Gini Dietrich

When You Fake RT, You ASS-U-ME

By: Gini Dietrich | April 19, 2011 | 

In January, Mark Schaefer wrote a blog post called, “Is it OK to fake your tweets?

He begins the post by saying:

“The other day a prominent Twitter celebrity was kind enough to re-tweet one of my blog posts.  It was not Kim Kardashian.  At least that time.  Any way, because of his power and influence, my link was promptly re-tweeted by 12 of his followers.  Wow, that’s influence right?

Only problem is, in that period of time, my server was down. None of them could have possibly read my blog post.

Welcome to the world of fake tweeting.

How often does this happen?

I’m guessing more than we could possibly realize.  How many people are either tweeting without reading … or not even tweeting themselves at all?”

And, of course, he had an image of Kim Kardashian tweeting wonderful things about him that cracked me up.  

My comment on the post was:

You kill me! LOL!! It’s funny. We JUST had this conversation today. Someone was looking at the number of clicks on a certain tweet (112). But when I looked at my analtyics dashboard that our CCO so patiently gives me every day, I noticed only 48 people actually clicked through from the tweet. So 64 people fake tweeted. More than half. Oy vey.

And I went on about my day. But something he said to me in response to my comment (“this sounds like a blog post”) has stuck with me. And it’s begun to grate on my nerves. And not only is it grating on my nerves that people are fake tweeting, but also that they are assuming the content you’re linking to says one thing and tweeting their assumption.


If you want to have a Twitter conversation, don’t assume you know what the link is about before you dive in, head first. ESPECIALLY if you think you’re going to debate me. Might want to check the facts first.

Let me give you an example.

Jayme Soulati has made it a goal to redefine the meaning of public relations. She’s been writing about it for months and enlisting help from PR and integrated marketing professionals. She’s even managed to get input from PRSA. I’m fully supportive of these efforts, but think we have a long way to go before it’s redefined and our industry begins to have a better perception.

Because I have a vested interest in seeing her succeed and because well, Spin Sucks, I tweet her blog posts, after I’ve read and commented on them.

For instance:

Should we define PR for fifth graders? by @soulati

I got a few retweets on that from people who have actually clicked on the link and read what it’s about. That’s good!

But there were more than five RTs that said things such as:

Why should I care? RT @ginidietrich Should we define PR for fifth graders? by @soulati

Which makes it pretty evident you haven’t read the blog post. You’ve just made an assumption and RT’d the link, likely in the hopes of debating me or Jayme.

Or, maybe I’m giving you too much credit and you’re just being lazy and figure it’ll be a good post and you’re adding some value by asking your network a question to perhaps entice them into reading the blog post.

I’m all for a good debate. I love professional discourse. But we all know the definition of ASS-U-ME.

Do yourself a favor. At least click on the link and quickly scan the material before you RT it. You’ll help the blogger’s traffic and you won’t have made an assumption that ends up making you look like a donkey.

About Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder and CEO of Arment Dietrich, an integrated marketing communications firm. She is the author of Spin Sucks, co-author of Marketing in the Round, and co-host of Inside PR. She also is the lead blogger at Spin Sucks and is the founder of Spin Sucks Pro.

Spin Sucks in Your Inbox

176 responses to “When You Fake RT, You ASS-U-ME”

  1. NancyD68 says:

    Maybe I just don’t get it. Why would someone RT something they have not read? I don’t have that many followers (yet) but I always make sure anything I RT not only have I seen, but I have liked and think that my followers may get something out of, even if it is only a laugh.

    I don’t have time for games or nonsense. All of my Tweets are me. (Maybe I should clone myself – that could be interesting) I like having conversations with people and so again, why do I want to fake that?

  2. NancyD68 says:

    Maybe I just don’t get it. Why would someone RT something they have not read? I don’t have that many followers (yet) but I always make sure anything I RT not only have I seen, but I have liked and think that my followers may get something out of, even if it is only a laugh.

    I don’t have time for games or nonsense. All of my Tweets are me. (Maybe I should clone myself – that could be interesting) I like having conversations with people and so again, why do I want to fake that?

  3. MollyFulton says:

    I have often been tempted to RT on the basis of a good headline – and a couple of times I have – with full disclosure that I am only amused by the title, having not read the post (e.g. Italy Enraged by Jersey Shore – that’s funny w/o wasting my time on the article, right?). But your point is well taken. If one wants to contribute to the conversation and/or truly create value in thought, word, and deed – it’s pretty helpful to know what the hell you’re talking about. Good titles are ticklers, not the full story – which often goes in a different direction entirely. Now I can RT this post with confidence!

  4. ginidietrich says:

    @NancyD68 I’m with you! Whenever someone DMs me and asks me if I’ll tweet a blog post for them, I always tell them I’ll be happy to after I read it. Some people find this exasperating, especially if they know I read their stuff anyway. But I just won’t do it blindly. The one time I do, it’ll be something I vehemently disagree with and then the definition of assume prevails.

  5. KDillabough says:

    Gini, I’ve never RT’d without going to the link and reading the article. But this brings up a great point. I spend a huge amount of time reading (which I love), RT’ing things I think others will love and benefit from…but it’s easy to spend hours consuming content for the purpose of my own learning, and then to share. Not complaining…love to do it. But I find, then, that the time I’m devoting to my own blog and business growth is diminished.

    A bit of a catch 22. In order to grow and build my business and credibility, I want to provide value: both my own content and others. I also wrestle with the whole “live”/automation thing (currently am always live, basically because I haven’t yet figured out how to automate effectively. Yes, I even have the tools, but learning about the tools poses another whole time commitment:)

    Bottom line: I think it’s silly and fruitless and nonsensical to blindly tweet or forward something that you haven’t reviewed yourself. I think to ride on the coattails of someone else’s credibility and expertise by blindly RT’ing doesn’t do a service to yourself or those you’re serving. Kaarina

  6. ginidietrich says:

    @MollyFulton Now you CAN RT this post! LOL! And your point is well taken in that you probably don’t want to read some terrible story about Jersey Shore. But then, I wouldn’t want to RT it, either. Kind of like the whole he who shall not be named here (hint: #winning)…I refused to say his name or tweet anything about him on principle.

  7. KDillabough says:

    @MollyFulton Totally understand the temptation, but I agree: without reviewing the info yourself, how can you be (over-used word here) authentic?

  8. ginidietrich says:

    @KDillabough So I have some advice: Use Social Oomph or Hootsuite to schedule your tweets. I do this when I read something I want to tweet, but instead of doing it right then, I schedule it. That way, it looks like I’m on Twitter all day when I’m really only there very early in the morning and after 6 p.m. And I can spend my time engaging with people, clicking on links, and deciding what I want to read later when I am there.

  9. adamtoporek says:

    Hi Gini, This is my first time commenting here, but I’ve been visiting for a few weeks. You really have a great site! I enjoyed this post and agree with the message, so I have to ask: How do you feel about Triberr? It basically automates what you are discussing in this post. I’m still pretty new to Twitter, and I’m still trying to wrap my head around Twitter itself, much less the Triberr thing. I know some of the people I respect most in the blogosphere / social media world use it, but it certainly puts assumption on autopilot. After reading this post, would love your thoughts.

  10. KDillabough says:

    @ginidietrich Thanks for the advice Gini: I have Hootsuite, but haven’t taken the time to learn and understand its use. What I’m finding is that the learning curve and time commitment to understand all the tools is as time-consuming as the “production” side of the biz. Perhaps it’s just the lifelong learner in me that yearns to understand things…I spend as much time figuring out how to use the darn things as I do finally using them

    But thanks for the advice and the prompt: hootsuite learning curve today! I probably have about 7 unread training emails from them in my inbox:)

  11. Soulati says:

    Thanks for making our collective journey to try and define PR part of this discussion on faking the alphabet. I kinda want to know how peeps do that? How can the ticker increase and the analytics show differently? Now my secret is out; I can’t possibly fake it.

    I’ve written in the past about RTs, too. “Think Before You RT.” Kinda like that Miller beer campaign I did at an agency in Chicago, “Think Before You Drink.”

    Now I’m going to head to that little green button above and click it! Thanks for the mentions!

  12. MollyFulton says:

    @KDillabough When I RT based on a headline – again, it is with full disclosure that I am only interested in the comedy of the title. I don’t think I’m being inauthentic. When I’m weighing in on something for real, I read – a lot. I’m in complete agreement with you about the dilemma of automation. I never use autoresponses, but Gini’s advice about scheduling is very good.

  13. @reidontravel (a bogger for lonely planet) once got so sick of blind RTs he posted a link to under the tweeet Top 20 travel destinations.

    Maybe a nice video saying you got spinsucked?

  14. KDillabough says:

    @MollyFulton Totally get your point on the RT based on headline, and wouldn’t classify that as inauthentic, ‘cuz you said you do so with disclosure. I meant RT’ing content value without at least a quick read/review as being inauthentic. We’re on the same page:)

  15. This has become a pet peeve of mine, as well. Another reason it’s important to read the content first before sharing is to make sure the link is active! I remember a time when I sent a tweet with a link, but I missed the last letter when I copied the URL, so the link wasn’t active. I got a few RTs, but only one person gave me the heads up that the link wasn’t active – meaning not everyone read it before they tweeted it. I always remember that and in addition to actually caring about what the content deals with before I endorse it, I want to make sure the link really works.

  16. arminda says:

    What I’m discovering is how wonderfully small this world of SM is, and the value for each of us in actually reading what’s out there. Here’s what I learn: all the cool and intelligent and great people I know, know one another, and community is about sharing, contributing, and gleaning information. Then if we’re smart, we RT relevant content with a new nugget of our own to add to the growing base of knowledge.

    Jayme is amazing. Gini is a rockstar

  17. Shonali says:

    @ginidietrich You’re very good about scheduling your tweets; I’m very hit-and-miss when it comes to that… I have to get better! What I particularly like about your tweets is that I know you’re not just scheduling anything and everything. That makes a huge difference.

  18. Shonali says:

    @ginidietrich @NancyD68 I think maybe sometimes people who are trying to build “large” followings will RT away till the end of day in the hopes that others will follow them. They’re probably also trying to build visibility within certain communities that use hashtags frequently.

  19. Shonali says:

    All I will say is: LOVE.

  20. KDillabough says:

    @Shonali @ginidietrich Now I’m even more super-jazzed to learn how to schedule tweets: I’m with you Shonali!

  21. MackCollier says:

    Gini I don’t see this as ‘fake’ tweeting, but as a sign of the trust that a network places in the person they are following.

    For example, if I saw you tweet ‘Guys, @BethHarte has just written THE definitive guide to IMC. The rest of you can stop writing now –‘ then I would likely RT that link without reading it. Because I trust that if you are sharing the link, that it’s amazing (plus I trust that anything Beth writes is amazing).

    Again, I see it as a sign of trust and appreciation for the great content you share. Do I think you should do it all the time? Of course not, but it does sometimes happen.

  22. Soulati says:

    @arminda I am absolutely amazed when the 6 pixels of separation continues to be proven among our growing community. Happened after Social Slam with someone I just met who happens to own a website blog with another tweep from my legal niche. Always jaw dropping, cool and jazzy! (Thanks for the kudos, Arminda! )

  23. EricaAllison says:

    Taking a page from your guide book, I schedule my tweets in advance of the posts that I find most relevant, interesting or likely to engage. Do I do it every day without fail? No. I do my best and I think the folks that follow me know that what I’m choosing to tweet, I’ve read. That was why the original Triberr approach wasn’t a fit for me, I wasn’t reading all of the posts that I was tweeting and I didn’t know the folks well enough to have the trust factor that @MackCollier is referring to. So, as you know, I opted out.

    I used to have a policy that I only RT’d what I had read – now THAT was exhausting, esp if I tried to keep up a certain pace. Now, I read, RT, then go back later to comment if I didn’t do it to begin with. That works best for me. In the end, it should be about what is a good ‘fit’ for the person tweeting and that they do it consistently.

  24. EricaAllison says:

    Oh, and my mother taught me early on the definition of ASS-U-ME. I felt so worldly when she did. : )

  25. KDillabough says:

    @EricaAllison @MackCollier Erica, I’m at your “exhausting” phase. Glad to hear of all the solutions, opinions and perspectives here. And Mack…I agree that when someone takes the time to preface the RT, and it’s someone you trust that’s doing the share, it’s really their reputation that’s on the line if the link/share stinks.

  26. Hi Gini… I think a lot of the people out there who fake tweet just end up making themselves look bad in the long run. If one of there followers takes the time to read the blog post, they know what’s up.

    As for the negative nellies out there… “Why should I care? RT”… I never give much credence to them when I see there RT. I’m a half-half kind of guy so I don’t bother following them.

    –Tony Gnau

  27. jackielamp says:

    I LOVE THIS POST. It’s very frustrating when people RT with their commentary and it’s so obvious they didn’t read the article because their comments are way off base. I think if you want to RT something without reading first because you trust the tweeter and/or author of the piece, OK that’s fine by me. It’s hard to read everything. But if you’re going to throw an opinion out there, please read the article first and give an educated opinion. Otherwise….ASS-U (more than ME).

  28. C_Pappas says:

    So ‘fake it till you make it’ doesnt work on Twitter?! LOL. So with me I am tempted beyond belief to RT things from trusted people as Mack mentioned in the comments. Do I need to read the article if the tweet conveys a message that I think my followers will be interested in and I trust the original source? Perhaps. So, I feel like sometimes I am neglecting Twitter sometimes and this has a lot to do with my little spare time to get out there and read good stuff that I feel derserves to be passed along. I cant stand a fake, RT, person, handbag, or otherwise, but I do feel there is some room for time saving tactics, like automating tweets and RT-ing valuable content from reliable sources. And for those that RT and add a comment that has nothing to do with the content inside the link, just ignore ’em.

  29. cubanalaf says:

    Sometimes I read an article and take it much differently than someone else. I read it twice, even – but as an auditory learner, unless I read it out loud, sometimes I just don’t get it. It might seem as if I haven’t read the article to someone who took it differently – but on the flipside, isn’t this something we struggle with with clients? We might mean one thing, but they take it some other way. Or the way my opinion is stated might lead you to believe that I didn’t read it/you don’t agree. Someone might have a different view on what qualifies as an educated opinion.

    Granted, fake RT’ing does happen. I’m sure some people tweet out from people they trust without reading. I actually did an experiment last fall with a catchy title that supposedly linked to my blog – but it went to a David Hasselhoff music video. It would scare you how many people RT’ed that.


  30. Adrian_Dayton says:

    Me culpa,

    I’ve been guilty of this. Sometimes I RT, then I read the article (and sometimes wish I hadn’t shared it) Sometimes I RT something because it comes from a trusted source and I’m honestly not interested in reading it- but I know some of my followers will bill. Sometimes I’m just being lazy and I want to add value without verifying that the link is actually valuable.

    I don’t think its necessarily bad to RT without reading something, but it is risky. You risk sharing something that is of poor quality- and that hurts your brand. I might still roll the dice sometimes and RT something I don’t have time to read, it’s risky, but I’m not sure its quite as bad as Gini says.

  31. jgwhitt says:

    Authenticity seems to be such a big topic in SM circles, so it is surprising to me that one wouldn’t think it would be important to actually read the article for RT’ing. I admit I have done it in the past but I think managing a corporate Twitter feed has made me more careful about what I retweet professionally and personally. I just want to avoid tweeting something that could potentially harm either of the brands in my life.

  32. Success4Coaches says:

    This post is great. I actually am

  33. Success4Coaches says:

    This is a great post. I won’t RT what I haven’t read with very few exceptions. The exceptions are if I have scanned a post and consider the source reputable. My pet peeves are the people who RT something someone tweeted when in fact they didn’t tweet actually tweet it.

  34. Success4Coaches says:

    This is a great post. There are so many people who RT with one purpose and that is to gain popularity. For that reason, they don’t care about what the post was actually about.. Personally, I won’t RT unless I read it and liked it! My pet peeves are the people who RT someones tweet when the person never tweeted it. The RT-er cheated and I find that outrageous!

  35. ginidietrich says:

    @KDillabough Start with Social Oomph then. No training. No learning curve. Just do as if you’re tweeting, but you set a date and time.

  36. ginidietrich says:

    @Shonali I do it every day as part of my routine, from 7 a.m. through 6 p.m. I got caught up on my Reader on Sunday so I scheduled most of the week’s tweets then. I used to feel badly that I was tweeting something a few days old, but now I know it’s driving more traffic to the blogger so I don’t care!

  37. KenMueller says:

    @ginidietrich @KDillabough I’ll just weigh in as someone who doesn’t like scheduling tweets. I never have. And I am on Twitter a lot in between things. I multitask very well. I’m ok with what Gini does because she IS on Twitter live at times and does respond to people. Many who schedule….that’s all they do. The way I look at it…if I only tweet live, it sets expectations. People know whether I’m online or not, and have an idea as to whether or not I’ll respond in a timely manner. You could call me a purist across the board on this one. But I do understand that there is sometimes a need for some scheduling.

  38. ginidietrich says:

    @adamtoporek First, thank you! Secondly, that was exactly my biggest problem with triberr in the beginning. But they created a manual option so I can go in and schedule the posts after I’ve read them. It’s really up to you. As @MackCollier points out above, there are some people you’ll blindly RT because you trust the heck out of them, which is what Triberr strives to do. Or you can use the manual option to send stuff out after you’ve had a chance to vet it.

  39. KDillabough says:

    @ginidietrich Thanks, Gini, for the heads-up and help to alleviate my head-banging:)

  40. nateriggs says:

    To be honest, I think it could go both ways.

    On one side, I will admit in some cases I have faked tweeted when there was a relationship and I was supporting the content of someone who 1) consistently produces good stuff, and 2) if in the first few sentences I can find a nugget of interest.

    On the other side, I think fake tweeting might be some of what is causing the slow death (and by death I mean shrinking user base) of Twitter. Most regular users do not know how nor have the desire to use tools to cut through the noise … and there’s a heck of a lot of noise these days.

    Here’s a nugget that’s interesting. I distribute my blog posts on Twitter throughout the day, somewhere between 4-6 tweets over a 18-20 hour period to meet the time zone shifts. On good days, I get a decent amount of RT’s. I then put my blog posts on Facebook (profile, not page) 1-2 times each day, usually once in the morning and once in the evening. In my analytics, Facebook consistently beats Twitter and as a referring URL’s with less than half the effort. Seems to me that Fake RT’s might be a part of why that’s happening…

    Anyone else experience something similar?

  41. EricaAllison says:

    @KDillabough Woops, meant to write, I only RT’d what I had read and commented on. I was trying to comment first and then RT. But, I think you knew what I meant! : )

  42. michael_taggart says:

    This is becoming a real problem because of the (perfectly laudable) activity of content curation. The notion that curation is a way to avoid censure in highly regulated industries is gaining traction. I have some financial services clients and some see curation as the innoculation against the trouble content *creation* can bring. There are even books about it. You’ve probably read one Gini.

    So people get into the whole idea that curation can help them achieve their community management goals and then, one day, they think “hey, I could save a lot of time by bringing this stuff to my community without wasting time reading it.”

    I reckon people who regularly cut corners like that – in the end – will get found out. When you game the system to the extent that it’s an actual strategy, you’ll get caught and pay the consequences.

    Incidentally, I believe that – if you have time – you should scan the comments beneath any blog before commenting to make sure you are adding to the community and that what you want to say doesn’t miss a related debate that’s raging in the comments or repeat a point that’s been made lots of times already.

    Thoughtful stuff Gini.


  43. KDillabough says:

    @EricaAllison Did indeed:)

  44. dino_dogan says:

    @ginidietrich @adamtoporek triberr @MackCollier yeah…what Gini said (abt Triberr) 🙂

    Thnx Gini for letting me know of the mention..I was behind on my reading today so I missed it.

    Mack…people who blindly RT and add (what they think is) a witty comment are assess indeed 🙂

  45. KaryD says:

    The only time I come close to “fake RT” is when I see someone tweet a link to a post that I already read on my reader and then I RT without clicking the url in the tweet. And, when I do this, I gotta admit that I feel a little dirty. I question – was that a good link? What if there’s now a whole slew of comments that have changed the course of the message?

    A RT is an endorsement and/or an extension of your name and your brand. I even shy away from the “new” RT’s that don’t allow me to add context to the tweet.

    I’ve long been a fan of ass-U-me…warms my heart to see it in this context. 🙂

  46. MackCollier says:

    @dino_dogan @ginidietrich @adamtoporek triberr So Dino are you calling me an ass?

  47. ExtremelyAvg says:

    @KenMueller @ginidietrich @KDillabough I agree that it is fine for Gini to schedule her tweets, because we know her type of schedule and the massive following she has. When I send something to Gini, I don’t expect a response, or at the very least, I don’t expect it right away.

    If someone is new to twitter and trying to build up relationships, the this is, in my humble opinion, a bad idea. If you scedule your tweets and someone responds within seconds, the expect you to be there, to have a conversation. If you are not, they will just assume you are a spammer. When you achieve Rock Star status, go ahead, but until then, so it the old fashion way. Work at it.


    Brian Meeks

    p.s. This comment is scheduled to be posted within the next hour. I will be away from my desk and not responding to any replies. By away from my desk, I mean napping at my desk. I think you understand…zzzz.

  48. Shonali says:

    @ginidietrich I got over the “it’s a few days old” part as well for the same reason, but the one thing I don’t think I can do right now is do ’em on Sundays (or even the weekend in general) – I’m really trying to keep that “offline” time. I think I’ll have to figure out how to incorporate it into my day, maybe 2-3 times a day, for 15-20 minutes. But I don’t know if I can do it at 7 a.m., LOL.

  49. Shonali says:

    @ExtremelyAvg That is true. But I don’t think it’s a bad idea for people/businesses who are new to set up, say, one scheduled tweet a day – say it’s the new blog post. And FWIW (taking a page out of @3HatsComm ‘s vocab), I personally expect anyone who I @ message to respond. Doesn’t matter if it’s late, I can live with that. But Rock Star or no Rock Star, respond, dammit! Unless it’s a spammer, in which case I’d like them to all go back under their special Rock. @KenMueller @ginidietrich @KDillabough

  50. KDillabough says:

    @ExtremelyAvg @KenMueller @ginidietrich Love the p.s.! And since I’m nowhere near Rock Star status, I will continue to be “live”, while investigating the tools that Gini suggested. Perhaps there’s a happy medium there somewhere.

  51. I’ve been guilty of this offense on more than one occasion, but I venture to say that so has everyone else. Allow me to pause for a moment to define the fake tweeting I’ve done: RT a post by a close friend or twitterleague (twitter + colleague) before reading it simply because I have absolute faith in the content but I do not have the time to presently read the post, but I want to help promote it anyways. I always return to read post that I preemptively RT though.

    Playing devil’s advocate here: I do understand the rationale to RT without reading a particular post. I do not support the strategy, but I can relate to the desire to feel accepted on Twitter especially when initially engaging in certain communities.

    For now, my popularity hides in the obscurity, thus I don’t really have to worry about fake RT’ers out there skewing my numbers, but Gini, for your sake as well as others, it seems we are in dire need of a masked vigilante of the interwebs protecting all the innocent bloggers from villainous spammers, faker RT’ers, and drive-by commenters.

  52. KenMueller says:

    @Shonali @ExtremelyAvg @3HatsComm @ginidietrich @KDillabough I actually have to admit to scheduling one tweet each day. When I schedule my blog to publish at 7am each morning, it’s also set to go out on Twitter automatically through Google Feedburner’s interface. And I’m with Shonali, and I assume most of you, that I like a response from a real person (and preferably the RIGHT person)

  53. KDillabough says:

    @Shonali @ExtremelyAvg @3HatsComm @KenMueller @ginidietrich I’m taking your points, Shonali, and gonna try to live the “happy medium” AND respond in person, to the person:)

  54. faybiz says:

    I’ve basically given up on Triberr for this reason- I have NO clue what is going out. While I will use Hootsuite, Timely, and Buffer even to schedule. I promise, I’ve at least scanned at minimum if not read entirely (which is 90% of the time I’d estimate)

    More often than not I will try and use it to create new link and not just RT but making sure I give credit where credit is due.

    Too often RT are retreaded RTs and you are really getting something second or third hand

  55. Soulati says:

    @Shonali @KenMueller @ginidietrich You know what I hate about scheduled tweets, though? When I respond to the tweet and no one answers! That launches a slow flame. So, now I wonder whether this tweet looks “scheduled” and I wait until I see real interaction! @KDillabough

  56. Soulati says:

    Oh, no, I have a confession! Just saw @Shonali RT of @markwschaefer blog post, and she said it was “fab, fab.” Well, b/c I hold them both in the higest regard, I did not open and read! This better not have been a set up to something in poor taste, you two!

  57. Shonali says:

    @Soulati LOL, I just saw that, and then this comment. Can I say ROFL?! :p And thank you for the kind words.

    I think it’s a little of everything, and along the lines of what @MackCollier said earlier (hi, Mack!). When you trust someone, you feel better if you RT them even without clicking through. That’s why I’m ok with the current Triberr tribe I’m in; because I know what’s going out through there is 99% good (there’s always the 1% chance it isn’t, regardless of who it is), so I don’t mind those “auto” tweets going out.

    What I try to be careful of, though, and why I disliked Twitter changing the RT format a while ago so that you couldn’t add any commentary, is a plain RT (if you remember, I didn’t just RT Mark’s post, I added my opinion and scratched the “RT” part of it. Yes, it’s true that I did schedule this particular tweet, but I’d read Mark’s post (and commented), so I felt good doing that. See, @ginidietrich , I’m trying to do better already!

    No set up. I promise. At least, not by me. :p

  58. Shonali says:

    @Soulati @KenMueller @ginidietrich @KDillabough Well, hopefully that has never happened with me, and if it does, you’re allowed to spank me.

  59. KenMueller says:

    @Soulati @KDillabough OK. @Shonali just opened a whole other can of worms, and is taking this blog to places I’m sure that @ginidietrich never expected. And since I don’t know her well enough…I’ll behave.

  60. Shonali says:

    @KenMueller Ha! If I know @ginidietrich , she’ll be quite ok with it.

  61. KenMueller says:

    @Shonali @ginidietrich OK, so um….if my head explodes I’m blaming you two!

  62. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati @Shonali HAHAHA! I don’t think Shonali has it in her entire body to set someone up like that. But that would be REALLY funny!

  63. ginidietrich says:

    @Shonali If I don’t do it on the weekends, I actually just keep Social Oomph open and add stuff as I read and comment. That way it’s not a big deal and is as easy as tweeting it right then.

  64. ginidietrich says:

    @ExtremelyAvg @KenMueller @KDillabough But…I have always managed Twitter this way. Even when I had only five followers. People quickly came to expect that the news and stories were scheduled and me time was not. I think that’s all it is – set expectations. If I tweeted when I read, you’d get 50 tweets at once and then nothing for two days. I spread it out to make it more manageable for all of us.

  65. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati No, Jayme. We’re just all ignoring you.

  66. ginidietrich says:

    @Shonali @KenMueller I have to say “spank me” I expect from @Soulati but I’m kind of floored it came from Shonali.

  67. ginidietrich says:

    @MackCollier It kind of looks that way to me! @dino_dogan

  68. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati So we answered your question at PRSA today.

  69. ginidietrich says:

    @johnfalchetto I wish I’d thought of that before now, but it sounds like @cubanalaf thought of it ages ago!

  70. ginidietrich says:

    @Nikki_Stephan It’s the whole, you are who you surround yourself with, idea.

  71. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati @arminda Did you just quote mitchjoel without attribution?! MITCH! It wasn’t me! You can sue @Soulati for your royalties!

  72. ginidietrich says:

    @arminda I love that you can now get onto Livefyre. Welcome back!

  73. ginidietrich says:

    @Shonali That’s because you had a ton more to say down there (shoot, I can’t figure out how to get an arrow pointing down).

  74. ginidietrich says:

    @MackCollier But wouldn’t you want to read that before you tweeted it? Or do you tweet and then go back and read later?

  75. ginidietrich says:

    @T60Productions Were your ears burning today? I mentioned you at PRSA when asked a question about professional videos.

  76. ginidietrich says:

    @jackielamp It seriously makes me nuts, Jackie! I’m totally cool with the debate, but if you’d read what you just RT’d, you’d know we AGREE!

  77. ginidietrich says:

    @cubanalaf This seriously made my day! I’ve been telling everyone about it. HAHAHAHAH! LOL

  78. ginidietrich says:

    @C_Pappas Oh fake it til you make it works, somehow, for you, Christina!

  79. ginidietrich says:

    @Adrian_Dayton What?! You sort of disagree with me?! Out with it, Adrian!

  80. ginidietrich says:

    @jgwhitt Great point about managing a corporate Twitter account and being careful what you tweet from there. I think we should handle our personal accounts that way, as well.

  81. ginidietrich says:

    @Success4Coaches Wait. How do you mean? You mean, someone would actually write a tweet: “This is awesome! RT @ginidietrich blog post, link” and I wouldn’t have actually written the initial tweet?

  82. ginidietrich says:

    @nateriggs Fascinating! Twitter continues to be our #1 source of traffic, followed by Networked Blogs, Facebook, and then Google. While we don’t get 10 views on a particular link (even though it may have been RT’d that many times), it definitely is driving traffic.

  83. ginidietrich says:

    @michael_taggart There are so many reasons I like you, but this comment definitely is near the top of the list! If you game the system, if you take short cuts, if you fake it til you make it (as @C_Pappas says), you will be found out!

  84. ginidietrich says:

    @KaryD But that’s different – you’ve already read the post and feel comfortable in sharing the content. And thank you! I’ve seen a few people delete the hyphens when they RT it, which I think is actually awesome because they’re living the no swearing mantra on Twitter.

  85. ginidietrich says:

    @JamesDBurrell2 Twitterleague?! Did you just make that up? Have you been hanging out with 3hatscommunications ?? As for the vigilante, I appoint you Superman of the blogosphere ( @dino_dogan already has Batman) so begin protecting us all!

  86. ginidietrich says:

    @faybiz Except…Triberr has changed and you can now schedule the tweets AFTER you’ve read them.

  87. Soulati says:

    Wait, say what? Is that his trademark? Dang, pardon moi. Just don’t send me to YouTube Copyright School, I already watched the cartoon and answered the quiz questions! (Sorry, Mitch; wasn’t intended!) @ginidietrich @arminda mitchjoel

  88. Soulati says:

    No kidding? Do I get a prize? Are you gonna do a guest post on my blog with the answer? @ginidietrich

  89. ExtremelyAvg says:

    @ginidietrich @KenMueller @KDillabough I just know that I often will test people who have recently followed me, by responding to their tweet…Are you a bot? If they don’t answer within a reasonable amount of time…ususally 1 1 millionth of a second, the I send the blockopotamus over to chew off their leg.

    I guess you are grandfather claused in, Gini, because everyone already knows you are the most powerful woman on the internet and you could beging smiting at any minute. Or maybe it is just because we think you are Terrific, plus I know you have been secretly giving the blockopotamus carrots and cookies, so he loves you too.

  90. Shonali says:

    @ginidietrich What can I say… you got me. :p @Soulati

  91. Soulati says:

    @ginidietrich @Shonali @KenMueller We interrupt this regularly scheduled family time with mom making dinner (that’s me) to fend off an attack by a Somali pirate with whom I take serious umbrage at the insinuation of proclivities that shall remain private as well as an assault on my credibility and extremely awesome reputation. That. Is. All.

  92. Shonali says:

    @ginidietrich I know. I’m late like that. :p

  93. Shonali says:

    Woo hoo! @KDillabough @ExtremelyAvg @3HatsComm @KenMueller @ginidietrich

  94. Shonali says:

    @ginidietrich See? First, “Cor Blimey.” Then, “Spank me.” I plan to keep surprising you. @KenMueller @Soulati

  95. faybiz says:

    @ginidietrich @faybiz Ok but how does it make it easier/better than what I am already doing? plus how does it address this:

    this link: leads to this post:

    you RT from Triberr the other day

    really disconcerting

  96. jackielamp says:

    @ginidietrich Haha exactly. Sometimes I’m like, “wait…we are on the same page…why are you debating me?”

  97. Isn’t it “ears ringing?” I’ll have to check with my mom who’s the old-sayings expert. Anyway, I have ringing ears frequently, but I usually just chalk that up to my college football career. 🙂

    But I kid! Thanks BTW… I’m going to shoot you an email.

  98. KellyeCrane says:

    @adamtoporek The automatic, automated version of Triberr is very bad, in my opinion (sorry my opinion makes you sad, Dino!). It’s all about driving traffic for the members of the tribe, without regard for the followers/readers of these tweets. I don’t need to see the same headline 7 times from 7 different people, multiplied by 7 (since they’re all auto-tweeting each other’s stuff). That is straight broadcasting, and goes against what social sharing is about.

    Call me old-fashioned, but I’d rather have less traffic and be a good citizen of the community. For a new Twitter, user you have great instincts!

  99. ExtremelyAvg says:

    @nateriggs I only tweet my blog post once per day and rarely do I put it on FB, but I have found that when I do put it on FB, it gets almost zero hits. I am quite sure that it is because my FB followers are all people who know me in real life and couldn’t care less about the drivel I write. I like them because of their discerning taste. 🙂

  100. KDillabough says:

    @ginidietrich @JamesDBurrell2 3hatscommunications @dino_dogan This community is just WAY too much fun!

  101. ginidietrich says:

    @faybiz Yeah…they had the links mixed up on Sunday. They fixed it. Really quickly. I guess, if you’re in a beta test, you have to be willing to let them make mistakes and fix things. I’m pretty patient with that stuff because we’re about to go through the same thing and I want people to be patient!

  102. ginidietrich says:

    @KDillabough I think we might scare some people away because of it.

  103. KenMueller says:

    @Shonali @ginidietrich @Soulati now we’re spanking Somali pirates? This is no longer fun.

  104. ginidietrich says:

    @ExtremelyAvg LOL!!

  105. ginidietrich says:

    @Soulati I don’t know if I’ll do a blog post or just get you the snippet via video

  106. 3HatsComm says:

    Finally made it here .. sigh. I’ve called this ‘drive by tweeting’ and it’s always driven me nuts. It’s just so fake, like the automated crap. I don’t think I tweet a lot of stuff and it’s b/c I take the time to read – or at least scan – before I share; not to mention add a little something to make you want to click, read the post. FWIW.

    Now to dive into the comments, always the best part. 😉

  107. KDillabough says:

    @Soulati @Shonali @KenMueller @ginidietrich Did someone say real interaction? The buzz around this topic makes me feel like a Wiley Coyote on the tail of the Roadrunner. So much fun to share and banter!

  108. KDillabough says:

    @Shonali @Soulati @KenMueller @ginidietrich The heat turns up:)

  109. KDillabough says:

    @KenMueller @Soulati @Shonali @ginidietrich In my best Austin Powers voice….”oh behave:)”

  110. 3HatsComm says:

    @faybiz Curious about scheduling via Buffer, if it does make it easier, faster, more efficient? And I agree on the ‘giving credit’ often try to find at least the post author if no one else.

  111. 3HatsComm says:

    @JamesDBurrell2 Not to mention porn hucksters, iPad scammers and knock off Viagra sales hacks. Only genuine, quality Viagra for this Twitterleague, damnit! 😉

  112. 3HatsComm says:

    @ExtremelyAvg @nateriggs Twins! Thanks Brian, you’ve summed up my lack of FB strategy perfectly.

  113. KDillabough says:

    @ExtremelyAvg @ginidietrich @KenMueller I guess I missed the 1 1 millionth of a second! Keeping up with this fast-paced crowd is a whole new exercise for me! Please don’t send the blockopotamus:)

  114. 3HatsComm says:

    @cubanalaf Oh fake RTers Busted, I likey. Sending them to The Hoff? That’s better than a rickroll.

  115. 3HatsComm says:

    @MackCollier @BethHarte I get theory Mack, but more than a few times I have clicked dead links that were blindly RT. So not only did the tweet not work, but I know the person I ‘trusted’ to follow didn’t even bother to click and test the link before sharing it, much less actually read the post. FWIW.

  116. 3HatsComm says:

    @MackCollier @BethHarte I get theory Mack, but more than a few times I have clicked dead links that were blindly RT. So not only did the tweet not work, but I know the person I ‘trusted’ to follow didn’t even bother to click and test the link before sharing it, much less actually read the post. FWIW.

  117. KDillabough says:

    @ginidietrich No way: who’d want to miss this action?

  118. ginidietrich says:

    @3HatsComm Yeah…the comments here today are OUT OF CONTROL!

  119. ginidietrich says:

    @KDillabough LOL! Good point.

  120. BethHarte says:

    @MackCollier Why thank you Mack! You know I don’t write crap…but always amazing?! LOL! 😉 And I am happy to know that you trust me and Gini that much.

    I agree, sometimes I re-tweet posts that I have only scanned and not read throughly or commented on. I am busy, you know?! That said, I did that once and someone called me on it. When I went back and re-read the post I was horrified. It contained something I totally didn’t agree with (it was more political than marketing).

    I then promptly broke cardinal social media guru rule #12. I DELETED my tweet. HA! 🙂

  121. KDillabough says:

    @Shonali @ExtremelyAvg @3HatsComm @KenMueller @ginidietrich Ditto!

  122. ginidietrich says:

    @KellyeCrane That’s a VERY good point!

  123. feliciahudson says:

    @ginidietrich @Success4Coaches People do this??? I’m such a gullible Twitter newbie! LOL! That seems a bit brazen. On another note, Gini, I LOVE your reference to ASS-U-ME. I had a seventh-grade teacher who use to write this on the board all the time! Whenever I use this, I find very few people have ever heard it before. 🙂 Are you originally from the Midwest?

  124. BethHarte says:

    I just want to kiss that donkey on the lips. 😉

  125. BethHarte says:

    @ginidietrich , @MackCollier only said a post by *ME* Gini… He doesn’t trust anyone else to write amazing content… I KID! 😉 (Mack, the check is in the mail!)

  126. BethHarte says:

    @dino_dogan Don’t call Mack an ass, my man. I can guarantee you Mack wouldn’t extend that blind trust to just anyone. I have earned his trust and respect…more people should try it. 😉

  127. 3HatsComm says:

    @KenMueller @Shonali @ExtremelyAvg @ginidietrich @KDillabough Not sure where to jump in on this scheduling biz. I USED to think it was crappy, until I realized it actually helps me stay MORE connected, more engaged. I can’t watch the Twitter stream all day (unless there’s some job ya’ll know about, that’ll pay me to do that?) so here’s what I do:

    Check the reader, read a few things, read what I RT and schedule. I often include comments on the posts, and/or the tweets. I stay connected via the Twitter clients, checking ever so often (while hopefully getting actual work done) so I am around to reply. I DON’T schedule tweets for when I won’t be around to reply and discuss, that ain’t cool.

    On the due time.. rock star schmuck star, don’t care. If it’s a question or conversation tweet, then sure I expect more immediate feedback, that the person was tweeting in real time. If it’s links to blog posts, then maybe they are scheduled. IDK.. I guess ‘due time’ will vary, best to not be ass-u-me-d by anyone.

    Now that you all know more about how/why I tweet than you ever cared to know, I’ll stop typing.

  128. Yes, exactly. 🙂 @ginidietrich

  129. ginidietrich says:

    @BethHarte ME TOO!

  130. ginidietrich says:

    @feliciahudson I am not, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t learn it until I moved to the Midwest.

  131. Gini, I’m with ya. I don’t understand the blind RT. It’s your stream. Why would you fill it with links you can’t vouch for? I, for one, read (or at a minimum scan) everything I RT.

    But, on the flip side, sometimes the blind RT is a compliment. For example, if someone knows you always deliver quality content, I think they’ll RT your stuff without looking at it first. Although it would be nice to get the blog hit, I’m equally pleased when someone thinks enough of me to share my stuff without reading it first. I see that as having earned their trust in a lot of ways.


  132. MackCollier says:

    @ginidietrich @dino_dogan I hope not, cause people that blindly call others asses in the comments ARE asses. Let’s hope Dino isn’t being one.

  133. MackCollier says:

    @BethHarte I don’t blindly RT anyone, but if I see certain people (and there are about 2-3 I would do this for) RTing about certain topics, I may RT them without checking.

  134. BethHarte says:

    @Shonali @ginidietrich I am ALL about the scheduled tweet! Yes ma’am, bring ’em on. 🙂 They make my life easier.

    As for “old” content… I have learned in doing my “Saturday Morning Reads” that there is some true treasure out there. Posts that are 1-2 years OLD are often filled with tremendous insights. So I share them. Why not?!

    (I strive to break the ALL of the social media guru rules… I think the “must share new content” is #5 and it’s dumb.)

  135. bdorman264 says:

    Oops, guilty as charged…………..but in my defense it was because I didn’t have time to open the link (doing a scroll by on my phone) and in an effort to be incredibly witty and help my buddies out I do it all the time. These are people I ‘know’ so I’m pretty secure in sending their stuff in my stream.

    Everything I do is manual and now that I’m this monster blogger I hardly have time for twitter on some days. Whew, this has been some heavy lifting.

    I’m still learning and if I have violated twitter etiquette I will cease and desist immediately.

    We don’t want Billy boy stinking the place up, do we?

  136. BethHarte says:

    @MackCollier Me, too!! I am a fake retweeter. HA! (Shhh! Don’t tell Gini.)

  137. adamtoporek says:


    What a nice thing to say. Thank you!

  138. faybiz says:

    @3HatsComm @faybiz In terms of keeping a stream going, why not? they keep adding functionality to Buffer including this:

    I get what people are saying about not RT or sending out things when you are not on, but does that mean your stream just dies? I try to put out things I like, conversation or not. I with most folks who want to have Tweets at virtually any time- I will say since doing more “afterhours” my Russian followers has skyrocketed… is that a good thing?

  139. KaryD says:

    I agree that it’s different, but you raised a good point about clicking so that the blogger gets the traffic. Made me think twice. As always.

  140. KaryD says:

    @ginidietrich @BethHarte Geez…bop out of a convo for a few hours and suddenly Beth is a donkey?

  141. MackCollier says:

    Hot damn that Gini sure does know how to get a chat party started! 😉

  142. BethHarte says:

    @KaryD @ginidietrich What can I say… I think he’s cute!

  143. KenMueller says:

    Holy Crap! I’ve just had an epiphany. Remember those old late night TV commercials for those late night telephone party chat lines? That’s what Spin Sucks Pro is gonna be. Gini is starting a crazy online party chat forum in the guise of a blog! There might even be a dating service somewhere in there.

    Ladies and Gentleman, I tell ya we got trouble. Right here in Spin Sucks City. Trouble with a capital “T” and that rhymes with “G” which stands for Gini….

  144. TheJackB says:

    I was going to RT this but I haven’t had time to read it yet….

  145. 3HatsComm says:

    @faybiz The Russian market is something I should look into, that’s for sure. Though I hear tell there’s some money for me in a Nigerian bank somewhere. No 24/7 tweeting for me, my stream takes naps, showers, lunch breaks, even some quality DVR time. How I roll. 😉

  146. MackCollier says:

    I will sometimes go back and read it, but the main thing is I am looking for more great content to share with my network. I trust certain people to find it for me.

  147. 3HatsComm says:

    @BethHarte @Shonali @ginidietrich Think the same commenting on old posts Beth. If the content is good and I can add to the discussion before I share the post, why not?

  148. markwschaefer says:

    Hurray for you. What a beautiful post. The gestation period was obviously worth it!

    This is a weird connection, but today I was listening to somebody talk about the number of books they read. I thought wow, that just seems so out of sync with the sound bite social media culture. And then I read HR post and thought, wow, perhaps we’re in less than a sound bite culture. Maybe we’re in a text message culture that will erode to a “!” culture. Vast implications for our world, our companies, our children. What challenges for communications and PR.

    Thanks for the superb post, Gini!

    • Gini Dietrich says:

      I think the whole book reading thing is another topic for us to discuss! I read a TON of books in a sound bite world, but that’s because of my personality. I watch little TV so my downtime is spent reading. Joe Thornley talks about this, too, because he loves long form. He thinks it’s going to make a comeback.

  149. Natasha_D_G says:

    Funny…You make an excellent point. I think, however, if you “know” the individual you can cut yourself some slack. Sometimes I RT as a show of support for my tweeps. Esp if it’s a webinar or an event they’re promoting.

    • Gini Dietrich says:

      Great point about the webinar or event someone is promoting. I, also, would cut some slack for those things. It’s just the whole blind RT that doesn’t drive any traffic, but it sure does drive tweets. Big whoop.

  150. DoTime_WX says:

    Gini, I was going to retweet this post but…. Actually, whether retweeting or just commenting, it makes sense to know what you’re responding to and/or amplifying back to the world. Unfortunately too many choose not to put the time in. That applies to not only tweets, but also the real world.

  151. janwong says:

    Wow, amazing post with great points! I would think it is weird though – if you were following that person for his / her feeds, why don’t you want to click on the content and simple retweet blindly? I mean, it’s one thing to click and READ word for word, but it is a whole new thing altogether by doing it blindly. Is it all about ‘association’ (e.g. i’m so cool cuz i retweeted xxx) or is it just plain laziness? Beats me.

    Perhaps someone should do an experiment – put up a tweet with a dummy link and see how many retweets happen.

    *shares this article after reading*

    • Gini Dietrich says:

      I don’t know that you necessarily have to read the post word for word and comment before you tweet it. But I don’t like to RT something without having read it. It’s the whole bringing value to my network and my reputation thing.

  152. jonbuscall says:

    I wonder if fake re-tweeting is an attempt to generate more followers (rt people you haven’t connected yet to encourage the follow).

    It’s also a way of participating on Twitter without having to really do any work. Not cool, not nice but it’s very prevalent.

    • Gini Dietrich says:

      I suppose it is, Jon. People will always try to game the system. It’s disappointing, but it happens.

  153. BestRoofer says:

    Great post. I admit it. I have been guilty of this. Sometimes when I have been really busy I will just re-tweet something (if the heading looks good and I value the source). I thought that it was being helpful, but now I feel a little like the picture. I think that there will be more conversation, if I can take the time to read more of the articles and it may make me more valuable as well. THANKS!

    • Gini Dietrich says:

      LOL! I didn’t mean to make you feel like the picture, Joe! But it is interesting to consider: Should we automatically RT the stuff from people we know and trust, without reading it? And why do they get special consideration when a catchy headline does not? You know where I fall…

  154. Success4Coaches says:

    Yes. I have seen it quite a few times! @ginidietrich @Success4Coaches

  155. Success4Coaches says:

    Brazen is a perfect word to describe the Cheater Tweeter! @feliciahudson @ginidietrich

  156. […] What’s more, this newfound hack journalist approach has also generated more comments and a few more RTs (although I noticed that quite a few of them are fake retweets). […]

  157. Adrian_Dayton says:

    @ginidietrich I just think that sometimes you can guess what the article is about and based on the reliability of the source you can blind RT. It isn’t really that big of a risk if you know the sender. Just cause I don’t want to take the time to read it doesn’t mean my followers feel the same.

  158. Shonali says:

    @3HatsComm I actually really love it when people comment on old posts, and I’ll do it if I can add, like you said, Davina. @BethHarte @ginidietrich

  159. ginidietrich says:

    @Adrian_Dayton So what happens when you blindly RT and then 10 of your followers do, too. But no one actually reads the post?! That’s what is the real genesis of this. You can have 100 RTs and only 30 visitors. It’s pretty disheartening.

  160. Adrian_Dayton says:

    @ginidietrich 100 RT’s and only 30 visitors is better than 2 RT’s and 10 visitors isn’t it? You may RT a headline that seems worth reading to others, but not to you.

    Your post makes a good unspoken point though, if the headline isn’t good enough to convince you to read it, it likely isn’t worth anybody else reading it either.

  161. 3HatsComm says:

    @jonbuscall I’m sure that’s part of some people’s strategies, but per Gini’s example… it kinda backfires when they’ve not read the post, RT out of context.

  162. 3HatsComm says:

    @Adrian_Dayton @ginidietrich That’s one reason I modify headlines when I RT. 1) I’m trying to make it fit so MY RT is retweetable and 2) sometimes the original headline doesn’t hit on the key point in a post to me. Even if I don’t comment, I may pull out a line or quote, or just add something to clarify so that someone DOES think it is something they want to read. FWIW.

  163. 3HatsComm says:

    @Shonali @BethHarte @ginidietrich I just quipped to thesaleslion somewhere that ‘good content has no expiration’ be it a blog post or an updated comment. I’ve started recycling some old posts, seeing what can and should be updated, if my thoughts have evolved or changed. Just part of it. FWIW.

  164. TheJackB says:

    @3HatsComm @Shonali @BethHarte @ginidietrich thesaleslion I recycle posts for the same reasons- besides it is worth exposing those posts to new readers.

  165. rustyspeidel says:

    @jonbuscall That’s my take on it.

  166. […] same content come within minutes. Maybe they’ve actually read the post or maybe they are just fake retweeting, but at any rate they become part of a human […]

  167. […] It’s presumptuous and for that matter, I haven’t read your PDF or e-book YET. So I’m retweeting blind, making an ass of myself with the fake RT. […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please enter an e-mail address