Nice article on virality on Twitter

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Feb 042009

We’re doing a lot of community outreach stuff with Metaplace these days — just doing sample key giveaways in different markets, that sort of thing. And Twitter, of course, has rapidly emerged as a significant force as it continues to gain adoption.

5 Steps to Going Viral on Twitter is a pretty nice article giving some advice on how to maximize the chances of ReTweets, based on datamining actual Retweets.

  1. Ask! Literally put “please RT” in your Tweet. Or at least some sort of call to action.
  2. Good ReTweet time is between 9am and 6pm EST, with the peak 11am and 3pm EST.
  3. Peak ReTweet days are Monday through Wednesday.
  4. 70% of ReTweets have a link in them.
  5. Social validation matters. If you really want something ReTweeted broadly, you want it to be ReTweeted by several people. So contact them directly and ask them to do so.
  6. Add value. You need to be providing some solid content.

No, I still don’t have a twitter account, but I am edging closer. ๐Ÿ™‚ But I did go ahead and add a Tweet This link to the bottom of posts here on the blog. Soย  “please ReTweet” posts. ๐Ÿ™‚

  17 Responses to “Nice article on virality on Twitter”

  1. Perhaps it’s my refusal to make use of things like RSS feeds, but I still don’t quite get the whole twitter thing. It’s kinda alien and other to me. Twitter kinda works like blogging for feeds? Or is there something fundamental about it that I’m missing beyond that?

  2. It’s short, like an IM, but it’s to the public, like a blog. So it’s like IMing the world with a little status update.

    RSS is like getting blog posts in a special email client, is all.

  3. Dude – you have a “Tweet This” button and you don’t have a Twitter account yet… Even my hero Neil Diamond already has a Twitter account (@NeilDiamond, by the way, because I know you were going to ask… ๐Ÿ˜‰ ).

  4. I don’t update my Facebook status often either. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Now, if i can get my blog to post as tweets, then at least i can hook up that part. ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Well, what I’m saying is… twitter doesn’t make sense if you go to visit the twitter page itself. So in absence of an RSS feed it seems… silly.

  6. Er to explain my disconnect a bit better, Twitter as a concept seems predicated on quick short updates, so it doesn’t seem to make a great deal of sense as something that you check maybe 2 or 3 times a day. IMs that kinda sit around “offline” (i.e. not being read) defeat the purpose of IMs, which is the immediacy.

    RSS feeds bring updates directly to the attention of the reader (especially because they can auto-notify), and then the concept more or less works. So I know they’re two separate technologies, it’s just Twitter doesn’t seem to make any sense without RSS feeds.

  7. Well, people read the tweets in RSS feeds and also into IM clients… so I am still not sure what you are getting at. ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I’m saying, I don’t really “get” it, because I tend to prefer visiting websites rather than reading rss feeds or having stuff diverted into my IM client. I was wondering if that was the ONLY reason I didn’t really see the value, and it seems that it is ๐Ÿ˜›

  9. You have to use Twitter to “get” Twitter.

    Anyway, you don’t have to understand something to derive value from the thing just as you don’t need to know how to fish to enjoy seafood.

  10. @Morgan, I never attempted to make a statement about the value of twitter, so that is at best a non-sequitor.

    I was looking for greater understanding about the context by which it functions, since RSS isn’t something I use. As a concept, I get how it works if you’re actually using RSS or piping it into IM, and I was trying to determine (and perhaps going about it poorly) whether or not that was the biggest issue I was having.

    From what Raph’s said, it is. Conceptually it makes sense, in the context of those technologies, it just removes something from the process that I’d rather not remove; a preference issue really. I just wanted to make sure I wasn’t missing something more basic than that.

  11. gah, lack of edit kinda sucks. Okay, I never attempted to make a statement about twitter relative to anyone other than me. ๐Ÿ˜›

    I’m not going to use RSS or have stuff forwarded via IM, because I don’t like having information come to me in that fashion. Outside that context twitter doesn’t work.

  12. Eolirin:

    I never attempted to make a statement about the value of twitter


    I was wondering if that was the ONLY reason I didnโ€™t really see the value


  13. … I’m going to have to apologize for triple posting, I’m not feeling too well, probably over exhausted, and I’m making a horrible muddle of trying to communicate my thoughts right now.

    What I’m trying to say with regards to twitter is that I don’t use (nor do I particularly want to) the core technologies that make it work. As such it has zero effective value for me, solely because I can’t use it the way that it’s intended to be used.

    The whole seafood analogy didn’t make sense, for that reason, and I’m not working well enough mentally to have said why correctly. The search for understanding is due to the lack of finding value (It’s more that I don’t enjoy seafood, see), not the other way around. I derive zero value, others don’t, I’m trying to understand why. I think I do now.

  14. Make more sense now Morgan? I need sleep. ><

  15. Iโ€™m not going to use RSS or have stuff forwarded via IM, because I donโ€™t like having information come to me in that fashion. Outside that context twitter doesnโ€™t work.

    Actually, it does. Once you sign up for Twitter, going to the front page gives you the latest tweets from people you are following, just like visiting any webpage.

  16. I never understood twitter, until I downloaded a plugin for Firefox that treats them as IMs. I see them instantly and suddenly they have a lot more value and are great for staying up to date. Now this only matters if you actually follow people, which took me a while to catch on to as well.

  17. Raph, I’ve viewed twitter pages before, as pages. They don’t make a great deal of sense in that context (at least, they don’t make a great deal of sense when they’re being used actively). Too much of the immediacy is lost, so you end up with what basically amounts to checking an IM client for offline IMs once or twice a day, which as a concept, kinda falls flat. In order for twitter to really function as it should, at least with active users, you need more regular more up to date updates on the content. With non-active users you end up with Facebook statuses, updated maybe once a day or every few days, and rarely used for more than that (at least in my experience). And Facebook is a better place for Facebook like status updates.

    Twitter appears to effectively be a distributed asynchronus chat room that propagates updates from users via a peer to peer like connection, with each node communicating with nearby nodes until the data moves through the network. It’s a very cool concept really, but if the nodes aren’t picking up and carrying the tweets at a decent clip you lose most of that effect.

    So I’m not saying you can’t do it by going to the webpage, I’m saying it doesn’t make sense to go to webpage. It’s too slow doing it that way, so you end up with too great a disconnect between what’s going on.

    I have other problems with the tech, but those are personal preference things, so it’s really neither here nor there.

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