A lot of our Facebook fans and other collectors are making the move to Twitter mostly due to the grassroots success of our #dollchat on Tuesdays. But Twitter isn’t the easiest place to find yourself around right off, and sometimes you can feel that it is a bit of an empty place. There are a lot of conversations going on, but how to I become a part of them? Who are the people talking about dolls or the things I am interested in? What are some of the first steps forward?
The #dollchat Hashtag
One of the best places to find doll talk on Twitter is of course our #dollchat hashtag. Our organized #dollchat happens on Tuesdays at 9 EST, but a hashtag like this is starting to be used any time of day or night all week long. So if you see this tag in a tweet you can simply click on it and you’ll know that everyone tweeting there is interested in doll talk. A good thing to do is follow anyone using the tag that looks friendly to you – following someone is not a big social move like “friending” is in Facebook. Following simply means that you want to see their tweets in your stream. And if someone follows you it is generally considered polite to follow them back. By going to the #dollchat hashtag you might find the most active doll talkers on Twitter.
Also, using the #dollchat hashtag yourself on any tweet that has to do about dolls, lets people know that you are open to conversation about it, that you are sharing something doll related. Getting into the habit of using it to mark your tweets can help you connect to more and new doll people. This is an example of what it looks like:
Our Friends of Tonner List
Aside from following the wonderful people you find using the #dollchat hashtag, there is another way of being able to watch the doll conversation on Twitter. You don’t have to follow people, you can also just follow lists. Lists are made up of a collection people, and when you follow one you can see the stream of those tweets of just those people. You can organize the people you follow in this way, or you can follow someone else’s.
We have two lists you may find a new way to get connected on Twitter. The first is called Friends of Tonner Doll. It is more or less made up of doll, movie and comic related tweeters that have a relationship to our figures in some way. You’ll find a lot of variety there, beyond just Tonnerites or doll collectors. When just starting out it is nice to follow a few lists just to discover people you might like to follow. As you find people you like just add them. And don’t be shy on Twitter, it is customary to ask people you don’t know questions or to offer supportive comment to strangers you might share something in common with. The second list is just of people who have used the #dollchat tag itself, the Dollchat Community . These would be more doll-focused people – but keep in mind that people who love dolls may tweet about all sorts of subjects. A sample of this below:
A Few Twitter Tips
Now you can follow Twitter using your Smart Phone – a few people actually monitor our Sneak Attacks this way – or get the fuller experience using your laptop. Personally Twitter never made full sense to me until I downloaded Tweetdeck which is a very helpful application which puts all your Twitter columns side by side so you can see them at once. A column can be one of the lists above that we talked about, or #dollchat (this helps when the chat is moving fast), or your mentions, or all your friends, etc. Organizing them makes everything, at least to me very clear.
Once you have signed up to Twitter you can download Tweetdeck for your desktop here. There are also Tweetdeck versions for your iphone, your Android and for your Chrome browser. Personally I like the desktop version, but I know people that like and use each of the others.
If you are interested in trying Tweetdeck I strongly recommend that you take a look at this very good tutorial on all the best ways to use it to get the most out of Twitter. Harrison Painter who made this video really has a nice pace and attitude about him, and he makes Twitter very manageable. Keep in mind though that this video was made for business users, so some of the advice might not be perfectly applicable. By and large it is the best introduction available. There is also a part ii that is much more business centric for those who have a small business and may be interested in more advanced features.
And of course, as always, if you have any trouble joining Twitter, or using any of these tools or features feel free to email me Kevin at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll see if I can help make it easy for you.