Please Retweet, or rather, don’t…

No Boomeranging AllowedChris Brogan writes today that “asking for a retweet or mention of something – that isn’t cause related – isn’t cool”, and urges his readers to stop asking for retweets.

Chris is right, to a degree. People who blindly ask others to “RT” their messages often betray their social web naivety. Their constant pleas for assistance shine a light on their true motivations: to get their stuff in front of as many eyeballs as possibly, irrespective of whether this is helpful or not.

It’s the place that many people begin their journeys on the social web, making the wholly incorrect assumption that more followers, more retweets, more whatever, has to be better. And, of course, more isn’t always better. The only more that matters is when measuring your engagement levels with your active followers.

But there are also times when a polite “please RT” can play a useful role in reminding your most avid followers that they can help spread an important or highly relevant message. But, like most things, you have to use it in moderation; the minute you habitually ask others to do your dirty work is the minute you start losing credibility on the social web.

So, yes, in my eyes it’s OK to ask for a retweet every once in a while but this should be a rare occurrence, a real exception to the norm. A carefully timed, polite request for help can go a long way to helping you get the most important news out to a well-targeted audience. And that’s where the social web is at its best.