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Want to get more retweets? You may want to try tweeting on off hours/days, including images, being polite, spelling out the word "retweet," and using lots of exclamation marks.

Those insights, among others, come from a recent report by TrackMaven that investigated how language, time, and other factors impact the number of retweets a tweet receives.

The analysis examined 1.7 million tweets from 1,423 Twitter accounts. It was limited to accounts with more than 1,000 followers, and the data was normalized to reflect retweets per 1,000 followers.

Below, key findings from the report.

Days and Times

  • Although more tweets are sent out during the week, the average number of retweets is higher on weekends.
  • Tweets sent on Sundays receive on average 0.168 retweets, the most of any day of the week.

  • There is a higher volume of tweets during business hours; however, tweets get the most retweets on average after work hours.
  • Tweets sent between 10 PM ET and 11 PM receive 0.194 retweets on average.

Hashtags and Mentions

  • Using more hashtags increases the likelihood of retweets; tweets with five hashtags average 0.301 retweets, compared with 0.116 retweets for tweets with zero hashtags.
  • More mentions (@s) in a tweet initially results in more retweets on average, but the effect declines significantly after six mentions.

Images

  • Tweets with images receive 0.404 retweets on average, compared with 0.133 retweets for those that do not include images.
  • Picture preview in timelines, a feature introduced by Twitter in October 2013, appears to have increased the effectiveness of images in tweets. Post-preview picture tweets receive 0.496 retweets on average.

Language

  • The more uppercase letters used in a tweet, the more retweets. Tweets in all caps receive 0.8 retweets on average, compared with 0.147 for tweets with few capital letters.
  • Similarly, using more exclamation marks seems to garner more retweets on average. Tweets with six exclamation marks have an average of 0.299 retweets, and those with nine have 0.484 retweets.
  • Spelling out the entire word "retweet" (as opposed to using "RT") is extremely effective, resulting in 1.88 retweets on average.
  • Politeness also pays off; using "please" in a tweet produces 0.32 retweets on average.

About the research: The report was based on 1.7 million tweets from 1,423 Twitter accounts. The dataset was limited to accounts with more than 1,000 followers, and the results were normalized to reflect retweets per 1,000 followers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

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


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