A Guaranteed Formula For Highly Successful Tweets• Feb 10
What if there was a simple formula for Twitter that would all but guarantee success? Hewlett Packard (HP) claims they have uncovered exactly that formula and it predicts the popularity of tweets with 84% accuracy.
Mashable reported on a study by HP about a formula that forecasts the popularity of news stories. HP's model, based on an analysis of 40,000 news articles, breaks social effectiveness into four main characteristics:
- The source of the news article
- The category of news
- Whether the article was emotional or objectively written
- Name Dropping
While I'd encourage you to read the HP study and learn as much as possible, I'd prefer to cut through the 9 pages of drawn out scientifics and give it to you straight. Although HP's research is based upon the popularity of news articles, the major principles can be directly applied to your social content strategy whether on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or Google+.
Let's translate each of HP's 4 characteristics into layman's terms.
1. The Source of the News Article
When you share information that comes from what is largely recognized as a reputable source you'll get a strong response. If you get press in a major outlet that shines a positive light on your business, that's definitely something you'll want to share via social media.
2. The Category of News
The study finds that links in the category of 'technology news' were most widely shared on Twitter. That's not surprising, since overall people using Twitter regularly are still widely early adopters of technology such as smart phones and tablet computers.
There's a very common sense way that the category distinction should affect your business. You're going to get the best response from categories of items that your community cares about. Whether that's health, politics or entertainment, focus on what's most important to your community.
3. Whether the article was emotional or objectively written
Ultimately, HP found that whether an article was emotional or highly objective didn't seem to have a big effect on predicting popularity.
In our findings from managing social communities and crafting thousands of tweets and Facebook posts, both types of posts can be effective, but more significant engagement is created when you prompt community members to take their own stance on an issue. Rather than just posting a link, ask people what they think about that link, and you'll get a larger response.
4. Name Dropping
People are more likely to share (or retweet in the case of Twitter) news articles that include mentions of celebrities.
In agreement with HP's finding, it's a regular practice to include celebrities and well known spokespeople in your marketing campaigns. Many brands also benefit from sharing what appear to be less orchestrated photos or videos of celebrities using their products, including product placement opportunities. Celebrity content will surely make your brand more sharable throughout the social web.
At A-Side, we take celebrity influence to the next level by encouraging our clients to interact with celebrities and influencers on Twitter (and Facebook where applicable) on a regular basis. If there are celebs known to support your brand, engage them in conversation on any topic that's applicable to your audience (not just conversations about your product).
Although they used 40,000 points of data to come up with their findings, most of what HP discovered doesn't take a rocket scientist's intelligence to figure out. If you are sharing content that is already known to be from a reputable source, is about individuals your community respects, and contains subject matter that your community enjoys, you'll see greater results.
Though the findings of the research aren't mind blowing, it's the 84% predictability of popularity that should be of the most impact in your social strategy. Now that you know for a fact what causes an article shared socially to be most effective, make sure that you are sharing content from reliable sources, about categories your communities are interested in and including celebrities as much as you possibly can.
VP Marketing, A-Side Worldwide
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