October 31, 2014

The verb is the story

Drop the modifiers on Facebook

“Rule No. 716: Bars don’t have mayors.”
Esquire’s “New Rules for Men”

Strunk & White were right, says viral marketing scientist Dan Zarrella: Modifiers aren’t as effective as nouns and verbs. And now Zarrella has the data to prove it.

Adjectives and adverbs don’t perform as well on Facebook as nouns and verbs. Zarrella learned this by analyzing his Facebook data set to study the relationship between parts of speech and Facebook sharing.

Specifically, he says:

  • Adverbs get shared nearly 3 percent less often than average.
  • Adjectives get shared nearly 2 percent less often.
  • Nouns get shared a little more than average.
  • Verbs get shared nearly 2 percent more than average.

In Facebook, as in life, the verb is the story.

About Ann Wylie

Ann Wylie is president of Wylie Communications Inc., a training, writing and consulting firm. She works with communicators who want to reach more readers and with organizations that want to get the word out. Wylie is the author of RevUpReadership.com, a toolbox for writers, and Wylie’s Writing Tips, a free e-zine. She has earned more than 60 awards, including two IABC Gold Quills, for her work.

Copyright © 2010 Ann Wylie. All rights reserved.

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