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Tweets that contain one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted than those that do not, according to a recent analysis Dan Zarrella of HubSpot.

Zarella examined a dataset of more than 1.2 million random tweets to find correlations between the use of non-alphanumerical characters and the number of retweets. His analysis found two characters with particularly strong correlations: hashtags and quotation marks.

While not quite as impactful as hashtags, quotation marks also dramatically improved a tweet's chances of getting retweeted.

Zarella found tweets that included quotation marks were 30% more likely to be retweeted than those that did not.

In a separate analysis, Zarella examined a dataset of more than 450,000 randomly selected tweets to see how using each of the four most popular ways to post images to Twitter affected retweets:

  • Tweets with images posted via Twitter's own, native image uploading service ( were 94% more likely to be retweeted than tweets with no image links.
  • Tweets with Twitpic links were 64% more likely to be retweeted.
  • On the other hand, tweets including Instagram links were 42% less likely to be retweeted.
  • Tweets with Facebook image links were 47% less likely to be retweeted.

About the research: The analysis of hashtags and quotation marks was based on data from 1.2 million random tweets. The analysis of image links was based on data from 482,862 random tweets.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji