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5 surprising new discoveries about getting retweets

There have been a number of articles talking about how to get more retweets, because, let’s face it, Twitter is just one of those hard-to-crack social media platforms with a lot of organic reach. And the worst part about organic reach is that it’s pretty much unpredictable, depending on where you are.
This is why scientists at three different research centers conducted studies on millions of tweets to see which tweets got retweeted and which didn’t. Here are some of their surprising discoveries:

 

1. Your followers and ‘followees’ have an impact on your retweets

If you have many followers, you have more retweets. That much is expected. But did you know that the number of people you follow has an impact on your retweet rate as well? However, this doesn’t mean that you just follow random people… it just points to the fact that relationships on Twitter are what drive people to retweet you.

2. Links are good but not amazing

The studies also confirmed that having links in your tweets is good for retweets. 21% of all tweets in general contain a link, while 28% of retweets, contained links. It’s a subtle but important point of difference. It helps if your tweet-links have a way of revealing what they’re about, so customizing your bitly or google links to include keywords is definitely helpful.
But the most astounding difference, according to the studies, was when people used TwitLonger (which allows you to write in more than 140 characters and automatically shortens it along with a link). According to the study, tweets with TwitLonger links are 6 times more likely to get retweeted.

3. Causes get retweeted, but don’t get credit

Researchers also noticed that causes such as a call to political or social action, collective group identity-making and crowdsourcing have a tendency to get retweeted very frequently, but hardly anyone gave credit for the retweet. They just got copied without attribution.
Our advice? If you want to make a difference, share information about causes.

4. Your seniority on Twitter matters

If you’ve been on Twitter for more than 300 days, the number of retweets dramatically increases, according to the studies. If you’re more than 400 days old on Twitter though, nothing much changes… unless you post interesting content. Which brings us to our next point:

5. Tweets that are anti-relevant get the most retweets.

If you’ve been on Twitter for more than 300 days, the number of retweets dramatically increases, according to the studies. If you’re more than 400 days old on Twitter though, nothing much changes… unless you post interesting content. Which brings us to our next point:

  1. A general model, where the user would re-tweet at random on something they saw recently.
  2. A recent communication model, where they would retweet based on how recently they communicated about it to someone else.
  3. An on-topic model, where the users would re-tweet based on how similar the content was to their own profile of tweets.
  4. A homophily model, where the users retweet based on how similar their profile is of the other user’s profile.

Surprisingly, the researchers found that users re-tweeted from profiles they were least similar to. Meaning, the users wanted to look for something new to tweet about.
So tweeting about different things that fit into your marketing plan, or just in your brand’s personality works!Now that you know these lesser-known secrets about Twitter, getting retweets should be easier, although it depends on how well you put them to use.

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