Anatomy of of popular tweet

I have been tweeting for a number of years now and still have a relatively low number of followers (you are following me right?). Last night my iPhone started to go mad with notifications from the Twitter app of favourites and retweets coming through at a steady pace, normally I’m lucky to get one a week. On closer inspection I found that the notifications were all for a single tweet sent about a month ago – the one that you can see shown here.

As a background to the Tweet I was lucky enough to get preview tickets for the film Saving Mr Banks. I greatly enjoyed the film and so as I exited the cinema I posted the tweet and thought nothing more about it. And nothing did happen until last night when it developed a life of its own. Looking at who has taken the time to favourite and retweet it I can’t really see why it suddenly became popular. One thing maybe is that the film only went on general release last week so that has an effect and maybe that alone was enough. The other thing was that the Tweet had a hashtag that was obvious and likely to be found in general searches.

Another interesting thing was that these 100+ interactions didn’t lead to an increase in followers, I gained a couple more but that is on a par with a normal week anyway. From this I gather that Twitter users are a discerning bunch who may like an individual tweet but won’t be fooled into thinking that all a users output will be quite so fine.

So what have I learnt from this? Tweets can be sent and seem to have no impact but something else may trigger them at a later date – key to this is being able to find it so a good hashtag is essential. A Tweet been retweeted or favourited doesn’t lead to an increase in followers for that you need a bigger and consistent body of work.

That latter point is certainly going to be something that I struggle with. Looking at the people I follow it is those whose output is regular and on a similar topic whether it is regarding cloud technology, Formula 1 or jokes but they very rarely mix business with pleasure so to speak. Looking at my output it can be anything from WilliamsF1, my work to a right good moan so it is difficult for any follower to know what they are going to get next. And do you know what? I am good with that. For me it is not a pursuit for the most followers but an outlet for my thoughts and views. If someone likes that and chooses to follow so be it.