Tweets worth noticing


With more than 250 million tweets per day, Twitter is the leading source for online communication. On average, there are 3,000 tweets generated every second. There is no doubt that for companies that want to connect with their customers, Twitter represents a great channel. But with the 250 million daily tweets, how can companies get their tweets noticed, and re-tweeted?

The strongest factor for getting attention is the source of the tweet. A strongly valued source, and quality messages, trump emotion any day. A new study from UCLA and Hewlett-Packard researched four factors and their influence on optimizing tweeted headlines and new links.

  1. The credibility of the news source generating the article
  2. The category of news the article falls under (ex: health, sports, technology)
  3. The subjectivity of the language in the article
  4. Famous people, brans, or other notable entries mentioned

The most frequently posted links were for news about technology, followed by news about health. While news about health had a lower number of published links, it had higher rates of tweets per link. Researchers also found that calm, objective language had the highest number of re-tweets; emotional language does not improve the value or the re-tweet levels.

The lesson for marketers using social media such as Twitter is similar to that of other promotional tactics – be calm, show value, be credible and trustworthy and your message will be noted.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Ask students what factors they look for when following or re-tweeting. Why are these factors import?
  2. Next, show the results of this new study about optimizing tweets and the four main categories: (1) Credibility of news source, (2) category of news, (3) subjectivity of language, and (4) famous people or brands mentioned.
  3. How do the students’ factors fit into the four categories? Are there any additional categories that might be useful?
  4. Divide students into groups. Have the groups identify the top categories that most interest them.
  5. Compare the students’ results on categories with the study’s categories: technology, health, and fun stuff.
  6. In teams, have students select a company they might follow and write three tweets for the company.
  7. Discuss the tweets and how these fit the categories from the study.

Source:, 6/13/12

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