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Data Shows Positivity Works Better Than Negativity in Social Media

Posted by Dan Zarrella on 8/22/11 4:45 PM

This is a guest post written by Dan Zarrella, the award winning social media scientist at HubSpot. For more social media science, be sure to register now for our Science of Social Media marketing webinar.

I love it when science and data disprove unicorns-and-rainbows feel-good myths, but sometimes they actually agree.

For instance, it sounds like a squishy platitude to say that positivity works better than negativity in social media, but it's actually true. And the data bears that out in both Twitter and Facebook.

ling facebook

When I looked at articles shared on Facebook, I found that positivity is the second most "shareable" linguistic content type. And negativity is the least shareable.

negative remarks

And when I analyzed millions of Twitter accounts, I found a correlation between negative remarks and follower counts. As the amount of negativity in a user's stream increased, the number of followers they have decreased.

People don't log onto social media to get bummed out. They can just turn on the TV news if that's what they're looking for. They go to social media to feel good about themselves and to talk to their friends. So whenever you can, steer toward the positive stories.

Dan Zarrella

Written by Dan Zarrella

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