Imagine if you discovered the formula for the perfect tweet—a message so perfect that Twitter users can’t help but follow your account and retweet your post.
Well, hold on to your Twitter handles, because the perfect tweet has been discovered, in theory.
Last week, researchers at UCLA and Hewlett-Packard’s HP Labs released a nine-page paper on how to predict the social media popularity of a news article before it is published. Astonishingly, the researchers developed a tool that forecasts popularity with an 84 percent accuracy rate.
The Atlantic‘s Megan Garber dived deeper into the study, exploring how the research can help media outlets craft tweets that will be shared and clicked.
But HP Labs isn’t the first organization to try to predict the popularity of a tweet. Dan Zarrella, a “social media scientist” with the marketing firm HubSpot, has conducted exhaustive research on the topic. In 2009, he spent nine months analyzing 5 million tweets and 40 million retweets. He published the results in “The Social Media Marketing Book” (as well as other articles and infographics).