How links and hashtags increase your chances of a retweet…

They say every tweet is a chance to spread your ideas and build relationships with your followers. So, if you’re looking to grow your influence, how important is it to start including hashtags, numbers, quotes, photos or video links? The data team at Twitter have been trying to find out.

They analysed over 2 million tweets sent by thousands of verified users over the course of a month, specifically looking at tweets containing certain measurable “hard features” of Twitter:

  • photos
  • hashtags (#)
  • links
  • videos
  • numbers or digits — i.e. a sports score or an official stat

They compared the numbers of retweets given to tweets including each of these features with the average numbers of retweets that each user would expect to get anyway. In this way they have been able to identify which features within a tweet have the greatest impact on average retweets.

Whilst it’s clear that people don’t engage equally with every Tweet, adding video, links and photos to your tweets is indeed likely to result in an impressive boost in the number of retweets.

theeffectonretweetsof_alltopicsIt is worth recognising that different features bring different rewards depending on the subject matter. For example, the charts below show that tweets about TV work best when featuring quotes, whilst sports topics benefit more from hashtags or photo URLS. (You can see the full interactive charts here.)

As with most things in social media, they key is to think about the context and the audience and be prepared to try different approaches for different topics #experimentingiskey!



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