By Lynn Parsons
By now, you should have set up your Twitter account and even found some followers. Good for you!
Wondering about all those tweets containing words with a # sign in front of them? Like #blogpost. Those are called hashtags, and they have two purposes. One is to help people search for tweets on a certain subject, like #ldsstorymakers. The other is to provide commentary and humor. For example, I could tweet about adventures with my grandkids and include hashtags like #tiredgrandma, #havingtoomuchfun, or #canItakeanap. It's a way to insert a little personality into your 140 characters.
One common hashtag is #FF or #FollowFridays. That means you post a tweet starting with #FF and list by name all the people you think are worth following. This leads other people to follow those you listed, and someone may actually suggest people follow you. This is a great way to increase your followers.
So, now you've tried out some hashtags, sent a #FF tweet, and your list of followers is growing. Look on the right hand side of your home page, and you may see some people Twitter suggests you follow. This is based on the people you already follow, and who they are following. As your list grows, you may decide to weed out the people you follow who don't follow you back.
There are several programs that can help you decide how to narrow your list. I've used Twitter Karma, available at http://dossy.org/twitter/karma/. Yes, it's free! Just log in, and it will show you how reciprocal your Twitter relationships are. You can hand select who to unfollow or blow them off in bulk.
OK, you have your homework cut out for you. Next month, how to monetize your Twitter account. Don't worry, I'll be the guinea pig!
Until then, remember I'm @parsonslynn, and if you follow me, I'll follow you!