Only 36% of tweets are worth reading, according to a new study conducted by Paul Andre of Carnegie Mellon University, Michael Bernstein of MIT and Kurt Luther of Georgia Institute of Technology. If you’re like me, that percentage might seem a bit high. Which, of course, is crazy, since we are all choosing who we want to follow!
I admit that I am late to the game when it comes to Twitter – with just eight months of tweeting under my belt. And already I have been criticized by more veteran users for being a bit too “serious” too “business-like” and for not sharing enough personal information. “But”, I argue back, “I tweet what interests me – and most of those things are serious, business-oriented, educational or news-worthy topics. How can that be a bad thing?” And what’s more, those are the tweets from others that I am most likely to read, retweet or share with my network. The last think I want to read is that someone I know is stuck in an airport and having a donut. Or the play-by-play of everything happening during a friend’s child’s soccer game. I mean, if I value more substantive tweets – might not others as well?
Well, now I have my answer. According to the study, here’s what people really care about:
- Self-promotion: Turns out people want to know about your work with links to your content
- Sharing information: Lots of people follow Twitter to get their news, facts, and links of the day
- Random thought: We like funny or exciting posts that make us think or laugh
- Questions: We all love to tell people what we think – so just ask!
And, here’s what people don’t want to know:
- Complaining, whining, and general negative opinions: Yes, even bad service experiences are just not that interesting. Don’t be a downer!
- Me, Me, Me: No one really cares what you are doing right now. And no one is waiting to get your Foursquare updates.
- Location updates: We also don’t care where you are right now or that you just woke up this morning.
Seems my donut eating friend stuck in the airport is not just annoying me with those tweets…
Oh yeah, and some other Twitter no-nos:
- Don’t be too cryptic or tweet inside jokes that no one understands
- Don’t overuse hashtags (ooops, note to self, haha…)
- And never, never retweet one-on-one conversations!
Well, there you have it folks – the good, the bad, and the ugly of the Twittersphere. Armed with this information I know I am ready to conquer the world of the 140 character messages. I’ll be witty, funny, informative and inquisitive! So stay tuned, cause my next post is going to be one sweet tweet!