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Want to Share a Message on Twitter? Talk About Twitter

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If you're trying to improve how far your Tweets get shared, try talking about Twitter itself in those 140 characters—it'll boost your chances according to some new analysis. But Facebookers seem to hate Twitter—its mention is a sharing killer.

There're a million ways to investigate the social trends exhibited in the status streams from Twitter and Facebook, but Dan Zarella has been examining "meta mentions" on the two social networks—instances when the system's users mention the system itself as part of a status update or Tweet.

His results are presented graphically above. If you mention Twitter during a Tweet, it pushes up your re-Tweet sharing chances by 300% over the average non-Twitter-mentioning one, and even mentioning Facebook boosts the sharing by over 60%. Meanwhile, Facebookers are less swayed by the tactic, and while they will still onwards share content that mentions Facebook, it only offers an improvement of about 220% over the average non-Facebook mentioning status. But, on the other hand, if you mention Twitter on Facebook, Zarella's data suggests it knocks your chances of having your status onwards-shared enormously.

In essence: Twittering about Twitter is a good audience hook, but Facebooking about Twitter is a terrible idea. Which is all very interesting if you're a PR professional looking to promote a company on either system.

So what drives this behavior? Zarella's conclusion is that Twitter is more heavily populated by social media geeks, keen to engage more with the very system they're currently using, whereas Facebookers aren't so intrigued by the way the social network itself works. This is borne out by the fact that Twitterers are happy to talk about Facebook, and come up with new ways of using Twitter that actually expand the site's usefulness. But when Facebook makes any sort of tweak to improve its UI, its system or its privacy, the Facebook population gets up in arms about the disturbance to how Facebook should be.

[Via DanZarella]

To hear more news like this follow me, Tweet me, and Re-Tweet me, Kit Eaton, on Twitter.

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  • Aly-Khan Satchu

    This Notion that You have picked up on signifies the following I think; Twitter has a very inclusive Brand and the Users a Sense of Brand Ownership. And I do feel Twitter has been very c21st in this regard. Their Open Garden Approach might well have been a Philosophical Choice but it will produce J Curve Returns commercially as well. Folks are invested in Twitter, they are therefore keen to share their Experiences in that Investment.

    Aly-Khan Satchu