Wednesday, August 11, 2010

More Twitter--Hashtags, FollowFridays, and Karma Twitter

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!

6 comments:

  1. I got lost at hashtags ha but I'll keep re reading until I understand it better. Thanks for the geeky instructions here. I'm on twitter but so far hadn't thought to use it for my writing.

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  2. Thank you so much. I feel pretty clueless on Twitter, so the tutorial helps.

    It sounds like I can add hashtags myself, is that what you are saying? But what do people do with hashtags when they see them? Does it create a link or something?

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  3. No, it just makes your stuff easier to find. When it's about something like a conference, they'll tell you what it is, but otherwise, make up your own hashtags.

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  4. Yes, Valerie, you add a hashtag into your own post. Then, say you want to see who and what has been tweeted about #writeoncon, you go to the homepage of your Twitter account and find the search box on the right, about midway down. Put #writeoncon in the search box, hit the search button, and everything anyone said about #writeoncon (where they included the hashtag in their tweet) will appear. You can also search without the hashtag (#) symbol, and find mentions folks made of writeoncon without the # before the word.

    It's great fun to put in either #ldsconf or just ldsconf in the search box on General Conference weekends. You find LDS members around the world who are tweeting about the conference.

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  5. Well I am not tweeting yet but I am learning from you. Thanks.

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  6. Sheesh. I have yet to enter the birdy world yet. Very interesting. I look forward to your next blog about how to monetize your Twitter account.

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