June 6, 2012
For years now, my Twitter rule-of-thumb has been to always keep my audience in mind when I tweet. I often ask the question “how is this of value to my followers, or to the individuals I’m interacting with?” If I can see value, I send it; if it’s a bit weak, I think twice. Sure I’ve sent out some garbage tweets over the years, but for the most part I think I’ve been pretty consistent.
Essentially I’m trying to share content that is worth consuming and sharing, but I’ve never really stopped to think what percentage of my tweets are “worth reading” according to my readers. A recent study that appeared in the Harvard Business Review suggests that only 36% of the average users’ tweets were actually “worth reading”, leaving the remaining 64% to be either “just OK” or “Not worth reading” at all.
This study asked 1,400+ users to rank 40,000+ different tweets, and they were able to compile a list of the best and worst “types” of tweets. There were a couple surprises in there. First, “random thought” and “self-promotion” tweets were most popular. I would have thought that these would have been considered useless or too self-interested, but it turns out that the “random thoughts” are often good for a laugh, and self-promotional tweets are welcome when they link to useful resources and information.
Another surprise is that “conversation” tweets ranked as one of the worst types of tweets. It appears that most Twitter users don’t appreciate public conversations between a few people. Personally, I like these tweets. I love having open conversations on Twitter. I will use a RT to provide the context of the conversation and add my additional thoughts as well. I often find that others who were not in the original conversation will chime in to further the discussion and offer new points-of-view.
Now for the infographic:
What percentage of your tweets do you think are “worth reading”?