Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology studied data from over 500 Twitter users over a 15-month period.
After studying more than half a million tweets, the conclusion was that “expressing negative sentiments in tweets is the second most harmful factor to growing a Twitter audience.” In other words, if you want more followers, try not to say mean things.
During the study, the researchers recorded each user’s growth in followers and analysed a link between the size of the increase and the content of the tweets.
Scientists C.J. Hutto, Eric Gilbert and Sarita Yardi called the study the “first longitudinal study of audience growth on Twitter to combine such a diverse set of theory inspired variables,” according to The Poynter Institute.
The study said: “Informational content attracts followers with an effect that is roughly thirty times higher than the effect of [personal] ‘meformer’ content, which deters growth. We think this is due to the prevalence of weak ties on Twitter.”
This translates as: if you want more followers, don’t just talk about yourself.
Among the accounts studied, users talked about themselves in 41 per cent of their tweets while informational content accounted for only 24 per cent.
As well as being positive and not just talking about what you had for lunch, the study suggests not filling your tweets with too many hashtags, maintaining a detailed profile, tweeting often and following back those who follow you.
This article was originally posted on The Telegraph.