Short answer? Never.
Long answer? Almost never.
With a few exceptions, I don’t believe there’s any need to thank for retweets at all. It might seem polite, or good etiquette, but all it really does is add a lot of unwanted noise to the stream.
Why do people retweet? To share content. The retweeter is passing on information to their network that they think will be valuable. From that point forward it becomes their responsibility. If there are any thanks to be made, it’s from their network to them, but even that’s completely unnecessary in most cases.
Again, it’s just noise.
Multiply this misplaced etiquette by a thousand for people who retweet all of their Follow Friday mentions. Please don’t do that – ever – unless it really was your intention to look desperate and clingy.
Unless you’re raising money for a charity or have somebody go above and beyond to raise the profile of your content, then thanking for retweets is something to be avoided. It’s just clutter. Unnecessary, unrequested clutter.
I understand. You want to be polite. You’ve been raised properly, and it goes against every part of your being to not be grateful. And to not be seen to be grateful. Abstain from saying “thank you”? Well, that just doesn’t feel right.
So, here’s a winning solution. If you feel like you simply must give thanks, then please do it by direct message.
That way, the gratitude is expressed without disturbing the public feed and further watering down that all-important signal. Moreover, and perhaps as importantly, this discretion ensures that the thank you is always about the person who did the good deed. And not about you.
(Loudspeaker image via Shutterstock.)