Picture this: You sign on to Twitter and have hundreds of fresh new tweets waiting for you on your homepage. As you begin scrolling through you start to realize that even though you might care about the author of the tweet, you really couldn’t care less about what they’re tweeting about.

Sometimes a twitter homepage can look a lot like a junk mail box, and reading every tweet you’re subscribed to can feel like a chore.

So what makes a tweet worth reading? And what do we automatically file away in our brain as junk?

Who Gives A Tweet?

A super group of researchers from Canegie Mellon, MIT, and Georgia Tech formed a brain trust and created a site dedicated to finding out what we value in our tweets. Users signed up to both rate the tweets of others and have their own tweets evaluated.

On average, users only liked about 36% of the tweets that they saw. That means that 2 out of every 3 tweets to grace your screen are usually junk.

So what was it about that 36% that made them worth it? I think the findings can be summarized into five key points.

5 Secrets To Twitter Success

    1. • Limit the use of #hashtags and @mentions. They are there for a purpose, and that purpose isn’t the spam as many of them as you can into every tweet.


    1. • Don’t tweet about food you just ate or where you are at the moment. Respondents in the study really, really, really disliked that. In short, add a little substance or context to your tweets. No one cares you went to McDonalds for lunch.


    1. • Keep it short. There is a character limit for a reason.


    1. • Don’t whine. No one likes the guy that thinks their life is worse than everyone else’s. Don’t be that guy.


    • Don’t tweet old links. Keep things fresh and new. Show people something they haven’t seen before.

This isn’t a comprehensive ‘how to’ for effective Tweeting by any means, but it’s a good place to start. What tweets do you see on Twitter that really bug you? What would you want to see more of on your feed?

Scott Sundblom