Nine Surefire Ways To Get Retweeted — Thanks Science!

3942663158_2c5aee474fThe Twitter “retweet” is the method by which tweets are replicated and responded to, thus passed on to more and more followers, using the user-generated lingo “RT,” and has become one of the most important aspects of the social networking service. As part of his upcoming The Social Media Marketing Book, viral marketing scientist (yes, in 2009 this job title exists) Dan Zarrella has compiled a 22-page report called “The Science of Retweeting” after “nine months analyzing roughly 5 million tweets and 40 million retweets,” according to a blog post from Fast Company. Though the full report is set for release tomorrow, Zarrella offered Fast Company’s Dan Macsai a preview of his findings, including the “nine most effective ways to get retweeted on Twitter,” thereby ensuring viral viability.

According to Zarrella, there are ways to maximize your exposure. Though the principles sounds simple, and dare we say, even inconsequential, it is crucial to realize the growing importance of spreading one’s ideas online, especially in the face of an uncertain future for journalism.

When layoffs hit a local paper last month, one newly jobless journalist was indignant as he wondered, “How is the fact that I don’t have a Twitter or Facebook account relevant to what I do?” But as circulations continue to fall and online readership rises, simple tactical adjustments must be made to ensure the proliferation of your news and ideas over others.

Based on Zarrilla’s report, Fast Company has a very detailed overview of the report, complete with charts and graphs so be sure to check that out here. But below is a quick breakdown of the steps you can take to increase the chances of being retweeted:

  1. Use links, but be careful which URL shortener you use
  2. “Please” and “retweet” are the third and fourth “most retweetable” words — so ask nicely!
  3. Don’t actually use Twitter to tell people what you’re doing at the moment
  4. Abbreviations and emoticons don’t cut it
  5. Punctuation is good, but avoid semicolons
  6. Be first with ideas and news
  7. Utilize proper nouns
  8. Negative emotions and complaints are to be avoided
  9. The time and day you tweet on do make a difference

For the full list, as well as helpful charts and graphs, here’s the rundown.

Photo via Fast Company and Dan Zarrella

StatShot: VMAs, Glee, the Talk of Twitter Town

With the new fall TV season here, we thought we’d check back in with the folks at Trendrr to see which broadcast and cable shows people are Twittering about.

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The first thing we noticed is that there is a lot more general Twitter activity around TV shows when compared with last season. Save for a newsy spike in traffic (e.g., Oprah joins Twitter), and a particularly popular show (like Lost), typically there were less than 10,000 tweets per show earlier this year, with most hovering in the low thousands.

We’re only just starting this new season, but Twitter activity for the top 5 shows on the list each broke 25,000 on their biggest days last week. This Twitter burst could be short-lived as people are just excited about their shows coming back, but we’ll keep tabs on it to see if this buzz keeps up.

It’s no surprise that the VMAs topped last week’s list, as Kanye’s outburst help propel chatter about that show. Jay Leno made a big splash during his first week back with The 10 o’clock Tonight Show his new show. And it looks like FOX’s Twitter-heavy promotional campaign for Glee paid off for the program and gave it some social media mojo.


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The New York Times, Brought to You–Literally–by Twitter

new-york-times-buildingIt has easy enough to be skeptical about Twitter’s influence and staying power–I do it all the time. But there’s no denying that it has become a powerful driver of Web traffic.

Just ask the New York Times (NYT), which says Twitter is about to become one of the top 10 referral sources to the paper’s site.

Impressive. But what exactly does this mean?

There was a flurry of excitement this afternoon on Twitter–of course–when Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan threw out a much more exciting data point: Reporting/Tweeting from an industry conference, Morgan said Times digital boss Martin Nisenholtz had announced that “Twitter now drives 10% of NYT digital distribution, up from 0 a year ago.”

dave morgan twitter

Other attendees report hearing the same thing. But whether they were participating in a mass hallucination or Nisenholtz misspoke, here’s the Times’s official line, via spokeswoman Diane McNulty: “At its current growth rate, Twitter is, or will soon move into, the top 10 in terms of referrals to NYTimes.com.”

If that’s the case, then Twitter likely accounts for much less than 10 percent of the Times’s traffic. If you assume that Google (GOOG) is the paper’s largest external referral source, and that it likely accounts for a third of the site’s traffic (these are semi-educated guesses, but I’m happy to adjust), then Twitter and other sources at the bottom of the top 10 are going to be in the low single digits.

Still! It is a lot of traffic, and a year ago it either didn’t exist or someone else was directing it to the Times. Now the trick for Twitter (and its investors) is to figure out a way to capitalize on this phenomenon.

The New York Times, Brought to You – Literally – By Twitter

new-york-times-buildingIt’s easy enough to be skeptical about Twitter’s influence and staying power — I do it all the time. But there’s no denying that it has become a powerful driver of Web traffic.

Just ask the New York Times (NYT), which says Twitter is about to become one of its top 10 referral sources to the paper’s site.

Impressive. But what exactly does that mean?

There was a flurry of excitement this afternoon on  Twitter — of course — when Simulmedia CEO Dave Morgan threw out a much more exciting data point: Reporting/Tweeting from an industry conference, Morgan said Times digital boss Martin Nisenholtz had announced that “Twitter now drives 10% of NYT digital distribution, up from 0 a year ago.”

dave morgan twitter

Other attendees report hearing the same thing. But whether they were participating in a mass hallucination, or Nisenholtz misspoke, here’s the Times’ official line, via spokeswoman Diane McNulty: “At its current growth rate, Twitter is, or will soon move into, the top 10 in terms of referrals to NYTimes.com.”

If that’s the case, then Twitter likely accounts for much less than 10% of the Times’ traffic. If you assume that Google (GOOG) is the paper’s largest external referral source, and that it likely accounts  for a third of the site’s traffic (these are semi-educated guesses, but I’m happy to adjust), then Twitter and other sources at the bottom of the top 10 are going to be in the low single digits.

Still! It is a lot of traffic, and a year ago it either didn’t exist, or someone else was directing it to the Times. Now the trick for Twitter (and its investors) is to figure out a way to capitalize on that phenomenon.

Obama Tells Letterman U.S. Should Have Finished The Job In Afghanistan

david-letterman-barack-obama1President Obama is currently in Midtown (pictures below!), which according to a number of our readers is a madhouse at the moment, taping his David Letterman appearance to air tonight.

CBS’s Mark Knoller is apparently in the audience or backstage (or has a super excellent source!) and his tweets this hour are providing a nice preview of what’s to come tonight. Also: Spoiler Alert!

“In monologue, Letterman said he hadnt seen Obama since he invited Letterman and Sarah Palin to have a beer at the WH.”

# Obama did apologize on Letterman for the traffic jams associated with his visit and other world leaders attending the UN opening session.1 minute ago from web

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# In monologue, Letterman said he hadnt seen Obama since he invited Letterman and Sarah Palin to have a beer at the WH.23 minutes ago from web

# #1: Wanted to congratulate Dave on big Emmy win. (Letterman didn’t win. ha ha)26 minutes ago from web

# #4 reason Obama did Letterman: needed place to hang out till check-in time at hotel.27 minutes ago from web

# #9: Obama thought it would be fun to see someone else get heckled.28 minutes ago from web

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# On the lighter side, Letterman did Top Ten Reasons Obama Agreed to Appear on the Show: #8: part of cash for clunkers pgm.29 minutes ago from web

# Obama tells Letterman US can find a uniquely American health care system. Obama says it baffles the mind that some in US dont have h/c.30 minutes ago from web

# Obama says govt health care plan doesn’t seem bad to Canadians. He says “they’re perfectly happy” with it.31 minutes ago from web

# Asked about opposition to his health care plan, Obama says suggesting it’s fascist “probably misreads the situation.”32 minutes ago from web

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# Obama says his central objective in Afghanistan is to “take out” the folks responsible for the 9/11 attacks so they cant do more harm.33 minutes ago from web

# On David Letterman, Obama says US should have finished the job in Afghanistan, given the enormous stakes US has there.34 minutes ago from web

# Now heading from Troy, NY to NYC where Obama will be taping the Letterman show this afternoon.about 4 hours ago from web

Ann Curry Tweets About Her Plane Making an Emergency Landing After Oil Leak

Curry AhmAnn Curry revealed via her Twitter feed earlier today that her return flight from Iran was forced to make an emergency landing today because of an oil leak. Curry was returning from Iran where she interviewed President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in Tehran (video inside). While her interview with the Iranian leader had some dramatic moments, things got much dicier on Curry’s flight home.

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From the AP.
A clip from Curry’s interview:

Visit msnbc.com for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy


Kneale Fails CNBC Tryout; Tweets “Up Yours” to Bloggers On The Way Out

19622After a five-month tryout anchoring CNBC’s 8 p.m. hour, former Wall Street Journal and Forbes editor Dennis Kneale has been cancelled.

He broke the news himself on Twitter — taking one last (desperate) shot at bloggers, the same “mean-spirited” miscreants who he lashed out at earlier this summer, deriding them as “digital dickweed,” in what his producer called a moment of ‘poetry, the best thing he’d done for the show.’

After announcing the end of his run, invoking Douglas MacArthur and The Terminator, Kneale rattled off a series of tweets that echoed his assertive, combative tone on television but with explicit bitterness and a latent sense of insecurity:

Kneale breaks the news:
better

In response to a fan who signaled his approval for the cancellation, asking “What took so long?”:
response

On his replacement at the 8 p.m. hour — documentaries:
docs

And finally, to drive the point home :
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Save the appeals for validation, Dennis. It’s not personal, it’s TV. But isn’t there some sinister irony here: a cancelled cable news anchor tweeting his disdain for bloggers, while rubbing it in their faces that he still has some airtime?

Earlier: CNBC Burns Airtime on Blogger “Morons” and “Dickweeds”