The Most Popular Tweets and What Made Them Popular

We all know the power of Twitter to spread a message across the globe through the internet. You have 140 characters to communicate your thoughts to the world and leave an impression on those who follow you, and to all your potential followers.

Creating an engaging or popular tweet often requires some preparation, thought, and a strategic reason.  It’s difficult to attract followers, but it is also a challenge to know exactly what to say to engage the followers you have.

Your tweets can spark more interest and have a bigger impact on your followers if you craft them carefully. Here are 6 different types of Tweets that are proven to help you attract more attention, and, if people like what they see, more followers too!


A star-studded selfie from the 2014 Academy Awards is one of the most popular tweets of all time. This selfie, tweeted by Ellen DeGeneres, also includes Bradley Cooper, Lupita Nyong’o, Jennifer Lawrence, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Kevin Spacey, Julia Roberts and other famous Hollywood celebrities.

The caption simply states, “If only Bradley’s arm was longer. Best photo ever. #oscars.” To date, it has more than 3 million retweets and has over 2 million likes, definitely one of the most-retweeted posts of 2014.


Back on February 1, 2016, Harry Styles of the famous boy band, One Direction, celebrated his 22nd birthday. He tweeted lyrics from a popular song written by his ex-girlfriend, none other than Taylor Swift. It was retweeted over 700,000 times making it the second-most retweeted tweet of 2016.


One of his bandmates, Louis Tomlinson, took his bromance with Harry on Twitter back in 2011. Fans have always noticed how close they are, and they fell in love with this tweet. So much so, it reached over 2 million retweets today.


2016’s third-most-popular tweet is by Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton. Her tweet was about encouraging young girls to recognize their potential. This was posted during the morning of Nov 9, 2016, in the wake of her election defeat. To date, it has more than 600,000 retweets and more than one million likes.

This wasn’t the first time she went super-viral on Twitter. She had another infamous tweet, “Delete your account,” addressed to her rival, President Donald Trump.


The number one most retweeted post of 2016 is from a Spanish gamer and YouTube star, called elrubius. He simply tweeted, “Limonada” which is Spanish for “Lemonade.” What was so cool about this?

Elrubius promised a giveaway if his fans made it the most retweeted tweet ever, and as a result it has been shared more than 1.38 million times. Indeed, it was the most popular one-word tweet of the year. We may not know if he ever did deliver on his promise of prizes, but the effect on Twitter was incredibly successful.

Express Your Beliefs

President Barack Obama’s celebratory tweet during the 2012 US Elections has almost 1 million retweets and more than 600,000 likes. The tweet had three simple words, “Four more years.”

It was also accompanied by a photo of Obama and the First lady, Michelle Obama, embracing. It surely brought up some emotions as at the time of writing, it quickly garnered more than 510,000 retweets.


One of the most viral tweets of 2016 in the realm of entertainment belongs to Leonardo DiCaprio. After finally winning an Academy Award for his role in “The Revenant,” he set the record for the most retweets per minute of any #Oscars tweet.

After 6 nominations over the course of 22 years of acting, he wasn’t the only one waiting for it. His fans took over social media to congratulate the star and celebrate with him. Even celebrities like Kanye West deigned to post a celebratory tweet for Leonardo.


Comedy is King on Twitter. Those who manage to constantly tickle the funny bones of readers with 140 characters usually have a whole lot of followers.

Being funny on Twitter starts by being a funny person in general – or at least it helps. Some of the funny men of Twitter share some of their secrets here: : Develop a unique voice, create a character, don’t force it, and be bold.

Here are some funny-ass tweets that collected tons of retweets:




Tips For Creating Popular Tweets

Researchers at Cornell University conducted a study, backed by the National Science Foundation and Google, on what makes some tweets get more attention than others.

They collected thousands of tweets from many different accounts and analyzed the number of shares in relation to their key phrases, online communities, and other factors. Here are their findings, brought to you by The Daily Mail, on the 9 primary factors that are most likely to generate retweets:

  • Ask people to share. Words like ‘please,’ ‘pls,’ ‘plz,’ and, of course, ‘retweet’ were common in successful messages.
  • Be informative (often measured by length).
  • Use the language of the community, and be consistent with the language you usually use yourself, with which your followers are familiar.
  • Imitate the style of newspaper headlines. (In their tests, the researchers used the New York Times as a model.)
  • Use words that appear often in other retweeted messages.
  • Use words that express positive or negative sentiment.
  • Refer to other people, not just yourself. Use third person pronouns. Use generalizations.
  • Statements that can be applied to a variety of situations are the most often repeated.
  • Make it easy to read – researchers applied a formula used to measure the grade level.

You can take a cue from the tips above, use them all or combine a few to increase the chances of getting more retweets (and probably more followers) for your Twitter account.

Are You the Next Great Tweeter?

Being popular and influential is not as easy as just opening a Twitter account.  As Twitter continues to be massively powerful, drawing more people in, it will get even harder to gain a competitive edge.

If you’re having a bit of trouble gaining a following, you can kickstart your path to popularity by purchasing Twitter followers. Check out our list of reviewed providers – as long as you go with a trusted company with good marks, you’ll be able to increase your social proof without hurting your reputation.

As the research says, it’s a combination of language, positive and negative words, and just asking people to retweet. You can focus on a type of tweet that will engage your followers, or you can attack the Twitter-verse with a combination.

Follow the examples above, consider purchasing some followers, and learn what makes a tweet great – we just might be writing about you next!

Image credit: Giphy

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