What’s your favorite social media platform? Or do you believe that like with children, you shouldn’t have favorites? If you spend any time getting to know me you will soon discover that Twitter is my favorite by far.
Speaking of favorites, I’m often asked why I favorite a tweet (or accused of favoriting my own tweets in order to artificially inflate my ranking on some system I’ve never heard of but whatever).
Here is my official, un-official brain-dump on why I use the favoriting tool.
As I told R3 Social Media, I learned to “bookmark” tweets by favoriting them from @BrianDaltonCRE. Once I have read the link in the tweet and know for sure I don’t need to refer back to it, I unfavorite it.
I often check Twitter while watching T.V., for example. I’m not going to stop the show to watch a cat video, but since my friend tweeted it, I want to watch it later.
Another reason I bookmark (favorite a tweet) is if I see a tweet in the stream and it has a link. The link seems interesting, so for sure I want to read it later. It’s too hard to find those tweets later when you do have 20 minutes or so, at the end of the day, to read them.
I favorite tweets often if I think they'll be included in a later blog post either as the thesis or as an example. #GuruTweet
— Bridget Willard (@BridgetMWillard) May 24, 2013
I also favorite my own tweet if I think it’s well written and may be the beginning of a blog post. I often get epiphanies that turn into quotable statements to be expounded upon. More often than not, however, they are relegated to the purgatory otherwise known as my “draft folder.”
I’ve always said that Twitter is like an electronic think-tank. (Tweet This) Depending upon who you follow, it’s a great place to bounce ideas around. But I digress.
The other main reason why I favorite a tweet, mine or otherwise, is because I want to cycle it in my Twitter stream a few more times before I allow it to die a peaceful death in the Twitter Wild Blue Yonder.
Tweets have a lifespan of about one hour. I think even flies live longer than that.
Though many people schedule tweets, I rarely do more than a few hours ahead and only when I know I’ll be looking at Twitter. Scheduling seems to get people in trouble. Maybe it’s not an appropriate tweet for what’s happening locally (natural disaster) or whatever.
Sometimes my ideas come at times that aren’t ideal to tweet so I tweet it anyway, lest I forget, and then favorite it to tweet again another time. Another reason is if I have a blog post that I want to share; I want to cycle that over days or weeks, not hours.
For example, Friday before Memorial Day is probably the worst day for me to publish this blog post (important tweets tend to be downed out by #FF mentions and it’s a holiday weekend). However, this is when I have the idea and the time to finish. So I will post and tweet. If this were for my business, I probably would wait to publish it until Wednesday, May 29. Truth be told, I’m just not a big fan of scheduling, what can I say?
I on mobile, I use Twitter’s app often. But I like to be able to shrink links. So if I want to share a tweet with a link, I generally favorite the tweet, open Hootsuite Mobile, find the favorite, choose retweet (Old-School Style), and click “shrink links.”
Sure, it’s more work but it looks better. You do what you practice, right?
Hand-Me Down Tweet
A lot of us social media geeks handle multiple accounts for personal or business reasons.
I often see tweets, while signed on from one account, that really would be a good share or reply from another personality. I’ve even been known to email those tweets to my admin friends.
Either the content is more applicable, say tweeting automotive-related content from a mechanic’s account, etc. or the issue is controversial and I want to express my opinion as myself not a business (*cough* KitchenAid *cough*).As a side note, I recommend using different browsers and/or third party apps for your personal and business accounts for this very reason whether it is on a traditional computer or mobile device.
About once a month, I do maintenance on my favorite tweets. Frequently, news stories go stale, become out of date, and are no longer relevant or applicable. Some tweets I favorited on impulse but upon clicking (always check links before tweeting) either the link is broken or it was misleading, etc. So, I unfavorite and move on.
Whatever your reasons are, favoriting is a great tool. Don’t let the tools out there, pun intended, harass you to the point where you resist using all of the features Twitter offers.
Why do you favorite Tweets?