Digital communicators are always in search of the perfect tweet—that elusive 140-character missive that turns heads, defies convention and makes a person or brand a superstar.
Maybe that’s a bit of a stretch for one tweet, but if there were a way to gauge in advance whether your next message on Twitter was going to be popular, you would want to take advantage of it. Perhaps that time has come.
Researchers at Cornell University, backed by the National Science Foundation and Google, developed an algorithm that examined the word construction, keywords and other elements that make up a tweet in order to see what factors make one tweet more popular than another.
They used their findings to create a “Retweeted More” online tool that allows you to create alternate versions of your tweet to see which one is likely to be more popular.
The Cornell researchers discovered that politeness in asking for retweets can significantly improve your tweet’s performance. Using language consistent with the target audience, making it easy to read and avoiding the first person also can be a benefit.
One major drawback to the tool that Cornell created is that the algorithm equates the length of a tweet with how informative it is. Adding a random extra word at the end of your tweet will suggest that your tweet is 50% more shareable, when that may not be the case.
You’ll still have to rely on your hard-earned communication skills to make an impact on Twitter, but it just may be that with this new tool, your job might get a little easier.
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