May 31, 2016

Better you than me

Want more Twitter followers? Stop talking about yourself

The more you talk about yourself on Twitter, the fewer followers you’re likely to have.

Or so says viral marketing scientist Dan Zarrella.

Using TweetPsyche data on more than 60,000 Twitter users, he looked at self-reference on Twitter. He found that Twitter users who don’t talk about themselves much tend to have more users.

“Want more followers?” Zarrella asks. “Stop talking about yourself.”

In other TweetPsyche research, Zarrella found that Mom was right about social media as well as so many other things. To get more followers on Twitter, Zarrella writes, you should:

  • Be positive. Writing about sadness, aggression, morbid thoughts and negative emotions and feelings correlates with fewer followers. (What a shock!) So if you want more followers, cheer up.
  • Be sociable. Social language correlates with more followers, Zarrella found. So use words like “you” and “we” and write more about relationships and communication.

And remember: “You” is the most retweeted word in the English language.

So on Twitter as in so much else in life, better “you” than “me.”

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    Online, constant problem solving (to click or not to click?) and divided attention (you’ve got mail!) lead to cognitive overload. (One researcher even found that reading on the screen temporarily lowers your I.Q. more than smoking weed!)

    “Try reading a book while doing a crossword puzzle,” writes Nicholas G. Carr, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Shallows: What the Internet Is Doing to Our Brains. “That’s the intellectual environment of the Internet.”

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