Friday, July 15, 2016

twitter tips and tricks

Hey all y'all! It's the BigTime Blogging Challenge. I'm writing every day in July to celebrate my blog's three year anniversary! Join me - write your post, link it up with mine, leave some love for blogging friends in the form of comments!

Good morning! It's Friday...but then again, every day seems like Friday on summer vacation, right? Today I'm back with some tips and tricks for Twitter! I am on Twitter because of Stephanie Harvey who I saw at the Illinois Reading Council Conference a few years ago. I've come a long way since 2014 and wanted to share some basics with you!

Let's start with hashtags first. No, not that kind. You know they actually serve an awesome purpose on Twitter, to categorize tweets. So, take this blogging challenge for example. I asked that anyone who writes and tweets about it that they tag their tweets with #btbc16. That way, if I go and search the hashtag, I can find all the tweets associated with this challenge. Then I can like, interact, retweet...etc.

Likewise, our elementary school has it's own hashtag, #tigerslearn. So, any teacher in our building who tweets tags it with our hashtag, and then we can curate a list of everyone's tweets. This is actually such an awesome way to share what is going on in the building. Imagine if each teacher sent out one tweet a day with a picture from their classroom and tagged it with their school's hashtag? Then, at the end of the day, everyone could see into all their colleagues classrooms. It's awesome!

If you present professional development sessions, Twitter is an excellent resource, especially when the session is more than 30 people. I learned this awesome tip from Leah and Meg, two other coaches in my district. They were giving a session about Book Clubs to probably 60 people, but they set up a hashtag and then the teachers in the session could participate electronically, too. It's awesome when you present a session with two people - one person can be interacting with the crowd, the other can be following Twitter.

You might be wondering, well how do you follow the hashtag? I recommend that you use a laptop for this one (probably an iPad would be great, too) but you need to use Tweet Deck. I already wrote a post about this, check that out here.

Last tip involves the sheer volume of Twitter. You might be following like 500 or more people on Twitter. There is NO WAY POSSIBLE for you to keep up with that Twitter feed, so don't attempt. This isn't like facebook where you see your family's day-to-day pictures. You should definitely follow everyone you're interested in, but the the way you "read" Twitter is by hashtags. So, maybe you are a reading specialist or a literacy coach, check out the #literacy hashtag. Or, maybe you're a math person, and in that case you'd follow #MTBoS (Math Twitter Blog-o-Sphere). 

Another way to follow along in a more efficient way is to create a list. When you're on Twitter on a desktop or laptop, you can click on your little account picture in the very tippity-top navigation bar, and then click lists. You can create lists of people of common interest there. For example, I created a list of a bunch of teachers in my district, and so whenever I want to see what our district teachers are up to, I just go to that list instead of reading through thousands of tweets in my feed. Here's a great tutorial on making lists.

Those are just a few of the ways I've been using Twitter the past few years. What other tricks can yo share to make it even more efficient?

Oh, and make sure to follow me! :-)


  1. My schoolife has a shared hashtag too.I love being able to connect with the other classes through twitter!

  2. Okay, okay.... I'll stop making up hashtags. maybe. probably not.


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