September 25, 2012
On Twitter, you may have noticed tweets that seemed random such as “I hate ham sandwiches #StuffYouDidntKnowAboutMe,” and you may have wondered 1) why are people sharing such weird information and 2) what does that # followed by a phrase or a word mean?
What you are witnessing is the participation in “Trends,” and it is not only fun to participate in them but participating can connect you with strangers, gain followers, and increase your broadcast visibility.
“Trends” appear on your Twitter account page, and it is a list of key words or hashtags that a large group of people are Tweeting about at that moment. This list always changes and updates. You may notice some trends have the “Promoted” symbol next to them, which means someone paid for that listing, but all of the other trends are just actual trends that people are talking about.
To participate in trends, here is a step-by-step guide:
Find the “Trends” section on your Twitter page. Find one that interests you, and click on the link. You will then see a feed of all the recent usages of that trending hashtag. These tweets come from people you may know/follow, but oftentimes, this feed will show you a slew of strangers.
You can connect with strangers by Retweeting the tweets you like. Once you Retweet them, they will know you interacted with them, and they may reply or Follow you.
You can also find new people to follow through the feed. If you like what they have to say, go ahead and Follow them and maybe they will Follow you back.
To participate in the trend, write your tweet and include the trending hashtag. If you wrote the hashtag correctly, once you click on the published tweet’s hashtag, it should take you to the respective Trends page. (NOTE: if you did not write the hashtag correctly, you will not show up on the respective trends page. It is recommended you delete the tweet and write it again with the correct hashtag.)
If you wrote unique content, there is a high possibility that people will Retweet or Follow you. To retain their attention, send them a Thank You by writing a tweet and mentioning them. Also, follow back.
Lastly, never plagiarize another person’s tweet and try to pass it off as your own. That’s a big no-no. Also, avoid sending out too many trending tweets. I would recommend no more than 5, unless the trend is a top 10 list or something similar.
Teresa Lo is a writer living in Los Angeles. She has managed several entertainment social media accounts, which include PBS’s Just Seen It and USC’s Women of Cinematic Arts. For more information about writing, entertainment, and/or social media strategies, please check out http://www.tloclub.com