Some social niceties are clear-cut rules, like “Don’t spit in public” (or the high-falutin’ version, “Don’t expectorate in front of the ladies if you expect to rate with the ladies”). Others are general guidelines, in which you should use your own judgment. This one is in the latter category.
In general, don’t thank people for Retweeting you. If you are particularly grateful, and you think it will make the recipient feel all warm and fuzzy to get a private note of appreciation, send the person a simple DM (“Thanks for RTing my link to the article about birds in Belize!”).
Some people do send these thank-yous publicly; however, they usually do it in a single Tweet thanking several people at once:
Thanks for the RT of my birds in Belize blog post, @brett @estherschindler @SlimTheDog!
When it’s an infrequent practice, a public thank-you has some benefits:
- It introduces people to one another who have at least one thing in common: interest in the item they all Retweeted.
- It’s another opportunity to reference the item you wanted to get noticed. Someone who missed the item earlier in your Twitter stream might be inspired to go back and look for it. (But don’t hold your breath.)
- It demonstrates that someone thought it was interesting enough to share.
Overall, however, Retweeting is now part of the conversation, and it rarely needs to be called out. For most of your followers, seeing a “Thanks for the RT!” in your Timeline is just noise. Resist the urge unless you are sure it makes a difference in your brand’s perception.
Rather than a public thank-you, express your gratitude to someone who Retweeted you by looking at their Timeline for a shareable Tweet. Retweeting something they said gives them value and introduces them to a new audience.