The Josh Gordon Group blog

Content Marketing Lessons of the Top 10 Retweets of 2010

Posted by Eduardo Esparza on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 @ 08:12 AM

In social media circles, retweets are great currency. If you can create content, even if it’s under 140 characters long, and retransmit it through hundreds or thousands of individual Twitter accounts, it is communication gold.

The top 10 retweets of 2010 give insight as to what magic the top performers contain. Many are from celebrities, but that alone is not the secret sauce considering the thousands of tweets from celebs that did not make the cut.

First, let’s look at the basic nature of the content contained in the top ten tweets:

  • Average number of characters per tweet: 69, less than half of the 140 character limit
  • Average number of words per tweet: 13, short and sweet
  • Used humor: 5 of the 10
  • Personally connected: 5 of 10, here the tweet only made sense if you know the person (or celebrity) involved.
  • Offered wisdom: 3 of 10

So personal connection, humor, and wisdom, ruled the top tweets. Tweets about a personal mood, personal experience, real time experience, or news item, did not make the cut.

Here are the top ten tweets of 2010:

  1. Stephen Colbert: in honor of oil-soaked birds, 'Tweets' are now 'gurgles.
  2. Drizzy Drake: We always ignore the ones who adore us, and adore the ones who ignore us
  3. Lil Wayne WEEZY F: aaaaaaahhhhhhmmmmm baaaaakkkkkkkkkk
  4. Justin Bieber: te quiero mucho mi amor
  5. Al-Qaeda: Just noticed Twitter keeps prompting me to "Add a location to your tweets". Not falling for that one.
  6. joe jonas: I cry because I love Justin Bieber!!!
  7. Lady Gaga: I'm beautiful in my way, 'cause God makes no mistakes. I'm on the right track, baby. I was Born This Way.
  8. Kanye West: I'm sorry Taylor.
  9. Rihanna: Justin Bieber just flashed me his abs in the middle of a restaurant! Wow! He actually had a lil 6 pack! Sexy,lol!
  10. shitmydadsays: Don't focus on the one guy who hates you. You don't go to the park and set your picnic down next to the only pile of dog shit.

But there were more ingredients.

Each of the top tweets, in their own unique way, captured a universal feeling, moment, idea, or bit of wisdom for many.

Stephen Colbert used humor, but his “tweets are now gurgles” quip defined the frustration we all felt about the BP oil spill. Lady Gaga’s tweet defined her whole unique performance attitude that has mesmerize millions, while the fake Al-Qaeda tweet poked fun at Osama Bin Laden, something we all like to do.

In conclusion, be universal.

Share humor or wisdom. Both universally appreciated.

Find a way to make a universal personal connection. You do not have to be a celebrity if you tap into a universally known person or personal experience. Few know the Tweeter behind "Shit my dad says," but everyone has a dad. Few know the identity of the fake Osama from Al-Qaeda, but everyone knows who he or she is pretending to be.

There is nothing like a good universal tweet to bring us together.
Happy Holidays!

Official list of top ten retweets from Twitter