While at the HubSpot offices recently I discussed the idea of asking for a retweet with Dan Zarrella, the company's social media scientist. Turns out Dan has some data saying that it is a good idea. My gut tells me it is not – it sort of feels desperate to me.
Here is the part of the discussion we filmed.
Direct link to Should You Add "Please Retweet" to Your Twitter Updates? On YouTube
The debate here seems to center on instinct vs. science.
I want to judge what's valuable or not and I find that a "please RT" request undermines my ability to judge for myself what's valuable enough to retweet. I see social networks as a real-time ecosystem that encourages people to pick and choose information. Unlike mass media (when messages are broadcast at you), social media allows for more personal freedom. I think the currency of social media is one of choice.
Dan says that a reason why "please RT" works is because less savvy Twitter users often forget that retweeting is an option. So it serves as a reminder. But more importantly, Dan’s ideas are backed up by data: Tweets that include "please RT" do, in fact, get more retweets.
Dan is hosting a webinar called The Science of Social Media on Tuesday, August 23rd at 2pm EDT. This Webinar is up for consideration by the Guinness Book of World Records for largest Webinar audience!
So what do you think? Who would you side with? Should you ask for a retweet?
Image: Shutterstock / iCactus