This is a guest post by Peggy Fitzpatrick
Today I am going to ponder what I am going to call trendspotting. My definition of trendspotting is searching for a current trend or trending topic in social media. This one simple trick can help jumpstart your social media efforts right away.
One of the hardest things to get started in any social media platform is finding people to engage and follow. When you first start on Twitter or Google+, it seems like you are speaking to an empty room or a crowded room where no one is listening to you. Trendspotting can help you gain some traction in your social media activities.
Using these trendspotting tips will help you do the following:
- Increase your engagement per post or tweet
- Make some connections
- Build your following
- Have more FUN! That makes everything more awesome, right?
It is really easy to find trending topics on Twitter and Google+ and here is how. On regular Twitter, go to your profile and on the left you will see trends. You can select Worldwide, United States or by city. Click on one of the trends and it will open up the entire stream of tweets on this topic. Today is Earth Day so #EarthDay is trending and it will be easy to find lots of great tweets on this hashtag.
On Google+: Click on the HOME icon at the top left and then you will see Trending on Google+. Again click on one of the topics and the stream will open for you. Google+ is unique in their trend searching because you do not have to use the hashtag to be included in the topic as you do on Twitter but you can use the hashtag.
Find interesting material related to a hashtag and tweet it using the #hashtag and everyone following this stream will see the tweet, even if they are not following you.
Engage! Don’t just observe but become a part of the trend. Make sure that you are posting items that are relevant to the hashtag that you are using or people will be unhappy with you. Don’t drop unrelated links to your posts either, again not a way to make friends. Share other peoples tweets or posts, give them a like a +1, pin them or send them to StumbleUpon. One thing that new people do is observe without engaging. Taking the step towards following and engaging people in a conversation may seem scary or challenging at first but everyone is on social networks to be social. Makes sense, right? Be friendly and say hello. You will be glad you did.
Follow or circle interesting people who you find in the stream. An easy way to follow a Twitter hashtag stream is by using FollowBlast. You can easily pick interesting and relevant people to follow from this list based on the hashtag.
If someone shares your tweet or post, say hi or thank them. Use this as a welcome to converse.
Some hashtags are used all the time like #bacon or #Caturday and some are just for a certain day. Make sure you are using them appropriately.
Don’t over hashtag! Per Jason Falls, “don’t overstuff your tweets with hashtags when you are promoting something.” One maybe two is acceptable, anything more is spammy content and people who follow the hashtag will not take it as seriously.
There is something trending on social media all the time, hop in the stream…the water is just fine!
I hope these tips will help you find more meaning in your social media and help you to truly become a part of the conversation. Follow @PegFitzpatrick
Featured image courtesy of misspixels via Creative Commons.