#HashtagFatigue, anyone? According to Mark Luckie, manager of Journalism and News at Twitter, you should be using one — maybe two — hashtags per tweet.
“It should be the subject of the tweet,” Luckie explained to Tow-Knight fellows during a recent visit to Twitter’s Midtown East office. “The more hashtags you use,” Luckie said, “the less likely someone is to interact with that tweet.”
When tweeting, Luckie said that users should ask themselves, “What can I do to make this more interesting to the people who want to read it?” And while most people fixate on trying to grow their number of followers, he said it’s more about a user’s influence and contribution to a specific community.
Luckie, a professor at heart, outlined five key steps to growing one’s influence on Twitter.
Top five Twitter tips
- Live Tweet. Identify areas and topics you can contribute to and live tweet at events or while you are watching something — i.e., Luckie live tweeted the Oscars.
What if U2 just...went away? #Oscars— Mark S. Luckie ☜ (@marksluckie) March 3, 2014
- Use Hashtags. Only people who follow you will see your tweets unless you use hashtags. Then people searching for hashtags will see your tweets, and they can interact with you. But don’t use super common ones. Be specific, or they will end up get lost in all the noise.
What's tonight's most popular Oscars hashtag? #Oscar #Oscars #Oscars2014 pic.twitter.com/oIm5LxCyBp— Mark S. Luckie ☜ (@marksluckie) March 3, 2014
- Use Twitter Handles. You have to actually talk to people and build your own community on twitter. Have conversations, ask meaningful questions, create dialogue and crowdsource.
- Retweet Others. It’s simple: Share what you learn, and be the curator of information.
Thanks for voting in our #Oscars polls! We're talking about YOUR predictions right now! http://t.co/LWRVBPpxWv pic.twitter.com/U3TJdDJGtz— Yahoo Movies (@YahooMovies) March 3, 2014
- Use media. Videos and photos are available on Twitter and relevant to consumers. Humans are very visual people, and using multimedia in your tweets will help you entice people to access your content.
“Video is the fastest growing thing on Twitter,” said Luckie, adding that “people are more likely to watch video on Twitter.” Twitter also acquired Vine to increase the amount of video on the service. So it’s no surprise that on March 10 The Verge reported that former YouTube exec Baljeet Singh began his new job at Twitter, where he is working as a product director in its revenue organization. Singh’s new role entails improving both the quality and quantity of video, while also helping Twitter monetize them with ads.
Users looking to optimize video on Twitter should shoot for something between the 1- and 3-minute mark, Luckie said. And if you want to get creative, visit dev.twitter.com to create custom player cards for your videos.
Heather Martino is a multimedia photojournalist in Manhattan. She is the Digital Media Assistant at the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, where she is specializing in health and science reporting, with a focus on global health and mHealth. You can follow her on Twitter here
This post first appeared on the website of The Tow-Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism, which focuses on fostering new business models to ensure the sustainability of high-quality journalism. It was originally cross-posted on IJNet partner PBS Idea Lab, and is published here with permission.
Idea Lab is a group blog by innovative thinkers and entrepreneurs who are reinventing media in the digital age. Initially the blog was set up exclusively for authors who won a grant in the Knight News Challenge, but now includes other Knight grantees along with other entrepreneurs, project leaders and thinkers at the Northwestern University Knight Lab, Reese News Lab, John S. Knight Journalism Fellowships at Stanford and the MIT Center for Civic Media. Learn more about Twitter or on Facebook.
Image CC-licensed on Flickr via NASA