© 2016 Edie Melson
I remember the first time I ventured onto twitter. It’s an intimidating site, full of unfamiliar terms and strange rules. Beyond that, the more people I followed, the more confusing the newsfeed became. To my untrained eye, all those 140 character bursts were just disjointed and disconnected chaos.
I really didn’t understand how anyone could get anything good out of this network.
Luckily for me, I didn’t give up. I kept digging for articles to help me understand the value of Twitter. And that’s when I began to unravel the Twitter chaos. As I became more familiar with this alien landscape, I began to appreciate why Twitter and writers are a perfect match.
- It respects our time. Interacting in 140 character bursts keeps conversations focused and moving quickly.
- It helps us write tight. If you’ve spent any time at all studying writing, you’ve heard the advice to write tight. This means eliminating unnecessary words.
- It’s a networking superconductor. There is no social media platform out there that is better at allowing us to find connections with like-minded people.
How Connections are Made
So how do we tap into that networking superconductor? First, lets back up and evaluate the reason we’re all working at building an online presence. We are looking to deepen existing relationships and build new ones. But building new ones can be difficult if the only people we interact with are those we already know, either online or in person.
We can get a little bit of exposure to new folks through introductions from our existing connections, but that’s a time-consuming way to go about it.
Hashtags—A Better Way
What if there was a way for someone to search a given social media network by topic and find new, interesting people to interact with? That would be a great way to grow our connections.
That is the purpose behind hashtags.
If I do a search on twitter for the hashtag #writing, I instantly discover other writers that I’d never have known existed.
And if I include #writing in one of my tweets, people searching for writers can find me, even if they’ve never heard of me before.
When you compose a twitter update and include one or two hashtags that summarize the topic, you give folks a way to find you.
And isn’t that the beauty of social media?
Edie Melson, author, blogger, and speaker, is a prolific writer with years of experience in the publishing industry. In addition, her popular blog, The Write Conversation, reaches thousands of writers each month. She’s the director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference, the social media director for Southern Writers Magazine, and the Senior Editor at Novel Rocket. You can connect with Edie through Twitter and Facebook.