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.
WHAT IS A 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.
WHAT IS A HASHTAG?
A hashtag is a word that has this character in front of a word: #
WHAT IS THE FUNCTION OF A HASHTAG?
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.
WHAT DOES TRENDING MEAN?
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!
PURPOSE OF A TWEETSTORM
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.
WHAT HASHTAG SHOULD BE USED?
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 paper.li 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.
HOW TO FIND A HASHTAG THAT HAS NEVER BEEN USED BEFORE?
Search for it in Twitter and when nothing shows up then you are good to go.
SUGGESTIONS ON MAKING SAMPLE TWEETS WITH LINKS
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: http://www.lettercount.com/
ONLY TWEETS, NOT RETWEETS MAKE A TWEET TREND
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 www.tweetdeck.com 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 …..