Twitter now receives an excess of 65 million tweets per day, that’s about 750 per second so how does anyone make sense of all this noise.
Launched in 2006 Twitter has firmly established itself as one of the Social Media heavyweights. Described as a micro-blogging platform it allows users to impart snapshots of information, random thoughts and or links to other sites using text based 140 character posts called “Tweets”.
Twitter is basically a conversation, as a comparison think of it as a crowded stadium during the half time break. Most of the discussions have little or no importance or benefit to you. Even if you could, attempting to follow every word at any given moment would be pointless and timewasting. Imagine if you could filter out all the nonsense and focus on the people or topics that are relevant to what you are interested in, now that would be powerful.
With the use of filtering tools like Twitter Search and TweetDeck to name a few that’s exactly what you can achieve. It’s less about controlling the conversation and more about fine tuning your ears.
There are three basic principles to creating appropriate Twitter streams:
- Follow the right people: building your community in Twitter means following those you know as well as complete strangers. If you are too selective on who you follow you also restrict your potential flow of content and resources. If you are part of a particular sector such as the Wine industry you may choose to only follow people who refer to wine in their profile ensuring that you have a more targeted group. If someone is consistently off subject or irrelevant to your requirements simply “unfollow” them, no harm done. As your following increases use the “Group” function to segment people into subject or specialty clusters.
- Search Content: Try the advanced Twitter Search at http://search.twitter.com/advanced and filter content by subject, date and location. This allows you to find content that is relevant to you. You may have noticed recently that Google now features Twitter content related to your search at the top of its results page. Alternatively create search threads in columns using the Twitter website or in third party applications like TweetDeck.
- Use Hashtags: Used in conjunction with conferences, events, presentations and webinars, the Hashtag can be a great tool for engaging the immediate and extended audience. By placing the # symbol before an unbroken word, phrase, or numeral i.e. #mytag2010, it creates a mini-search engine phrase that can be looked up and followed on Twitter thus filtering out all the other non-relevant material.
When your event is being publicised let attendees know in advance what the Hashtag is and be sure to use it in all your event related tweets leading up to, during and post the event. Once finished the tag retires into obscurity until used again, remember no-one owns or can lay claim to a Hashtag.
Attendees or those interested in following the conversation created in Twitter can set up a search column in their Twitter application or used a third party platforms like Twitterfall or Monitter and keep current on the on-going discussions, feedback and references.
Search on Trendsmap.com to see if your Hashtag is “Trending” on Twitter and add some impact to your presentation by putting the feed in a prominent place by using VisibleTweets.com to graphically showcase your feeds and to encourage other attending to participate.