Mastering the Two Kinds of Retweets for Better Engagement

Twitter, the fastest-growing social networking site currently, is famous for one of its most endearing and practical features, The Retweet. More than just a feature for instant sharing, the retweet (or “RT”) can be used in two different ways, for distinctly different effects and advantages.

Knowing the Two Kinds of Retweets

Kinds of RetweetsBefore moving forward, let’s know what a retweet is. A tweet is an update or a post on Twitter; more or less the equivalent of Facebook’s Status Update. When a tweet is shared by another for whatever purpose, it is essentially “retweeted” and becomes a “retweet”.

Now, let’s meet the two kinds of retweets. The first is the direct, Twitter-enabled Retweet button. One click, and a green corner art is seen on the tweet, indicating that it has been successfully retweeted. The second kind is the quote retweet. This is when you post the original tweet yourself, but cite the original source of the post.

The Direct RT

The direct RT is set as the default option on Twitter. This does three unique things:

  • It maintains the original tweeter’s profile; from the profile picture down to the link used in the original tweet.
  • It adds a green corner art of arrows to the tweet on your profile, indicating a successful retweet.
  • It copies the original tweet 100% with no edits.

Kinds of Retweets

Why would you want to use the direct RT option? This is best used when speed is important; if you don’t want the tweet to disappear under a mountain of new tweets. This is also great when you want the original author to receive complete authorship credit AND to prove that s/he (the original source) actually did send out the tweet.

The Quote RT

The quote RT is available as an option for several platforms, some of which are HootSuite, BlackBerry’s Twitter feature, and Android’s Twitter app. This has several unique options:

  • It potentially uses more characters, as “RT” or “Retweet” is added to the original message (either automatically or manually).
  • The tweet will now be credited to you as it will appear as ‘your own’, without the original author’s profile image.
  • The tweet can be edited first before sending it to cyberspace.

Kinds of Retweets

What is the quote RT for? Basically, this is the perfect option when a great tweet has a minor typographical error, a non-working link, or has a broken hash tag. This is also a good way to “own” a tweet without stealing it from the original author as s/he is @ mentioned. Lastly, you may even re-shorten a URL or link in the tweet with your own shortened version, perhaps for tracking or just because you want to (see image).


Depending on the purposes and desired outcome from a tweet, one will definitely work better than the other. Knowing which one to use when is the trick!

How do you use the two kinds of retweets for your own tweets or even social media campaigns? Please share your experiences and thoughts in the comments! 

Featured image by Rosaura Ochoa via Creative Commons.

Master the Different Kinds of Retweets

BruceSallan 1 Like

I have a rule about Retweets - don't do it unless YOU can add something. Just hitting "RT" a monkey can do. So, it you want to Retweet something 'cause you think it's valuable, take that extra minute or two - edit it down if it's too long and AT LEAST put something like "Wow" or "This is good" or even something negative if you disagree, though I think in that case just let it go!

jsncruz moderator

@BruceSallan If it's something I disagree on, I usually just let it pass - unless it REALLY warrants my attention (which happens rarely enough, thankfully) :P

Thanks for dropping by and leaving a comment!

dadblunders 1 Like



I generally will take my time and do a quote retweet. I like to add a little message to it inbetween brackets so people know I have read it. It is the best i have discovered that someone knows you have read something and still can source the original owner of the tweet using via and then the twitter handle....


Aaron Brinker aka DadBlunders 

jsncruz moderator

@dadblunders Hi Aaron, thanks for the visit.

I usually do the same, especially for tweets I particularly like or have an opinion on :P

PalRaine 1 Like

I used RT most of the time if I do my share of tweets posted on my Facebook status especially news and information for my Dabawenyo Ka Kung page.

jsncruz moderator

@PalRaine I do the same for news tweets too. Direct RT seems to be best, to retain the original sourcing.

Romelo 1 Like

I used to use the RT method but since Twitter has added Retweet, I stopped using RT and just click on Retweet if I want to retweet something...

jsncruz moderator

@Romelo It's so much more convenient, I'll give it that.

Thanks for dropping by!

msairrapingol 1 Like

I honestly didnt know that I'd love twitter that much.. I love retweeting some trending topics or a good quote for motivation. :)

jsncruz moderator

@msairrapingol Same here, Airra. I used to be a skeptic of Twitter and now I advise on its use for digital and social campaigns. Ironic :P

exlink2001 1 Like

Nice tips on twitter use. I guess in the U.S. twitter is super maximized. Here in our country I feel it is second best. For one reason : Filipinos are visual tsismoso:). 

jsncruz moderator

@exlink2001 Twitter CAN be visual too :P I think Facebook's pervasiveness is the main factor why Twitter is a second-place runner in the social usage race. 

We may not have the volume yet, but I can feel that it'll happen soon.

swexie1 1 Like

I normally use the quote RT when I want to add a few words or opinions to the tweet. =)

bloggerokuno 1 Like

I use quote RT if I want to re-post the tweet with my comment/s.  

If I simply agree, I use direct RT.

rochkirstin santos
rochkirstin santos 1 Like

I quote tweets and add "RT" before the user's Twitter handler when the number of characters can still fit into the 160-limit. When I'm feeling lazy, I just retweet the original tweet! But actually, is either one better than the other?

jsncruz moderator

@rochkirstin santos One is better than the other DEPENDING on what you're trying to achieve, as mentioned in the post.

160-character limit for non-standard tweets, right? Hehe

franckxethee 1 Like

i usually do retweets mostly and only quote RT for conversations.  Quote RT can also be used to give inputs to an existing tweets.

jsncruz moderator

@franckxethee Hi Franc, thanks for the comment. I do the same for the Quote RT! :)