The 5 Types of Tweet Responses

I’ve blasted out over 4,000 tweets over the past few years and I’ve often wondered about the types of responses my tweets generate.

There are five types of responses that a tweet can generate.  The graphic below highlights them and their frequency and desirability. The more desirable responses are at the top of the pyramid, but also occur less frequently.

5 Types of Tweet Responses

  1. Ignored or Missed: Most tweets are either ignored or missed completely.  Because of the high signal-to-noise ratio, many messages on Twitter are missed completely.  Those that do find their way in front of someone’s eyes will likely be ignored. This response type is difficult to measure.
  2. Consumed: Of the tweets that do find their way into the feeds of your followers, the majority of the people will simply consume or read your message, if it interests them. This response type is also difficult to measure.
  3. Link Clicked: This is the first favorable and measurable response type.  Twitter is an effective tool to promote content you find valuable. If you use a service like, you can track the clicks for the links you share.
  4. Replied: While the clicking of links in your tweets indicates some level of engagement, having a follower reply to your tweet is more ideal.  This is what social media is about. Engaging conversation.
  5. RT’d (retweeted): The is the holy grail in Twitter responses.  Your message or link is no longer just shared with your followers, but it’s now shared with all of the followers of the person who retweeted your message.

There are three contributing factors that determine which response type your tweet generates:

  1. The quality of the headline in the tweet. A catchy headline that speaks to the reader is more likely to generate a favorable response. For more information on writing great Twitter headlines, visit
  2. The relationship with your followers. People are always more willing to help those who already helped them.  The same is true on Twitter. Your followers who you have helped by answering questions or retweeted, are more likely to do the same for you.
  3. The personality of your followers. There isn’t much you can do to influence this factor.  It’s important though to realize that the majority of your followers will simply consume your tweets and the level of interaction stops there.  So when you wonder why more of your tweets are being retweeted or replied to; it’s not you, it’s them.

Have you noticed a similar trend with your tweets? What do you do to encourage your tweets engage your followers?