If you're hoping to gain more followers on Twitter, a new study finds that it's best to stick with upbeat tweets, be a good speller, and not talk too much about yourself.
Researchers from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta examined tweets sent by 500 non-famous regular people over a 15-month period, according to New Scientist. Headed by C.J. Hutto, the team searched for 2,800 terms that convey positive or negative emotions, including curse words and slang, as well as emoticons and common acronyms, such as LOL.
Prior research has found that following celebrities or "important" people on Twitter and getting them to follow you in return, as well as posting frequently, were vital factors in building a Twitter fan base. But according to New Scientist, what matters more is what's in your tweets.
According to the findings, the most successful Twitter users focused on positive messages, wrote clearly, and retweeted interesting news items, rather than posting too much about themselves.
"Twitter is used quite heavily as a news medium," Hutto told the magazine. "My weak connections on Twitter care less about what I had for breakfast than they do about this neat bit of news I discovered."
The researchers will present their findings at the Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems in Paris in April.