Guide to Tweetstorms

5 Jun

Author: Afroditi Katikis

Contributing Author: Holise Cleveland

copyright 2013 Afroditi Katsikis, Holise Cleveland, III

I’ve been participating in a lot of tweetstorm events over the last few weeks and have set some up as well. These events, like all events, in order to be successful, tweetstorms take some planning. In addition to finding people to participate there are things to decide. These include: the purpose of the tweetstorm, hashtag to use, date and time of the tweetstorm.


A tweetstorm is a twitter event where many people post on a topic using a designated hashtag which represents a specific topic at the same time in order to make the hashtag trend.


A hashtag is a word that has this character in front of a word: #


This is basically a way to quickly index a tweet and allows the tweeter to find all the tweets that use this hashtag.  Upon clicking on the hashtag either in the list of trending hashtags or in any tweet you see, will make the tweet display column load all the tweets using this hashtag. At the top of the column of tweets there are three choices. Top Tweets, All Tweets and Follower’s tweets.


A trending hashtag appears on the list of trending hashtags that appears on the left side of the screen. When a hashtag trends it means that very many people are tweeting the same hashtag. It does NOT include any retweets!


The first thing to decide is the purpose of the tweetstorm. What is it that you want people to learn? This will determine the appropriate hashtag to use.


It’s important not to select a hashtag that has been used before. If you use a hashtag that has been previously used you might make someone upset with you because you don’t really know the purpose that the originator uses it for. Is it a title of a blog or product, song, poem or book? Maybe it’s a hashtag to gather tweets for a or could it also be a hashtag that connects a group of people on twitter to a topic that is not the same or similar to the meaning you intended it be used for.


Search for it in Twitter and when nothing shows up then you are good to go.


Use a shortlink! With a shortlink it is easy to determine how many characters you have left to use in your tweets. If you use a long link you will not know how many characters are available for the tweet because twitter may shorten the link depending on the tools the tweeter has active on their own twitter account.

Keep in mind that many tweets can be made for the same link to be tweeted;  text should be different for each tweet to lure more people to read the link.

*       If a celebrity or professional (ie., Doctor, trainer, public official, actor, scientist,  musician, artist etc) is mentioned in a story it’s a good idea to try and use their quote in a tweet and their name.  Sometimes these quotes are too long to fit in a tweet so it may be paraphrased slightly.

*      If statistics are quoted, make a tweet with those statistics and add the source of those statistics.

*      If violations of current law are noted – use it.

*      One thing I’ve noticed in the tweetstorms is that many of the tweets are sentences or paraphrases of lines of text from the links.  If it’s an especially key point, it’s a good idea to use it.

*      Avoid using the same word twice in a tweet – each word is valuable real estate and should not be wasted.

The best way to make a sample tweet is to have the link open and select key sentences to use or paraphrase as close to the original text. Other times the tweet could be a question about a statement made in the story, a quote from the story, a true statement from a well-known professional such as an actor/actress, writer, poet, fashion model, author, journalist, politician, scientist, musician, teacher, painter, theologist, archealogist, politician, lobbyist, engineer, government agency. You never know what tweple will will search for and I believe that some there will be more people searching for a famous name than from and unknown name.

This is a good tool to use when making sample tweets:


 Only tweets and NOT retweets will make a hashtag trend! This can be overcome by using Tweetdeck in a twitterstorm. You can easily edit a tweet you selected to retweet and change the RT to something else it all depends on the length of the tweet.  If there’s not much room try adding: OMG, via ,Yes, I know, Ur right, True, TY, and anything else you can that comes to mind that is the appropriate. Learn to use before the tweetstorm.

In order to prevent tweple from retweeting, it may be a good idea to make tweets that use up all or most 140 characters as these will not be easily retweeted by anyone using twitter. If you are using Tweetdeck (see below), there is a way to retweet them, sort of.

One drawback is that after the tweetstorm, those who are using Twitter won’t be able to RT them easily by clicking a button. I suggest some samples tweets that are less that 140 characters be made so after the tweetstorm people will RT them easily by using twitter.

***Please watch out for extra spaces between words. With only 140 characters to use, each character is a valuable commodity in twitter and should not be wasted on extra spaces.



Tweetdeck is a great tool to use in a tweetstorm and I strongly recommend  using it providing you learn it before the tweetstorm take place.  There are several advantages for using this ‘tool’ in a tweetstorm.

A really nice feature is it lets you schedule some tweets ahead of time. When you click on the icon to write a tweet, there’s a clock icon along the bottom of the window. When you click the clock icon, a calendar opens up and you can input the day and time you want the tweet to post. This is very handy if your internet connection gets slow because the program will have your tweet and post it at the day and time you selected. Nothing is more frustrating than being in a tweetstorm and your computer hangs up. Tweets should be schedule 2-3 minutes apart.

You must have your computer on and a window with this page loaded – but you can walk away and do something else while the tweetstorm is on. If you have a smart phone, load it on to your phone and that way you won’t have to be at home and on your computer.

Another excellent feature is you can edit a retweet (and remember RT’s don’t count towards trending) and remove the RT!  You can substitute it with somethinge else like via, TY, OMG or other small words to fit the space available.  If you see a tweet that you can’t retweet because retweeting it will make it larger than the 140 character limit, you can edit that tweet to fit. In a tweetstorm it’s handy so you won’t have to copy/paste a tweet which for some is time consuming.

More about TWEETSTORMS coming soon …..


16 Responses to “Guide to Tweetstorms”

  1. 4wildones June 5, 2013 at 8:38 am #

    Wow, Afrooditi! I really do appreciate you as my friend and thankful for all the knowledge I learn from you to help me do what I do! You ROCK my friend!!


    • WestDeltaGirl June 5, 2013 at 9:13 am #

      Well thank you very much! I believe in sharing what I know to help the causes I believe in.


  2. Holise E Cleveland III June 5, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Reblogged this on #CyberWhaleWarrior.


  3. Monica Gilbert June 5, 2013 at 10:21 pm #

    Thanks for this. I knew nothing about tweetcount or tweetdeck. Currently preparing a host of tweets for a tweetstorm on Saturday so just at the right time. Thanks again.


    • WestDeltaGirl June 5, 2013 at 10:57 pm #

      Your welcome! Hope it’s a success! Post a link to your tweetstorm here when you’re ready to announce it on twitter.


      • MorganG June 7, 2013 at 12:13 pm #

        I love using Tweetdeck esp when the Tweetstorm goes off early in the day on a weekend. I love my causes but also my sleep! Will def start using tweetcount. Frustrating to tweet and find out ur 1 or 2 letters over, esp if composing a lot of tweets. Thanks hon.


      • Monica Gilbert June 7, 2013 at 11:04 pm #

        Damn! I didn’t receive your note until now. Here is the link to a Facebook page which tells you the tweetstorm purpose. Would be grateful if you posted it even at this late date. Thanks.


      • Monica Gilbert July 6, 2013 at 1:08 am #

        Hi again. I’m in a huge pickle. I have volunteered (stupid stupid woman) to set up tweets for a tweetstorm and I can’t find a simple very basic template and a ‘how to’ anywhere. I’ve been fiddling for days, making webpages with tables on them and using *” but I am lost. Lost in the desert! I’m ready to tear my hair out. Any ideas/thoughts/links to something excruciatingly easy? Oh and the tweetstorm is for Kshamenk, captive orca in Argentina on 13 July.

        I’m now going to have a glass of wine. This is acceptable because I’m in Australia and it’s now 6.07pm 🙂


      • WestDeltaGirl July 10, 2013 at 9:46 pm #

        I just looked at your event and it looks like you’ve gotten things under control…your tweetstorm is just 3 days away! You can never have too much to tweet so start asking the participants to share a shortlink to the event with at least one suggested tweet for it. Start sharing your tweetstorm on twitter the day before the event. Share it with a photo as follows:

        Take the FB event photo and add text to the photo announcing the date, time it begins, and hashtag to use. In the Description of the photo, Give the rules — ONLY one hashtag, Only Tweets (retweets don’t count for trending) and a list of your tweets. The list of tweets helps a lot especially for people using Hootsuite or Tweetdeck who may schedule tweets a head of time. Good luck – I hope your hashtag trends!


      • Monica Gilbert July 11, 2013 at 1:12 am #

        Hi! Yes, I had my eureka moment on Tuesday and I’ve been gathering tweets from the wonderful people who actually have creative ability. I’m a total dud in that regard that’s why I *volunteered* (ugh) to do the auto-tweeting tool. Just about there but still have a squillion tweets to convert for the storm but now I have confidence in what I’m doing so it’s much easier. The other bods have organised the artwork for the tweetstorm and we even have a guy who has written and sung a song on video so we are all set for Saturday … which of course will be my Sunday so I can see myself pulling an all-nighter on Saturday night. Doesn’t matter. Fantastic cause. Thanks for your advice and time.


  4. WestDeltaGirl June 8, 2013 at 9:48 am #

    If there’s a tweetstorm coming up soon please bookmark this blog post so you can post a link to your FB event about your tweetstorm. However, it’s not a good idea to post the event here too early…the bots may attack it.


  5. WestDeltaGirl September 20, 2013 at 8:28 am #

    There’s a Tweetstorm coming up on September 26 to support the pending legislation in the USA:
    Safeguard American Food Exports Act of 2013 S541 and HR1094

    These pending bills are to permanently ban horse slaughter in America and ban transportation of horses to slaughter in the USA and across the borders. If you love horses and want to keep them safe, please join this event.


    • WestDeltaGirl September 21, 2013 at 5:34 pm #

      TWEETSTORM on September 25th to tell Qatar Dolphin Discovery & (link is not visible in USA) that dolphin slaughter is not acceptable and we will not stop until the slaughter and taking of dolphins into captivity stops!



  6. WestDeltaGirl December 4, 2013 at 1:01 pm #

    TWEETSTORMS for Orcas in Captivity
    Saturday, December 7, 2013
    Time7:00pm in UTC


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