Are your tweets worth reading?…Probably not [Infographic]

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”?

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6 Responses to “Are your tweets worth reading?…Probably not [Infographic]”

  1. Interesting infographic. But isn’t it odd that there’s only a 3% difference between a tweet deemed “The Best” and a tweet deemed “The Worst”?

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  2. Reblogged this on Talknowledgy and commented:
    It’s Reblog Friday, and David Hall is here to rain on your parade Twitter users! Only 36% of tweets are worth reading! Are yours? Read on to find out! Or tune in tomorrow for David Hall’s weekly social media tip!

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  3. I would pretty much agree with this, though I have no big problem with complaints/opinions, esp. if it’s useful information about something to avoid or check out. Constant complaining gets old fast though.

    I’d be interested to know if people are more likely to read tweets with lots of hashtags, @people and links in them. I tend to open the next hundred tweets and scan over those, generally reading the ones with mostly plain text.

    ~ Fiona

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    • Actually, I read this report by @BuddyMedia (http://bddy.me/N0d7ci – key findings) looking at Twitter user engagement among top brands that confirmed your hunch a bit. In their analysis they concluded there was a ‘sweet spot’ — tweets with one or two hashtags had higher engagement (more retweets/replies as a percentage of followers) than those with three or more. Interesting!

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      • Hey, thanks for that Shawna! Very interesting. I like that it says tweet 4 times per day or less! So many people seem to have a constant stream going, until I remove them from my feed… One thing I found surprising was that people like images attached to tweets. I don’t think I’ve clicked on an image link, ever. Cheers! ~ Fiona

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