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Trends Q: Does the length of a resort’s tweet impact the number of times it’s retweeted?

photo of the author Gregg Blanchard

With such similar lengths, parallels have often been drawn between subject lines and tweets. A few months ago we looked at how the length of subject lines impact their open rates and found something surprising: the longer or shorter the subject, the more opens it received. Would the same hold true for Twitter tweets? Here’s what we found.

The Goods
For this analysis, we looked at over 25,000 ski resort tweets posted between late November 2012 and early January 2013. The retweet count of each tweet was divided by the follower count of the resort that posted it. Tweets were then grouped by the length of the message (including link, 1-140 characters) and analyzed:

Sure enough, the trend is very similar to that of an email subject line: shorter tweets tend to be retweeted much more frequently than longer tweets right up until the limit – 140 characters – where the retweet rate once again spikes.

What This Means
One of the most interesting takeaways surrounds a common Twitter tactic where a longer message is shortened by the length of the resort’s username plus five. This shortening allows the insertion of “RT @yourusername ” before the message for easy retweeting through non-native Twitter applications. While this does seem logical, it also appears to be ineffective.

Like subject lines, it also seems there is middle zone were your message isn’t short and to the point but not quite pushing the size limits either. In this area, there is a significant dip in the retweet rate. Keep it longer or shorter and you’re golden.

More & Merrier
Next week, same time same place, we’ll drop yet another weekly Stash post full of resort marketing goodness. Don’t want to miss out? Stick your name and email address below and it’ll be waiting in your inbox.

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