Content Marketing: What Makes An Article Popular On Twitter?

When it comes to content marketing and SMM, what factors determine whether an article gets re-tweeted or not? According to HP Labs, we are now able to predict article popularity on Twitter through a variety of factors.

This shows an important evolution in the way we approach both the analysis and marketing of tweets and they way they travel. In the past, there had been primary focus on who was tweeting and re-tweeting as opposed to what had been tweeted. Traditional thinking was based on influence – the more influential the user doing the tweeting, the more it will spread. While this type of approach still remains an important factor, new research has also highlighted that content itself matters.

Researchers have analyzed 40,000 articles tweeted throughout a week back in August 2011, collecting information on the website/agency that authored each article, which outlet was first to tweet the article, and they also categorized the article based on information presented, along with the emotion of the language within the article. Based on these variables, data has showed that there are some articles that tend to be more tweetable than others.

To breakdown the findings that help predict the likelihood of an article getting tweeted or retweeted, check out the big factors:

  • Source played the biggest role. The more reliable the source of the article, the greater the chances are of a tweet.
  • Should an article mention a well known person, location or organization, it’s also more likely to get the story tweeted. Yes, that’s why you see all those celebrities trending whenever you log into Twitter. Unless it has RIP before their name.
  • Articles within popular categories also spread more rapidly. Health, technology, and cats are among the leaders.

One factor that does not appear to influence an article’s tweetability, however, is emotion. Emotional articles are not more likely to spread than objective articles. Brand and information both matter, however the overall tone doesn’t appear to matter much when it comes to sharing. The researchers have also said that their model is 84% accurate.

Content Marketing - Popular Categories - Marketaire.com

At a high level, a lot of this information is fairly common knowledge to those that have been on Twitter for some time now. However, it’s important to remember that pushing your articles to social media is only one step in a larger content marketing process. By analyzing how types of articles perform, you too can promote and predict which articles are more responsive to your own audience and how you can work toward better aligning your content marketing strategy with business objectives.

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