March 1, 2015

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.

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