There are only two ways that anyone in the world does their Tweeting; they either Tweet or Retweet. Both of these methods of Tweeting are of the utmost importance to marketers who have Twitter playing a major role in their social media marketing campaigns. Today, we are informed as to which one of these methods has been seeing the most activity. The winner as of today is Retweets. People have apparently begun to realize that Retweeting something takes far less effort and can still get across the essential message that the Tweeter is trying to relay. For brands using Twitter marketing campaigns, it may be hard to tell whether the rise of Retweets and the fall of original Tweets are good or bad. Before figuring that out though, let’s look at the numbers.

Yesterday Bazaarvoice, a Software as a Service company, released a report called The Conversion Index Volume 5. In it, they have detailed the current state of brand mentions on Twitter. Among other things in the report, the company has provided a chart that details the current state of original Tweets versus Retweets.

In 2010, original Tweets accounted for a total of 85% of aggregate brand mentions and in 2011, the number had dropped to 82%. Now in 2012, the number of total brand mentions coming from original tweets has dropped down to 78%.

The good news though, is that total brand mentions on Twitter are on the rise. In July of 2010, the total amount of brand mentions on Twitter was at 537,332 and by the end of that year they reached 587,469. The increase was pretty steady from then on, with the number being at 897,434 in the middle of 2011. As for this year, the numbers for June showed a total of 2,229,620 brand mentions on the social network. Now, as these numbers are going up, and the amount of original Tweets that hold shares of the total go down, that can only mean that Retweets are on the up.

Here is what the report tells of the good and the bad in this newfound data;

 There’s good news and bad news for brands in this data. The increase of brand mentions overall means there is more data to learn your customers’ thoughts about you, but as the retweet analysis shows, that data is increasingly redundant. Retweets are becoming a bigger part of the Twitter brand story, but a retweet is a weaker social signal than an original tweet from, say, an advocate or detractor. Retweets also contain less original data, and may not represent the users behind them as much as a wholly original tweet from the same user.

It is clear that there are definitely some benefits and some consequences to these rising and falling numbers, but the question is this; do the consequences outweigh the benefits, or vice versa? The answer to that question is purely in the opinions of marketers at this point. Either way, there may need to be some preparation for a huge shift in Twitter numbers in the future.

What's your opinion?