An excellent social media Twitter guide for attorneys
By Geri L. Dreiling, Esq.
When I was a kid growing up in Kansas, I think I was constantly asking for something: “Can I have a cookie?” “Can I go ride bikes with my friends?” “Can I have the keys to the car?”
My mother’s responses were predictable: First she pointed out that she had not heard the “magic word,” and then she corrected my grammar: “May I please have a cookie?” Before any answer was given, the question would have to be rephrased. Now it’s my turn to refine my own children’s requests.
But it turns out that mothers are onto something.
According to social media marketing guru Dan Zarrella, the word “please” appears not once but twice in the top 20 most repeated words and phrases on Twitter. “Please” by itself ranked third, and “Please retweet” came in at No. 11.
Zarrella collected more than 40 million retweets over a nine-month period beginning in December 2008. The result of his work is the guide “Science of Retweets.” (You may download the free guide by visiting http://danzarrella.com/.)
In addition to parsing the data to come up with the 20 most retweetable words and phrases, Zarrella also identifies 20 retweet killers. No. 1? “Game.” No. 3? “Haha.” He notes that “ing” verbs and slang don’t make for strong retweet fodder.
When to Retweet
If you think that the day and time of your tweets don’t matter, think again. Using Eastern Standard Time as the benchmark, Zarrella explains that although tweeting is done more often during business hours, retweets are more frequent between 3 p.m. and midnight. Mondays and Fridays are also both high retweet days, with Friday the better of the two.
Links and URL Shorteners
To link or not to link? That’s another question Zarrella answers in the guide. Most retweets do indeed include a link. Because of the limited space, most links are shortened. The shortener that proved the most popular was bit.ly.
This is just a small sampling of the insights contained in the 22-page PDF guide. Lawyers and law firms who are new to Twitter or are looking for tips to make their content more contagious should give it a look.
Of course, it isn’t going to guarantee you’ll always get your retweeting way. After all, no matter how many “pleases” I sprinkled into the request “May I invite the entire senior class over to the house for a party on Friday night while you’re out of town?” I wasn’t going to hear a yes. But at least I knew enough to at least try it with a “please.”
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