Common Mistakes to Avoid While Tweeting





1. Starting a tweet with a reply.

No – “@johnhaydon has compiled a great list of Twitter resources [link] ”
Yes –“Great list of Twitter resources by @johnhaydon [link]!

While it’s always great to mention someone in your tweet- if you do this you will only be updating the people who follow both of you. This was a feature that was meant to reduce tweets in the feed, but it’s one that users overlook all the time.

If you must put a username early on in the tweet many people put a period in front to avoid this.

2. Your tweet is too long.

I don’t need to go into this one- but if you’re inspired to write up a bunch of tweets check the length of your tweet by opening twitter. If people can’t “quote” your tweet- it is probably too long.  If you’re really struggling with tweet length- use this calculator to see how many characters you have.

3. Misusing or overusing hashtags

Using TOO many hashtags is distracting and detracts from the message. Also- don’t do anything that breaks up the hashtag. We recently encountered this when we tried tweeting #hike&seek but the & actually broke up the tag. So remember, keep them simple and limited.

4. Synching accounts but never interacting

I’m all for time-saving tips and ways to be efficient on social media. But if you’re using Twitter as a broadcasting service think again. Twitter is best used for building relationships and learning of new and interesting things. If you’re not conversing on Twitter- I encourage you to do so. I would argue it’s my favorite network because of the types of conversations a tweet can lead to.

As a lover of nature, why not learn about REAL bird tweets?
Tweeting properly is a valuable skill to learn. But so is learning about real tweeting, bird calls. If you’re interested in identifying birds by their tweets, you may like this blog post.  Since birds call for a number of reasons- mating calls, warning calls, territorial, vocalizing location etc- it may be helpful to figure out what kind of twitter user you want to be and where to incorporate listening.

Identifying Wildlife With Question and Answer Sites

Identifying Wildlife With Question and Answer Sites
Virginia State Parks Asks for ID

I like to share great examples of nonprofits using social media, and I get even more excited when people engage around wildlife.

I saw a great example in wildlife identification from Virgina State Parks on their Facebook page. They asked their friends to help them identify this bird–>

We’ve talked about the benefits of crowdsourcing, but more and more I’m seeing several benefits to asking the community great questions.

In case you haven’t read about Quora, this site has recently received some attention and it works similarly to Yahoo Answers or Aardvark. Since I’ve been curious about the growth of sites like these, I found this chart helpful for comparing the strengths and weaknesses of the Q&A networks. Both nonprofits and nature lovers could use it as a chance to answer and ask questions while building relationships.

And you know I’m all for that!

Who’s testing Quora out now? What do you think?