So, you want to trend on Twitter. Do you know that Twitter is the second most popular social network in the world, used by over 500 million people? To give you an idea of Twitter’s scope and reach, if it were a country, Twitter would be the 12th largest in the world. 750 thoughts, in 140 characters or less, are shared every second. Users perform more search queries on Twitter per month than Bing and Yahoo combined (24 billion versus 4.1 billion and 9.4 billion respectively).
Those are some pretty impressive numbers. Now that you know what you are up against, here are some tips on how you can do it…and you CAN do it! Really. Just know that Twitter infamy is a lofty goal, not for the faint of heart. Before we begin, a caveat: Trending on Twitter is a bit like eating chocolate: Once you get a taste, you want more. You’ve been warned.
Tip 1. Use a tweetchat client like tweetchat.com or twubs.com. In case you are wondering, and I know you are, a tweetchat is a pre-arranged gathering or meeting on Twitter, organized around a common hashtag. Hashtags make it possible to have a tweetchat. A hashtag (#) is simply the word or phrase that best identifies your tweetchat topic. For example, #christbiz or #grounds4hope or even #jesus. You can also follow a hashtag on Hootsuite or some other social media management dashboard, but using a tweetchat client has the added advantage of automatically adding your hashtag at the end of every tweet. That is key since the frequency of a hashtag in the Twitter stream is what determines if you are trending.
Tip 2. The more organized the tweetchat, the more effective. Have a list of questions you want to ask during your tweetchat posted online before the chat. It is also common practice to have a “leader” who directs the flow and pace of the tweetchat. It is easy to get distracted when the tweets start to fly, so having someone act as a virtual cruise director is crucial to keeping up the energy and focus.
Tip 3. Promote your tweetchat in the days before it is scheduled. Tweet about the details on Twitter, using your pre-determined hashtag. Be sure to include the time, date and url to the tweetchat client you plan on using to post your questions. You can also let all your friends on Facebook know about your tweetchat. Just remember to add a cute Twitter graphic along with the post, since posts with graphics are fare more likely to be shared. Also, pay attention to optimal sharing times on the various social networks. You want to cause a bit of buzz about your tweetchat before it actually begins. Enthusiasm is infectious.
A final note: Misery loves company, and so do tweetchats. A small group of people hosting a tweetchat is far more likely to result in a trending tweet. Some other common sense items to keep in mind: Pick a time for your tweetchat that does not compete with already successful chats. Also, avoid times when when major news stories are trending. After all, you cannot expect to out-tweet Justin Beiber’s latest breakup or an election night upset.