Kiss-cropped gray
"And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." – The Beatles

I've mentioned the idea of Reciprocal Love© a few times on Twitter as an effective way to expand your Social Media network. No, I'm no 'expert' on SM, but some things just seem logical, even to a novice like me.

Let's say one of the people you follow posts something brilliant, or scoops some important news. How do you show your appreciation? Well, in Twitter, you can 'Favorite' the post, Retweet (RT) the post, or both. In the case of RT – that's where the idea of reciprocality comes into play. Because people on Twitter are able to follow anyone they choose, this makes it next to impossible for any two Twitterers to follow the exact same people.Thus, when you RT, which is sending a post back out to your followers from someone you follow, you're inviting your own followers to experience the brilliance of the person you're following. The result is that some of your followers might decide to follow the person you're following – growing each network. If all of this sounds confusing, it's really not. To grasp Twitter's ripple effect, David Armano has a great article explaining it here. Or just picture a glassy lake on a summer afternoon, when a soft rain begins to fall. Notice the how the ripples interact with each other? Notice how they all have the ability to connect to each other from anywhere on the lake? It's the same thing on Twitter. Sure, there are a lot of other ways to show Reciprocal Love in SM/Twitter, but RT is one of the simplest ways I've found. So far.

So the next time something you say gets RT'd on Twitter, think about what it really means. It means someone admires what you said and is willing to put their own credibility on the line to share your idea with others. Just remember to return the favor when your followers say something brilliant.

And you thought a kiss was just a kiss.

{The post above was written in January 2009. Today, August 13, Twitter announced its plans to implement RT as part of the Twitter web user interface. Finally.}

Jim is a father, husband, copywriter, daydreamer and founder of smashcommunications. You can follow him on Twitter at @smashadv

A Perfect Concept
Twitter: Better Than TV

Jim Mitchem

Writer. Father to daughters. Husband. Ad man. Raised by wolves. @jmitchem on twitter. First novel, Minor King, out now.