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How To Make Yourself A Popular Tweeter

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What does and does not attract followers on Twitter twitter followers

Twitter has a pretty bad reputation caused by a lot of people twittering about their personal issues. But is that really what Twitter is about? Researchers just discovered that this typical Twitter behavior actually decreases your followers. Time for a do’s and don’t list.

Scientists at the Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing analyzed the tweets of 507 Twitter users over 15 months and concluded what tweets attract or just scare away followers.

Although around 41 percent of the studied tweets indeed told about just the tweeter, these didn’t help in reaching popularity. You’d better focus on actual information instead of just yourself, it makes you 30 times more attractive to other tweeters. As the scientists describe: be an ‘informer’, not a ‘meformer’.

Another advice: don’t complain too much. Gloomy tweets about death, poor health or unemployment don’t do the trick. You’ll only lose followers. Just try to be happy, the researchers suggest.

It may make you look Twitter-professional and bind you to bigger networks, but hashtags aren’t all that great. Actually the higher the hashtag ratio, the less likely you are to attract new followers.

The researchers presented their findings at the ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris. Hopefully the results will spread soon and help Twitter get rid of the moody ‘meformers’.

Photo: Alex Ristea
Source: Georgia Tech’s School of Interactive Computing
C.J. Hutto, Sarita Yardi, & Eric Gilbert (2013). A Longitudinal Study of Follow Predictors on Twitter Proceedings of the SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems DOI: 10.1145/2470654.2470771

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