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In my last post, I talked about how to use Twitter to test your e-mail and blog post headlines.  Would you like to learn some rules for how to word your tweets so they get more clicks on Twitter? While I was doing the research for my post on how to use Twitter to split test your e-mail headlines, I ran across a great article from Dan Zarella that offers scientific proof of which headlines perform best on Twitter.

Would you like to know the rules for hitting a home run on Twitter?  Yeah, I thought you might….

1. Write your tweets like newspaper headlines.  The most retweeted tweets are ones that use lots of nouns and third-person verbs. They are about someone doing something now.  They aren't about what happened yesterday.   Tweets with past tense verbs and adverbs do not do as well.  Using this formula – “Learn How You Can Get Free Social Media Help” would work well while “Learn How I Earned Six Figures Blogging” would not be as effective.

2.  Talk Directly to Your Reader The most re-tweeted word is “you” – this means you should be addressing your readers directly. Top and 10 also are on the top ranking list – this means that lists are popular on Twitter.  And of course, talking about social media or about Twitter itself helps.

3. Use Your Words According to Dan Zarella's research, tweets with novel and unusual words got tweeted more often. Don't be afraid to use that vocabulary (just don't err too far on the erudite end of things – your readers need to be able to understand you).  The research also showed that Twitter is not the place to talk down to people – tweets were written at a higher grade level also tended to get more retweets.

4. Don't talk about yourself  This seems pretty obvious when you think about it…. but talking about yourself does not get retweets.   Think about your reader.  What can you offer them that is valuable enough to share and pass on to others.

5. Ask for it.   Do you want your readers to retweet? To download something? Ask them.   Tweets that specifically asked for a retweet tended to get retweeted more often.   The same was true of tweets that specifically asked readers to download.

What has been your most popular tweet?