How to Create a Popular Tweet

The science of creating the perfect tweet may have finally been discovered and it's really not as difficult as you would think.

If you use Twitter as a promotion tool then you might have gone through a testing phase trying to find the best times and words to use so your tweet has the most impact. Well, Hewlett-Packard has got it down to a science.

A new HP report studied the ebb and flow of Twitter and was able to create a tool that can predict with 84% accuracy how popular an article will be before it’s published. And while it was of no surprise to find that mentions of celebrities help, there is hope for us yet. Credible sources play a major role in popularity.

The study also found that language has a minor influence. For instance, sensationalist, emotional headlines didn’t do any better than tweets that were straight reporting.

So, as a business owner, you don’t have to worry about using all capital letters, hyperbolic language or trying to shock people into paying attention. It’s not how the tweet is phrased that matters; it’s what is being put out there. So while the report focused on news outlets, the discovery is good news for anyone using Twitter as a promotional tool.

According to the report, source credibility is very important. As a physician, this is good news. If you are a trustworthy source that regularly provides good information, then your followers will be more likely to share your link, thus spreading your influence.

Another factor in how popular a tweet will get is what category it fits in. Technology is by far the most popular, but health is actually the second-most popular.

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Although health has a lower amount of published links, it has a higher rate of tweets per link. Categories that display those characteristics have niche followings and loyal readers

“The tool we’ve created is not just useful to news organizations that want to increase their stories’ distribution on Twitter,” Bernardo Huberman, an HP Senior Fellow and co-author of the study, said in a statement. “For example, activists and politicians are increasingly using social media to influence public opinion. By testing their messages using our algorithm, they may be able to improve the visibility of their cause.”

Read more:

HP Labs Study Forecasts the Popularity of News Articles on Twitter — Before They’re Published