Get To Know The Twitter Algorithm

If you’ve been following Elon Musk’s Twitter account you know that he’s been releasing information about the internal workings of Twitter over the past few months. One of those releases focuses on Twitter’s algorithm. Specifically, he released the code on their GitHub page for the public to read and analyze. Once a complete mystery has been demystified (to a certain extent). The website Hypherhorizen took a stab at doing a review of the code and posted their analysis. We used their analysis and added our own commentary. If you’re a frequent user and poster to Twitter, the information below is important to understand and will help you form your Twitter strategy.

The Twitter algorithm utilizes data points ranging from .01 to 1+ and any value below 1 can negatively impact a post, while anything above 1 can positively affect it. Twitter doesn’t post the data points, per post, but hopefully will in the future. While the analysis below doesn’t equate to specific data points it does give a view on negative and positive consequences of actions.

Likes, Retweets, then Replies – The ranking parameters are as follows: each like gets a 30x boost, each retweet a 20x, and each reply only 1x. It’s more impactful to earn likes and retweets than replies. You might have thought “engagement” meant how many people reply to your messages, but as you can see that’s the least important thing to worry about. Make sure to put a Twitter group together to like and retweet each others tweets.

Images and Videos – Both images and videos lead to a nice 2x boost. To make your content stand out, add images and videos to your tweets. You probably knew this already, but images and videos get much more looks on Twitter than plain text. Ensure the majority of your tweets are images and videos and stay away from the text only tweets, unless absolutely necessary.

Links – Generally, external links get you marked as spam. However, if you have enough engagement, links won’t hurt your engagement. So, be mindful of your engagement levels when using external links in your tweets. We’ve seen the strategy where models post an image or video and then reply with links to their fan sites. This is a good strategy to deploy.

Mutes and Unfollows – Mutes, blocks, unfollows, spam reports, and abuse reports all hurt your engagement. So, it’s important to avoid any behavior that may result in these actions. I wouldn’t be overly concerned about this category. You don’t know when you’ve been unfollowed or blocked so there’s no sense in driving yourself crazy as this is completely out of your control.

Blue Checkmark – Paying for the blue checkmark gets you a healthy boost. If you’re serious about boosting your engagement, consider getting the blue checkmark. This ones gets a big eye roll from most, but if you want to be in the game you have to play (and pay) the game.

Misinformation – Anything that is categorized as misinformation gets the rug pulled out from under it. Be sure to fact-check your content before sharing it on Twitter.

Clustering – The algorithm puts you into a grouping of similar profiles. It uses that to extend tweet reach beyond your followers to similar people. So, make sure to engage with similar profiles and use relevant hashtags to increase your reach. Hashtags are one of those things that can help or hurt you in the adult space. In general I would stay away from hashtags unless absolutely necessary.

Posting Outside Your Cluster – If you do “out of network” content, it’s not going to do as well. To maximize your engagement, focus on hammering home points about your niche. The strategy of simply including words from what’s trending on Twitter will do absolutely nothing for you, so don’t even bother.

Words and Spelling – Words that are identified as “unknown language” are given a 0.01 penalty, which is a huge penalty. So, make sure to double-check your spelling and avoid using made-up words.

Followers, Engagement, and User Data – The models take in three inputs: engagement data, user data, and the follower graph. So, make sure to focus on building your follower base and increasing engagement to maximize your Twitter reach.

Understanding the algorithm that drives Twitter, or any other platform you use is extremely important. While we all simply want to post and interact how we want, that’s unfortunately not how Twitter works. To maximize your engagement you need to play by Twitter’s algorithm rules. As we learn more about the Twitter algorithm we’ll create follow-up posts.

If you have additional points to add to our analysis please do so in the comment section.

Image courtesy of SproutSocial

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