Definition: Favoriting (or "Twitter Favorites") is an action taken by Twitter users to express appreciation for another user's tweet and bookmark it for future reference. Comparable to "liking," favorites are another form of Twitter engagement where users click on a star-shaped icon under the tweet.

How favoriting can earn more followers and increase engagement

Favoriting is a subtle way to engage followers, more effective in many circumstances than directly replying. In many ways, Twitter has become more of a broadcast platform than a network. People, businesses and organizations flood their followers with a stream of content on a daily basis, usually accompanied with calls-to-action. Retweeting is another form of active engagement and can be used in tandem with the favorite button.

Even replying to a tweet can be perceived as overly self-promotional, but favoriting a tweet is much more subtle. When new prospects tweet about products you offer using common hashtags, favoriting acknowledges the comment and can distinguish you from other direct marketing efforts.

Twitter users know that businesses use pre-planned tweets, but favorites can only be done manually and convey a higher level of engagement. Active listening makes a powerful impression on Twitter followers who are accustomed to a bombardment of direct marketing messages.

What do users and businesses communicate to one another by favoriting?

In addition to expressing simple interest, favoriting has several other implications depending on contextual use.

  • Expressing agreement or appreciation - In most cases, a favorite sindicates that you like what another person or organization has to say.
  • Bookmarking a tweet - Due to the volume of content users post on Twitter every day, finding a tweet that was posted earlier is often extremely difficult. When your business favorites a tweet, it goes into the Favorites tab on your profile, allowing you to go back to it later.
  • Ending an exchange - When conversing with another user, businesses sometimes favorite the last comment made by the other person. This is a more common way of saying "goodbye," without actually saying it.
  • Dislike something - Like Facebook (until its upcoming release), Twitter does not have a "dislike" button. When people and businesses want to express a reaction, even one that is negative, they often do it by favoriting the tweet.
  • Define your brand persona - The tweets you favorite show your brand personality and values just as much as the content you create.

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