


If the automatic Retweet button is used, then Twitter can tell exactly how many times this has been retweeted.  See the example below which must have appealed to a lot of people as it has been retweeted 11,659 times so far:


It is much easier to edit retweets if you use one of Twitters clients.  Here’s an example of using the edit and retweet button on Tweetdeck


Choosing ‘Edit then Retweet’ appends RT to the start of the tweet.

Other clients use “Quote tweet” as a way of copying the original tweet into a new tweet window, allowing you to edit the tweet and credit the originator of the tweet..

Eileen is a social business strategist, ZDNet columnist and author of Working The Crowd: Social Media Marketing for Business. Contact her to find out how she can help your business extend its reach.