Twitter for Dummies - the quick summary. Sign up, try to make friends, and hashtags are a way of organizing things. I found actually going on Twitter and fiddling around with it was much more useful than reading the about the basics (from this outdated book). So, instead of a book review I'm going to give you a few tips I have learned while 'fiddling around on the Twitter'.
Ways to get a few quick hits.
I started using Twitter as a way to promote my blog. I thought, bah, another social media platform where I can haphazardly shout out blog links to the world and the masses will come running. That strategy did not go so well. As with any other social media site to really get the most out of it you need to form relationships.
However, my flailings on Twitter have shown me a few ways to get some quick hits. Nothing substantial or sustained, but, I have seen my blog hit count bleep up a few notches when I did some of the following things:
First thing I found is that no matter how creative you are at making timely, detailed, unique hashtags...nobody will discover them. You need to do a little research and find popular or common hashtags in order for anyone to ever find them. Use some established hashtags that fit with your tweet. If you are hoping to get some hits back to your food blog use #food or #burgers...think of a common term that might you might use if you were searching yourself.
You can find these popular hash tags by using the search box. Type a few words or the beginnings of words and let the auto suggestion thingy give you some ideas.
Word of warning: make sure you look into these hashtags before using them. I once found a popular hashtag I thought would go great with a food post I was tweeting about. #TastyTuesday. Turns out there are many tasty things on Tuesday that are not food...as in mostly porn! Whoops. #hashtagfail
I didn't see that coming! You see the thing is, I was already overusing the hashtag #foodporn and no actual porn came up!? Ah, the naive young tweeter I was.
Throw a celebrity's handle ie @celeb in any tweet. You might get lucky. The celeb (or more likely their PR person) may like what you say, or maybe even like your link, and you'll win the jackpot - A Retweet...but, more often than not, only a handful of dedicated fans will notice your tweet. These are the fans who have a constant search out for any mention of @celeb . I was always surprised at how much attention my shout outs that contained an author's twitter handle would receive. Those tweets would get retweeted, favourited, and even replied too!
You can also try commenting/replying to the tweets by celebs. Again, for the most part only the hardcore fans will see you, but, if the tweet is something relevant you may get some good responses. I once commented on a tweet by the great Canadian William Shatner on the topic of his books. I pasted a link to one of my Shatner book reviews...yes, I will admit to reading William Shatner Star Trek adventures...no shame...and instantly the hits on my blog skyrocketed. I must have gotten at least fifteen! Not bad for one small comment, from a 'nobody' like me, to nobody in particular.
You can attempt to gain some attention by jumping on the latest trend. Twitter will even help you. Follow the topics and hashtags that are listed in that big box beside your feed labelled "TRENDING". Just by throwing in a trending word or hashtag your tweet will have a better chance of being seen. You'll get some random traffic/retweets/favourites...but, I have to tell you, it is not worth it. Keeping up with all of the trends is time consuming and quickly fades, as in here one minute and gone the next - literally. Usually the topics and hashtags are not relevant to whatever link you are trying to push anyway.
On a similar note - trending hashtag games are good traffic getters...but again, tricky to get the right blog post that relates the latest game. However, if you happen to be reviewing a movie and there is a hashtag game going on such as #changeonewordinamovietitle, you may hit the jackpot?
In the end these will not bring long term success, but, they may give you a small victory (as in a hit or two on your blog). You never know, you might strike it big like I did once (yes, I achieved the pot of gold - a celeb retweet), or find some other method of gaining attention.
If you are concerned about your brand image these kind of tweets are easy to delete. If you don't have a huge following nobody will notice. But, if you are getting some loyal groupies, these techniques might make you look a little desperate. Use these techniques at your own risk.