THE secret to getting retweeted is simple: add stuff.
That’s the conclusion of Twitter data scientists, who spent a month trawling through more than two million tweets from verified users in a bid to discover the secret to bolstering engagement. A hashtag, a photo, a video, a number, a quote – adding any of these will increase the chances of a tweet being retweeted and, potentially, going viral.
But photos and videos are the most potent additions, the research found.
Posts with pictures average 35 per cent more retweets than those without, while videos result in a 28 per cent boost.
Quotes boost retweets by 19 per cent, numbers and figures by 17 per cent, and hashtags by 16 per cent.
The study focused on the verified accounts of people and organisations in the fields of government, music, news, sport and TV.
Such accounts typically have thousands of followers, meaning virtually all tweets with get retweeted.
To counter this effect, the researchers compared retweet counts with the estimated number a post would ordinarily be expected to get.
Simon Rogers, Twitter’s data editor, cautioned in a blog post accompanying the results that the lessons could not be directly extrapolated to the average user.
People don’t engage equally with every tweet, he said, “but now we can confirm that adding video, links and photos all result in an impressive boost in the number of retweets.” He advised users looking to boost their Twitter power to take a holistic approach.
“It’s not just about optimising every single Tweet, but about building a compelling way for your followers and Twitter users to connect with you.
“While the measures detailed above can bring immediate rewards, they are not the end of the story.” The research found that the impact of different kinds of added content varied across industries.
For example, quotes were the most potent addition for users in the TV industry, boosting retweets by 53 per cent.
In the music industry, by contrast, videos were found to be key, giving tweets a 35 per cent retweet bump.