What Type of Content Gets Shared the Most on Twitter?

twitter

Have you ever wondered what type of content you should be creating for Twitter? Whether it is blog posts, quotes, memes, there has to be a content type that helps your traffic and branding more than other types of content, right?

I actually had the same question, which is why I decided to analyze 1,000 Twitter users and 398,582 tweets to see if I could figure out what type of content gets shared the most.

What I learned is that all content types are not created equal. Some get shared more than others…

Here’s how each content type stacks up against the rest.

Images perform better than videos

Users on Twitter tweet images 361% more than they tweet videos.

Even more interesting is to look at the number of favorites and retweets. Images tend to get 128% more retweets than videos, but videos get favorited 49% more than images.

video vs image twitter

From a branding standpoint, it’s easier and quicker to make images, so I recommend that you focus your time on image creation over videos.

The other thing that I learned when analyzing images is that 62% were humor-based, while 38% were other types.

image type twitter

If you want to maximize your branding efforts, you’ll have to come up with creative ways to infuse your corporate brand with humor. For example, this would be a great image to share potentially on Twitter if your company was KitKat:

kitkat

On the flip side, if KitKat just shared an image of someone eating its candy bar, that tweet wouldn’t do well.

Text performs better than images

Who would have thought that text performed better than images? Ninety-three percent of all the tweets we analyzed were text-based. In other words, they didn’t contain any images or videos.

image video text twitter

What was even more interesting is that 65% of those text-based tweets contained a link. The link part is important because not only does that mean you can drive traffic back to your site, but it also means that tweets with links get retweeted 86% more often. Plus, if you can keep the tweet under 100 characters, you’ll also get 17% more engagement.

Although this may seem obvious, the best way to drive traffic to your website is to tweet with a link.

Focus on list-based or how-to type of content

When we were diving into the text-based tweets, we found something interesting.

We assumed that people loved reading personal tweets such as how someone’s day was going or what that person was eating for dinner. Interestingly enough, those tweets had the least number of favorites or retweets.

But what did extremely well from a retweet perspective were tweets that linked to how-to or list-based articles. On average, they received 3 times more retweets than any other type of text-based content.

how to text twitter

If you want to tweet about something personal, tweet about luxury lifestyle because those tweets did the best. In other words, if you were to tweet about a fancy car, watch, home, or a yacht, you would get more favorites than if you were to tweet about what you ate for dinner. You still won’t get a ton of retweets compared to tweeting a how-to article, but you will get a lot of favorites.

Quotes outperform questions

When analyzing the tweets, we found that quotes tended to get 847% more retweets than questions. And although that percentage may seem big, it’s not that surprising.

What was surprising was that users who tweeted quotes had 43% more followers.

On the flip side, questions contained more replies than quotes. In general, questions had 1,050% more replies. So, if you want to create a conversation with your followers, consider asking them a question.

If you want to brand yourself through the use of quotes, you can always create image-based ones like the one below.

quotes

Through image-based quotes, not only will you get the retweets, but you will also increase the number of people who start seeing your corporate logo.

Twitter users aren’t big fans of memes

Compared to Facebook, there aren’t as many memes that get passed around on Twitter. And they make up the smallest percentage of tweets.

memes

If you want to generate traffic or increase your branding, you should consider staying away from memes. As a business, it doesn’t make sense for you to focus your marketing efforts on memes because even if the meme does well, the quality of traffic it produces is so poor that you won’t see many conversions.

Conclusion

If you are trying to get the most traffic from Twitter, consider creating how-to or list-based content on your site. Then push it out on Twitter, and have your friends, co-workers, and family members do the same.

If you want to maximize your branding, the simplest thing you can do is create image-based quotes with your corporate logo, and then push them out on Twitter.

So, in what other ways can you generate traffic from Twitter?

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Comments

  1. striking difference between text and picture / video, this is very helpful, thanks again Neil.

  2. Hi Neil

    Thank you yet again for the valuable information. We have been struggling a bit with deciding what to post on twitter and your information makes sense. I will be sharing this with our team.

    All the best.

    Kind regards

    Heidi

  3. Hi Neil

    Thanks for sharing the tips, you will not believe but I was thinking of writing you to right some helpful content on twitter and finally its there.

    we target our customers with twitter and it is very helpful as well, not getting much sales from here but surely 1-2 per day from here and which is good.

    this content will surely add value to it. Thanks Neil

    Regards, Derek

  4. This opened my eyes about twitter thanks Neil

  5. Solid post, I really enjoyed the detailed stats in this one. I was a little unclear on the takeaways until I read the conclusion so thanks for wrapping it up like that, Neil.

    I recently asked a question on Twitter about what name choice should I go with for an upcoming book I’m writing. It was a fairly specific question so I was surprised that I actually got a response considering our following isn’t huge yet.

    However, when I looked closer at who had responded it was clear that he, like others on Twitter, often run streaming searches for keywords related to their business in this case “sales engine.”

    Also no surprise that How-to articles and list-based articles get the most retweets. Based on the data I’m seeing, this also seems to be true for sites like Reddit, especially if the content is well written and comprehensive.

    For example, on a recent blog post on how to create a landing page (http://petovera.com/professional-web-design-blog/2014/01/how-to-create-a-landing-page-converts-customers/) we received 98 upvotes on Reddit and about ~1000 visits to our site as a direct result.

    Interestingly enough, one of our least popular articles both on Twitter and on Reddit was also the only one that wasn’t either a How-To or a List-based article.

    Keep up the good work.

    Matt

    • Matt, that is very interesting. People love articles with those types of taglines. It’s all about promoting great content that has a great tagline.. Thanks for sharing your story. Looking forward to hearing more from you :)

      • Thank Neil.

        Quick typo correction from the end of my comment above:

        “Interestingly enough, one of our least popular articles both on Twitter and on Reddit was also the only one that was NEITHER a How-To or a List-based article.” — In other words, the premise of your stats above are accurate.

  6. Hi Neil,
    Very Informative post!
    I read and like your quotes everyday on facebook! I’ve seen Quotes getting more retweets!
    Thanks for this detailed post!

  7. I really found the part about memes interesting. I was just thinking about posting some to twitter from pinterest and instagram, but it’s good to know that it won’t really do any good as compared to other content. Thanks for the info about tweets with links, because i thought they were a little overwhelming, when they really do help. Good info!

  8. This is a wonderful posting Neil, so full of information. I love these kinds of posts where you show percentage based statistics and your research analysis. These kinds of analysis helps us a lot of bloggers like me. :)

    But I would like to ask you one question, of course, if you don’t take it otherwise, if you don’t answer, I won’t mind because I know everyone has a secret. Where or how do you collect these percentage statistics from? Is it from your personal surveys or from a source?

    I hope we get to read more such informative posts in the future.

  9. Interesting article with concrete examples. Big up!

  10. Hi Neil,

    I love your posts for they provide some very interesting and practical tips based on research. This is great stuff and obviously logical.

    Questions are supposed to have more replies when compared with retweets.

    Quotes are supposed to be retweeted more and replied to, less. Your research found it to be true.

    But I didn’t realize that text was doing better than image and what was more intriguing? The fact that list based tweets do better than “how to” type. That’s incredible.

    Thank you for sharing these statistics and helping everybody plan their strategy. You are just awesome!

    Regards,
    Kumar

    • Kumar, glad you found the post helpful.

      Questions and quotes always produce the best results in my opinion. People love sharing their thoughts and being inspired by quotes.

  11. Excellent work again Neil. Really helps reading your posts and the very relevant information in it.
    Thanks again for all the excellent material that you provide.
    Would have never thought that texts work better than images!
    Excellent!

  12. Interesting data.

    I’ve just finished doing 3 Coaching calls with Twitter on Lead Cards and running ads with Twitter.

    What are your thoughts or findings on how to use Twitter Cards effectively for leads?

    • I haven’t ever used it for leads. I’ve seen people get more traffic because of it and that drives more leads in the long run, but I am not sure how you can use cards for more leads.

  13. Hey Neil :) these statistics I can understand fully as I use twitter quite a lot and since Iv utilised some of your tips already (i.e. your list of 10 words which people click on eg How to, Best, Tip, etc) and have found that I do get a lot more RT’s if I use one of the words in your list. It’s brilliant. Then we can generate so much more traffic to your website or blog using this simple trick. Once this business is National and other stuff is off the ground I will Definately be using this info from the word go obviously with everything else that I’ve learnt :) It’s also good to repeat your message on twitter throughout the day or change it up a bit so it’s not coming across repetitive and stuff as some people won’t know that your tweets only have an average lifespan of 5/6 secs iv heard. Thanks again Neil. I’m about to subscribe to your Traffic U as well today :) Thanks a million :)

    • Gron, glad I could help.
      I always look forward to hearing your responses because they are full of insightful thoughts and smiley faces :)
      Thanks for reading and as always please let me know if you need help with anything.

  14. Thats great amount of info you have summarised in this post. Need to focus on twitter big time.

  15. I have only one word about this Blog “Amazing”. Recently I made a twitter account so this article will help me a lot. Thanks Neil

  16. Hi Neil,

    I think the following tactic may work in some cases:

    1. Get to know some product or a post of a person (let’s call him mr.Person) you are following in Twitter (i.e. read the post carefully or try the product etc).
    2. Write a post on your blog (a review of the product or a good summary of the post.)
    3. Twit the catching headline with the link to your post, include the person’s name hashtag (e.g. I wish I’ve seen #mr.Person’s_product 1 year earlier, #mr.Person! Could have saved $1000. ).
    4. There are good chances that your twit will be retwitted by mr.Person (especially if it is not your first contact with mr.Person)
    5. You gt traffic from mr.Person’s audience.

    A more sophisticated version of this tactic:

    Almost the same, but instead of inserting the link to your post, insert a link to mr.Person’s post.
    But before that post a relevant and very valuable comment on mr.Person’s post.
    Visitors will go first to mr.Person’s post, and then to your website from your comment.

    • Michael, thanks for outlining this in such a easy to read fashion.

      I think most successful social media marketers follow your blueprint.

      Thanks for the share :)

  17. Interesting article to read Neil. Learned a lot out of that.

  18. My personal experience in the recent times is that if you are following your niche audience and engaging with them on a daily basis you will get more retweets and shares on Twitter :)

  19. According to me it’s tech news which gets shared most of the time.

  20. I am totally agreeing with you that images performance better than videos sharing.

  21. Hey Neil,

    This was a great marketing analyst you did on twitter. I’m not a big twitter user but this is good to know anyways just in case I become an avid twitter user ;)

    Have you found this to be true on other social media websites as well?

  22. Hi Neil,

    I think this is another brilliant post of yours and it helps a lot of people to understand Twitter. You are investing a lot of your time and effort into your articles and the results are well worth it! Thanks for that.

    What really would interest me is how you measured these responses because I find it really hard to find good analysis software for Twitter.

    I have heard that Kissmetrics (I know this is one of your companies) delivers some good statistics about Social Media but I never got an article from you about it (or I did not read it – sorry then). You should tell us more about this and not hold back just because there is a rule that you should not try to sell hard in content marketing. How can we learn about your good products other than that?

    If you used different tools it would be good to know as well.
    Thanks – keep up the good work!

    Oliver

    • I had my developer and a few interns do this for me. They created a way to analyze and scrape a lot of the results. I can try to get them create a list of the process of gathering the data so you guys can learn from it.

  23. Great information Neil! I was wondering about the videos and images.Learned a lot from your article.

  24. Neil,

    I have not really used Twitter much for my Business brand. Now for my personal brand I use it to connect with others because of my personal Business. However for my company, I need to use this approach. I really like branding our images with our logo. Never thought of doing that.

  25. Cool Neil always wondered how the tweetverse worked. Just signed up for Sprout U looking forward to learning more from you.

    Steve

  26. Thank you for sharing! I really enjoyed reading the post.

  27. Thanks Neil for the wonderful Info you have shared with us.

    Really very nice in depth Tips and Info you have put here

    Thanks to share.

  28. Hey neil,
    what an awesome analysis, really helpful as always.

  29. Thanks Neil for summing this up. Twitter has always seemed like a foreign language to me which is odd as I live and breathe marketing. This helps break the barriers to understand what works and what doesn’t. I’ve noticed you’ve been doing quotes and I like that and can relate. It gives me something to walk away with unlike most tweets which is probably why I’m not particularly fond with using this social channel but its a must in this day and age. Love how to’s though and will definitely utilize in future.

  30. Another Great post Neil,I recently started to grow my twitter following and now i have more than 100.what i saw that i was not getting any retweets or favourites but suddenly when i shared your post on how Google works.
    i was getting retweets and lots of favourites even 3 to 4 days after.what happened was that i added my own text instead of the default text that shows up.so i would add this that use your own words and they should be compelling and full of curiosity.

    This is the text i shared”I know How you Work.i am talking to you Mr.Google. http://www.quicksprout.com/2014/02/21/how-google-works/ … via @neilpatel” i did it just for fun and surprisingly it worked really well.

  31. It is always a pleasure to open my emails in the morning, and finding gems like this blog post amongst the clutter. Visual impact on twitter definitely counts for a lot more than mere text, especially when there are a lot of information coming into one’s twitter feed from many different people / sources that one is following.

    Humans think in pictures, and not in text, after all. Thank you for this morning’s pearl of wisdom, I am tweeting this to my followers straightaway…sharing is caring, LOL.

  32. Images do well on twitter, but it has to be funny or got some great messages attached to it…

    Most times great quotes do well on their own even without images, and has far reaching impact than questions…Questions are used more now and I think tweeps are tired of it, onee of my follower (oomf) even tweeted the other day that the question thingy wasn’t interesting anymore.. Thanks for sharing on kingged.com

  33. Hi Neil,

    I’ve been developing our twitter account for about 3 months now and tried all kinds of tweets – articles, images, videos and even related quotes. I must say my results are identical to your – quotes do best retweet-wise.

    However, we also produce weekly infographics which seem to do quite well.

    Looking forward to your next posts,
    Irit

  34. Les Pickford :

    Great post Neil that will help me focus how I use Twitter. Thank you!

    One quick question… are there any tools available that will help me to easily and quickly create image-based posts (mainly for quotes)?

    • Les, there are lots of them out there but am falling in love Google + and they allow u upload any image and the u can insert the text easily. This you can subsequently download and upload to twitter.

    • Les, I would check out e-lance and look for people who make digital posters. Those are the surest best, I believe.

  35. The article is awesome , i can say by experience this is absolutely spot on.

    As always great article Neil.

  36. Great content and good reasearch work. that is how i drive traffic to my site.

  37. Brill post – love that it is based on hard information rather just your beliefs! Very valuable contribution!

  38. That is interesting about text. I do agree-like Pinterest the How to’s are always the most popular shared content!

  39. Neil, I noticed this blog post received more facebook and twitter shares than the norm.

    Compared to your last blog post, this one received about 219% more Twitter shares, and 465% more Facebook shares.

    Obviously, this is a just a 1-to-1 comparison, but it based on my knowledge of your past articles, this is still above the norm.

    Any thoughts on what caused the jump?

    My initial thoughts: title is written in plain language, something someone might ask someone or search for… also it’s a blog post specifically about social media. And many marketing / business people on social media cared about how to get the most out of social media.

    Perhaps you have a different idea though?

  40. Neil, you and your content are awesome!!!! It’s shows your effort and good research work.

  41. Hi Neil

    Thanks again for this great post.I like Your Every post.These post are very helpful for me and others.

  42. Hi,
    Your thoughts are really nice, this will help me to increase my site traffic. Thank you!

  43. Neil, important to note that the recommendations apply to “organic” content.

    We recently ran a funny photo in a promoted tweet.
    Result:
    – lots of picture engagement;
    – burnt through the budget with zero click-thrus.
    Obvious in hindsight :)

    cheers
    d.

  44. Really great information Neil..I become big FAN of your articles..I am just completing every article publishing on your website..

  45. Selfies, evidently, if you have a selection of A List celebrities on hand. Ellen DeGeneres proved this very effectively!

  46. I’m speechless Neil.. I just came in here wondering what you were up to and found this. I’m honored. Thank you. :)

  47. Thanks a lot for this helpful guide. I’ve found that quotes are best to get more retweets. I have never tried videos, from now I’ll start tweeting images more to see followers reaction :)

  48. Hi Neil,
    Thanks i was searching for tips like these I’ve start working as per your suggestions thanks again.

  49. Hello Neil,

    I follow your posts closely. Very informative your blog is. Enough to teach SEO to a naive like me.

    Thanks for sharing your knowledge with all of us.

    Warm Regards,
    Dhruv Girdhar

  50. This is my first comment on your blog and I think i’ve been in cave of internet to not finding your website(quicksprout).
    “Always Keep learning.The second you stop,you’ll be outdated”. That’s exactly the perspective of your blog(as i see),i mean the frequency of posts each month you have is commendable,how much time do you spend every day online(blogging)???. I’m Truly inspired by you.Sir Neil pardon my English and Thank you very much for such posts and content you provide as always.

  51. Great article. Got me (re)thinking some other stuff and also found other new great insights. thanks! Much appreciated

  52. This is good to know. I’m still trying to optimize my Twitter presence and your findings are not what I would have expected. Probably just saved me a lot of time and effort – thanks!

  53. I think humor is most shared content whether graphic or text.

  54. Nice post! Worth a Retweet.

    Tweet, whatever keeps your audience entertained & provocative enough to engage. Educating & Entertaining them, plus cherishing relationships & connections, is the right way. Happy Tweeting & most of all Happy Follow Friday!

    ~@TheSoulfulEMU
    ~@TweeteingMaestro

  55. Cool Stuff. I always learn a lot from you.
    Thanks for sharing such helpful content!

  56. Very informative post,I didn’t know images got more share than videos.Thanks for disclosing this,I’ll keep in mind this and will also concentrate more on how-to tutorial.Great help.

  57. This post was really helpful in winning an argument about pictures vs. videos among my friends this weekend. This is really a great potential stuff to prove what actually happens out there. Thanks a lot for making such a study and sharing in open.

  58. Probably a great and informative article but I gave up after the 5th pop up

  59. I’m just getting into twitter and though i find it confusing most of the time, i’m definitely finding it interesting. I have written down all your tips and i am going to start using them. Thanks wish me luck!!
    Sam

  60. Twitter is really important. I am seeing tons of traffic on my website from twitter. I am learning things from you Neil. Thanks a lot.

  61. Neil. It would help if your site didn’t bombard me with a dozen infuriating pop-up ads while I’m reading your content. “Buy this, Sign Up for that, If you don’t click here you’re a loser, etc.” I find this absolutely horrendous, like most people in the 21st century and has turned me off reading anything else form you. It’s too bad, you’re a good writer.

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