For more retweets, ditch the adverbs and qualifiers

Researcher Nick Diakopoulos analyzed more than 5,000 tweets from The New York Times Twitter feed and learned what content gets retweeted most. Here’s a hint: strong verbs and crime.

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He drew the following conclusions:

• Tweets with no links got 1.74 more RTs. As Diakopoulos writes, “for news organizations, the most ‘newsy’ or retweetable information comes in a brief snippet, without a link.”
• The most successful tweets were the shorter ones. According to Diakopoulos, 75.8 characters represented the top 10 percent most successful tweets, while the bottom 10 percent were 82.8 characters.
• More verbs and fewer adverbs, qualifiers and articles leads to better tweets.
• The most viral tweets involved crime, natural hazards, sports or political hot-button issues.

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