What the study says:
Pictures increase retweets on Twitter
The study deduces that photos and images increase retweets on Twitter more than text updates. Zarella's findings have revealed that tweets that contain pictures and uploaded using pic.Twitter.com links are 94% more likely to be retweeted than those without links. Due to the fact that the photos that are embedded with pic.Twitter.com show up directly in the Twitter stream, Twitter users simply need to click on the tweet if they want to see images.
But there is a catch. Just because you have a picture on Twitter, it doesn't mean that it absolutely WILL get retweeted. Not all images are considered equal. Tweeting a photo from Instagram or Facebook doesn't increase the likelihood of getting a retweet. On the contrary, according to the study, when a tweet comprises a link to an Instagram picture, it is 42% less likely to be retweeted than a tweet that does not have an Instagram link. This likelihood turns to 47% where Facebook is concerned.
Earlier, Twitter users could embed Instagram photos into their tweets directly, but since December 2012, the video and photo-sharing service has changed its functionality. Now only a link appears and when users click it, they are redirected to view it directly on Instagram.
The positive impact of hashtags and quotation marks
Zarrella has found that when 2 characters are present in tweets they are more likely to be retweeted. These characters are hashtags and quotation marks.
When you include one or more hashtags in a tweet, its chances of being retweeted are increased by 55%. This is due to the fact that hashtags allow a wider audience to access your tweets. Good Twitter practise entails the use of 3 or less hashtags in a tweet. Any more would make it difficult to read.
When you include quotation marks in a tweet, its chances of being retweeted are 30% more likely that those tweets that do not contain quotes. It has been found that people love to share quotes on Twitter.
Polite Call-to- Actions make all the difference
On Twitter where every character counts, the words you use as calls-to-action really make a difference, according to Zarella. Here is what he found about CTA words.
* Words like "please help" and "please retweet" were on top of the CTA list and increased retweets by over 100%.
* Manners are important, not just in real life but on Twitter too! Words like "please RT" and "please" made a difference.
* Words like "visit" that sound promotional made it to the bottom of the top phrases list.