Health Is Social

Infusing Social Media into Healthcare

What People Retweet

People retweet what people say about them.

People retweet breaking news.

People retweet conflicting health claims.

People retweet tweets about Twitter.

People retweet insights.

People retweet gossip.

People retweet bad science.

People retweet political lies.

People retweet their own ignorance.

People retweet kindness.

People retweet LMAO, WTF, OMG, LOL.

People retweet sappy aspirations.

People retweet what people retweet.

What people retweet isn’t nearly as important as what you do.

What people retweet can’t be depended on for long-term endurance.

What people retweet isn’t a strategy.

Don’t worry too much about what people retweet or Like on Facebook. Yes, your name or campaign or brand’s tweets might go viral. Maybe, if your brand gets enough mentions, Google will be triggered to crawl and index your website and spike traffic. Maybe.

But a virus isn’t something to get all chummy with.

A virus is a smarter marketer than you.

Viruses are master rebranding agents.

What people retweet might mutate into something you didn’t expect.

What people retweet isn’t much in your control.

Just something to consider if you believe that social media is a cheap replacement for hard-to-make secret sauce bottled and distributed through smart and supple marketing.

@PhilBaumann@HealthIsSocialOur Secret Society

484-362-0451

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  • Hi, Phil. Why so down on retweeting? I retweet a lot and just don’t buy into the idea that retweeting is evil or useless. I try to retweet items of substance that may not have gained the traction they deserve (e.g., items on Open Science, librarianship, useful new tools). (Not that I am big time player on the Twitter scene.) It is not all fluff or junk. I probably will retweet your post above, for instance.

    I find retweeting useful because it sometimes leads people to follow me. Being followed is not the key thing. The usefulness of being followed is and when I get a notice that someone is following me, I learn from the email telling me so about their blogs and what they are reading, which is often useful and edifying.

    So up with retweeting. And keep up the good work yourself.

    • Phil Baumann

      Hi Hope,

      Oh, I’m not down on Retweeting at all.

      That’s not the context of this post – the context, and sorry if it’s cryptic more than clear, has to do with how some marketers are hoping to use RTg.

      If you look at the list I mix all sorts of examples of why people RT what they do – and I end with “People retweet what people retweet” – a double meaning of 1) the virility of retweets and 2) people will RT whatever they like – that is, we’re all unique human beings and w’ll retweet what we like to retweet.

      “What people retweet” is both an answer and a question – when some marketers try to figure out “what people retweet”, they run the risk of treating people as pigeons to be put into certain behavioral holes.

      If you look at my stream, I retweet a lot.

      I’d rather people just have fun with Twitter, than trying so hard to use it as a marketing tool – thus the reference to “secret sauce”.

      Make sense?

      So, it’s

  • Hi, Phil. Thanks for the clarification. Guess I was just being dense there.

    Based on what you say, my suggestion for marketers and start-up folks would be simply to post interesting items of genuine substance and/or really engaging screencast of your Web tool. That is more likely to get retweeted than, “Hey, so and so influential person–thanks for the mention!”