If there is an official hashtag for the event use it. If you’re hosting the event, make the hashtag known. If there isn’t a hashtag, make one up; use your best judgement. Short and to the point is good.
For example, I was part of the Digital Influence panel in April. There was no hashtag. We went with #DigitalInfluence.
If there is a class within a conference, use the an appropriate hashtag. For example for the class “WordPress 101” I used #WP101.
Use quotation marks. Use proper grammar. Use the speaker’s Twitter handle. Use the hashtag.
If you feel uneasy about tweeting straightaway, type the quote into a text file for later.
I like to open a text file and put the speaker’s twitter handle and hashtag (eg. @WebTW #WP101 #WCOC) there for cut/paste. I simply copy it. After I type the quote, I paste. It helps if you know the keyboard shortcuts, too (CTRL+C / CTRL+V). This makes it quite fast and efficient to live tweet.
Disclaimer: If you type (or find) the wrong handle, for example, like I did (twice this weekend), all of your tweets will be wrong with the cut and paste method. And all of your retweets will be wrong. Proofread. I could kick myself for getting a bunch of them wrong.
My favorite tool for this is TweetChat.com. With Twitter’s API changes, you never know how long services like this will be available. If all else fails, setup a column in Hootsuite or Tweetdeck to see the other tweets.
If you don’t have time to respond to others’ tweets, favorite them to respond later. Remember, one of the goals is to meet new people and form new bonds. Follow people back and maybe even put them on a list.
Respond to Others:
Find other people tweeting and retweet them. I recommend old-school retweets, but if you’ve been reading this blog, you know that.
Is your Twitter feed overwhelming? Spend more time engaging your targeted audience using Twitter Lists.
Organization is important in almost every area of our lives whether we’re categorizing seeds (like in the photo), filing receipts for tax time, or following people on Twitter.
Often those new to Twitter complain that there is so much to read. They unfollow “prolific” (often used as a derogatory term) tweeters because they “clog up” their Twitter stream.
You know you don’t have to read every tweet, right?
You can scroll. And you can filter.
Lists are the most under-utilized tool available to Twitter users.
The Tool Belt:
You create and edit lists on Twitter (desktop). You can add people to existing lists from Twitter mobile or Hootsuite. I primarily use HootsuitePro because the columns you setup are the same on desktop or mobile .
It sucks when you don’t realize you can only follow 2000 people and then you hit a following wall, literally. You can’t follow anyone else unless more people follow you. If you followed no one back and are following 2000, you’ve got a lot of work to do, my friend, both to follow and unfollow.
From my experience, I have found additional glass ceilings that you hit at 5,000, 9,000, 14,000, and 19,000. It seems to me that the sweet spot is about 1.1 but Twitter says it depends on the individual account.
This is why I had to start unfollowing people who don’t follow back. I really like who.unfollowed.me for this.
This is why I follow people back. The few exceptions are porn, how to get more users people, how to make money on the internet people, #TeamFollowBack (spammy, in my opinion), and eggs.
Only verified accounts can grow without following back. This behavior can be viewed as arrogant, so proceed with caution. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason. This behavior can be viewed as arrogant, so proceed with caution. Remember, it’s called social media for a reason.
For business and networking purposes, it’s good to put people who live in your vicinity, say county, on a list. This is especially important for brick-and-mortar businesses who depend upon local clientele.
For example, I have an Orange County list, I can go to that column on Hootsuite, and read only those tweets. The list filters out my whole twitter stream (currently following 11,600) to show only the 376 on that list. Obviously, making the information more relevant and manageable for me. This gives me the ability to scroll through tweets and find gems even from four hours ago that I missed while otherwise occupied. I simply reply to start a conversation or share (retweet) their post.
Another reason to list by geography is if you’re researching an area to travel and/or move.
My backup plan, should I ever have to leave California, is to move to Arizona. I started putting people on a list with other Arizonans. I can read their tweets, interact, get to know the area, learn new things, and make friends before I even move.
Organization is the Key to Being Effective
Listing is the only way I think I could be truly effective at building relationships on Twitter. Prioritizing who you engage with is not bad, it’s just common sense.
The truth is, there are a lot of non-sense tweets, check-ins, and such, but those are also the tweets that show an individual’s humanity and personality. Discovering shared interests is the start of any friendship.
What’s your favorite social media platform? Or do you believe that like with children, you shouldn’t have favorites? If you spend any time getting to know me you will soon discover that Twitter is my favorite by far.
Speaking of favorites, I’m often asked why I favorite a tweet (or accused of favoriting my own tweets in order to artificially inflate my ranking on some system I’ve never heard of but whatever).
Here is my official, un-official brain-dump on why I use the favoriting tool.
As I told R3 Social Media, I learned to “bookmark” tweets by favoriting them from @BrianDaltonCRE. Once I have read the link in the tweet and know for sure I don’t need to refer back to it, I unfavorite it.
I often check Twitter while watching T.V., for example. I’m not going to stop the show to watch a cat video, but since my friend tweeted it, I want to watch it later.
Another reason I bookmark (favorite a tweet) is if I see a tweet in the stream and it has a link. The link seems interesting, so for sure I want to read it later. It’s too hard to find those tweets later when you do have 20 minutes or so, at the end of the day, to read them.