1. Link Up (But Don’t Use TinyURLs)
In Zarrella’s sample, links were three times more prevalent in RTs than normal tweets (19% to 57%).
2. Beggars Can Be Choosers
“Please” and “retweet” were his third and fourth “most retweetable” words, preceeded only by “Twitter” (duh) and “you.” Also worth noting: “Check out” and “new blog post” were Nos. 19 and 20, respectively.
3. Avoid Idle Chit-Chat
“There are a number of ‘-ing’ verbs, including ‘going,’ ‘watching’ and ‘listen-ing,'” that were not retweeted very often, he writes.
4. Don’t Be Stupid
So much for abbrevs and emoticons. 😦 Zarrella’s RTs not only have more syllables per word than normal tweets (1.62 vs. 1.58), but they’re also more intellectual: Per a Flesch-Kincaid test, comprehending RTs requires 6.47 years of education, while normal tweets require just 6.04.
5. Semicolons = Satan
A whopping 98% of RTs contain some form of punctuation (compared with 86% of normal tweets), with colons, periods, exclamation points, commas, and hyphens leading the way.
6. Break News
This one’s kind of a no-brainer, but original content is way more popular than stuff we’ve already read.
7. Use Proper Nouns Properly
Most RTs were heavier on nouns, proper nouns and 3rd-person verbs, suggesting that headline-style tweets–such as “Lindsay Lohan Escapes From Rehab Facility”–are more likely to go viral.
8. Bottle Those Emotions
Tweets about work, religion, money and media/celebrities are more retweetable than those invo