We Analyzed 200,000 Tweets From Members Of Congress. Here’s What We Learned!

SoSha
3 min readJul 8, 2020
A bird tweeting while it tweets.
Photo credit: Morning Brew

So you’re at your computer, thoughts turning in your head. You pull up Twitter and your heart fills with passion- but you have no words coming out of your fingers. You’re stuck. You’re passionate, but you can’t find the words to express yourself as a digital activist.

We, at SpeechifAI, have looked at over 200,000 tweets from Members of Congress to find out what makes a tweet more likely to be shared or liked. We’ve summarized our learning points in a few simple takeaways that everyone can learn from to become more efficient social media communicators!

A Few Steps to Help You Create an Impactful Tweet:

Twitter allows for each user to post a tweet of a max of 280 characters. This might not seem like a lot, but Twitter is meant for quick and to-the-point posts. One way to make your messages automatically more eye-catching is by putting some sentences on new lines. You can think of this as making small paragraphs within your tweet.

Punctuation

The punctuation you choose is important. Try to include at least three punctuation marks, but no more than seven. Punctuations break up the text and make it easier to read. It is a good idea to stay away from exclamation marks unless it is necessary. They actually decrease the probability of success, while question marks increase the likelihood of a post being liked and shared.

Capitalized Words

Oftentimes you’ll see tweets that have multiple words that are in all caps. Believe it or not, YOUR AUDIENCE DOESN’T WANT YOU TO SCREAM AT THEM. Posts written with fewer capital letters do better. Try to only use capital letters when necessary- like at the start of a sentence or a name. If you absolutely need to write a word in all caps, only use one in a post at a time.

Synonyms

Wording is everything. Some synonyms will perform better than others. For instance, the word ‘area’ performs poorly compared with its synonyms ‘region’ and ‘country’. Try to play around with wording until you feel like you have found what works for you.

Hashtags

One of the main things Twitter is known for is hashtags. They are a great way to reach your audience, encourage engagement, and allow others to discover you on Twitter. However, this has also led to making people “hashtag happy” where they overuse hashtags in their tweets. Try to keep the number of hashtags to a minimum, only use them when necessary. Using five hashtags versus two decreases the chances of success by 48%. There is a strong correlation that the more hashtags you use, the more unsuccessful a post will be. Therefore, it is best to only use one hashtag per post. The best place for a hashtag is at the end of the post. Hashtags in the text actually decrease the success of the post. The hashtags you use should be meaningful and easy to remember. Do your research to see what hashtags people are using when talking about your organization or the cause you’re passionate about.

Emojis

Looking to spice up your post? We all love a good emoji! They are fun and add emphasis to your messages. However, they will not always help your tweets. If you do want to incorporate them into your post, try to limit them to three or less. One emoji will actually improve the success of your tweet, but the overuse of emojis will make your message less effective.

Carly Gottorff, SpeechifAI’s data science lead, has looked at 453 members of Congress’s Twitter accounts and analyzed 228,250 tweets to better understand what posts are most likely to be retweeted or liked the most. As a result, we know that doing these simple things will help increase the impact of your tweets!

Author: Charlotte Hinrichs, Marketing Lead at SpeechifAI

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SoSha

SoSha enables companies and organizations to launch word-of-mouth campaigns on social media.