Saturday, December 1, 2012

Twitter is 4 U! Here is How

The question in this post is how do you find success using Twitter? How do you get in the game? While you will find lots of writing out there on how to be successful in social media, I am going to tell you the simple secret to Twitter success in two rules.

Rule #1: Learn how to use hashtags and start using them right away. 

If you have very few followers, very few people see your tweets unless you are inserting yourself into ongoing conversations. This happens when you use hashtags. Which hashtags should you use? This depends on your goals. In educational circles there are dozens of popularly used hashtags. My favorite are #edtech and #edchat. Yours might be #mlearning (mobile learning) or #spedchat (special education). Find a great list of educational hashtags here. Add them on to the end of everything you tweet (and you must tweet) and don't be afraid of using multiple hashtags. Then, don't forget to join the ongoing scheduled weekly discussions that certain hashtags encourage. Check Cybraryman's website for details on the schedule of educational discussions (thanks for the reminder @Kkht6912.)

Rule #2: Insert yourself in the conversation like you belong. 

This is right out of networking in the real world. You can't make connections sitting on the sidelines or being a wallflower. In Twitter speak, you need to interact. Follow people and then jump in their conversations. Reply to what they say. Retweet what is important to you. Favorite tweets you want to find later. You need to do this appropriately and professionally, but you need to do it. So what if that woman has 12,000 followers or that guy has 4000 followers. They are people on Twitter just like you. They like having an audience. Many of them like being an audience. Send them your questions, or add to an ongoing conversation they are in. Remember to use the handle of those people you want to interact with. Once you do this on a regular basis, people will follow you.

Your level of success in using these two rules will vary. The speed of feedback may not meet your expectations. They could also exceed your expectations. Be ready to get no response, and then keep on going. Tweet every day about things that matter to you using hashtags that are relavent, and reply to people who raise interesting topics of discussion you want to be part of. Over time you will develop your own style. You will come up with your own rules. My hope is that you discover the vast richness of Twitter and enjoy this corner of social media's family.


Learn more about hashtags: Creative Ramblings

Four essential things to understand about Twitter: Twitter for Newbies

The man with the hashtag super-list for education: Cybraryman

Chad McGowan is a high school technology teacher and professional development specialist in technology. Over the past 16 years, Chad has taught a variety of math and computer course from 7-12. Since 2000, Chad has been guiding other professionals in technology by staying current and learning from those around him. Follow Chad on Twitter @ahstechteacher and through this blog.

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