Gini Dietrich

When You Fake RT, You ASS-U-ME

By: Gini Dietrich | April 19, 2011 | 
176

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.

THIS DRIVES ME CRAZY.

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 http://bit.ly/e4gEgW

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 http://bit.ly/e4gEgW

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.

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