When Sharing, blogs always ask to send to twitter also.

Twitter is the other social media power house that usually stands next to Facebook when a news article or organization’s blog asks you to share content on your profile.    However, many folks shy away from twitter because it is hard to understand the convoluted 140 characters and keeping track of all the posts in their twitter time line.   So the following is a quick crash course of reading a tweet.

Folks on twitter often share links and drive discussion around those links.  However, due to 140 characters limitation,  twitter automatically shortens the link address to 19 characters.  The link to my article on Monday is https://moraloutreach.wordpress.com/?p=172&preview=true (59 characters), so it takes up much more space.  So twitter automatically shortens the link t 19 characters and will show up like this:

The link will be shortened to save on the 140 character limit.

The dead giveaway is the http, which tells you it is a link to whatever the person is referring to.   Something that is the cornerstone of twitter are hashtags.   You will see them with the # sign then a word following it. There are often conversations that occur under designated hashtags. You can consider them as chat rooms where folks post their tweets and anyone who does a search for that specific hashtag will see all tweets with said hashtag, for example:

I replied to someone's tweet and included the response in two different hash tags.

If you do a search for edchat, you will see all the folks discussing issues re: education.

When you hear on major news sources about what is “trending”, they are talking about hashtags.   At the time I took the above screen shot, Donovan McNabb of the Washington Redskin and Joe Arroyo, legendary Columbian salsa singer were popular topics at that moment.

Coincidently, anyone can create a hashtag.  So if I say we are organizing a rally, like the organization Save Our Schools is organizing around education policy in Washington D.C., they started the #SOSmarch and marketed that hashtag so their fans and followers learn about said rally.   If you don’t spread the word, folks wont learn about your hash tag and therefore, will not search for it.   It is a great way to engage with people who are not your followers.  If you offer good insight, read other peoples articles and offer great content,  it will increase the chances they will follow your twitter and ultimately, your brand. It is all part of an over all social media strategy.

By simply clicking reply or even retweeting (which allows you to repost a tweet you enjoyed), it also helps to encourage others to do the same for you.    As you can see, social media is about relationship building. So reading other people’s post and commenting and showing support is the best way for them to return the favor.  It’s a great way to connect with others you wouldn’t connect with in real-time.

That being said,  all you need now is to learn of different hashtags so you can begin building relationships and building followers.

Which issues would you like to follow via twitter?