How to Write the Perfect Tweet

Researchers at Hewlett-Packard and UCLA have come up with a formula to create the most popular, most shared messages in the Twitterverse.

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For all you folks on Twitter, science has discovered the art of the perfect tweet. It turns out that the Twitterverse likes a good reputation, straightforward approaches and well-known brands. And, oh, it gets really get giddy over tech stuff, too. New research from UCLA and Helwett-Packard says the most popular news-based tweets—and the ones that get shared the most—all follow a similar pattern and claim to be able to predict a tweet’s popularity with 84 percent accuracy.

Researchers say that even at 140 characters or less, some of the standby basics of news gathering still hold: a reliable news organization giving straightforward bits about a reputable company will draw the most interest.

(LIST: The 140 Best Twitter Feeds of 2012)

As Mashable explains, an ideal tweet includes a storied news organization, say the New York Times, sharing a link to one of their stories about a super-popular brand, preferably a tech brand, doing something new.

Researchers debunked the idea that folks want to share mainly info shared by friends or random bloggers. Instead, if they are going to share quality news — they want to be found reliable too, it seems — they use established media outlets as sources.

(MORE: Jennifer Egan Writes Short Story for Twitter)

Plus, the inclusion of emoticons — those cutesy little icons drawn out text characters — may make you giggle, but may not tell your followers enough about the story, reducing the chances of a retweet. And, please, stay away from SHOUTING your news. Even if it is shoutable, please don’t; nobody wants to pass your all-caps missives along.

As you could guess, technology news is of keen interest to readers on Twitter — whom we can assume are fairly tech savvy to begin with — while health and feel-good stories proved popular too. The fourth key component was that the subject matter itself focus on big-name brands — especially tech companies, as noted above. Stories about businesses such as Apple, for example, prove more popular than those about celebrities or other well-known institutions.

MORE: Zappos, LL Bean Use Twitter Most Effectively, Study Says

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