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.

Wildlife Watching with a Twitter #Hashtag

There are a number of effective ways to monitor response with social media. Today I’m feeling inclined to talk about tracking Twitter hashtags.

With NWF’s Wildlife Watch program we encourage people to #NWF every time they see wildlife, this in turn goes on our website.  It’s been a long-term campaign with random spikes in interest and observations.

I’ve decided to talk about two of the tools that I’ve found most useful. While I used to rely primarily on that site seems to have fallen to the wayside by other sites that track more reliably and with interesting data.  Here are my two choices!

What the Hashtag?!
– this serves as a user’s editable encyclopedia for hashtags – so if you have a hashtag you want to track– this is one of my favorite options. Not only can you RSS the results– but it gives you helpful information such as how often the tag is used each day and it details who the top ten users are. This data is very helpful if you are tracking either an event or a long-term campaign!

Twazzup: This tool is more visual and helps me see the wildlife sightings in greater detail (it allows me to see twitpics and photos). It also links off to recent articles where NWF is mentioned. Overall– it’s a great visual representation of what #NWF is doing and even shows the large number of contributors over time (it tracks for more than a week– unlike WThashtag).

While these are just two of the tools I use– they are by far my favorite. I’m interested to know what tools you couldn’t monitor without–

4 Online Communities A Wildlife Enthusiast Would Love

As a wildlife enthusiast, I get excited at the thought of communicating with others who are passionate about observing and learning about wildlife. Since I’m lucky enough to interact online with people of all walks of life, I do take note of where I interact with some extraordinary people. The following are great communities to check out if you want to find me and others chatting about wildlife! (In no particular order…)

1) Twitter – I am continually impressed by the people I meet on Twitter. If you are a person who is passionate about something, Twitter is an excellent place to find like-minded individuals. If you are interested in finding wildlife watchers on twitter there are several ways I recommend–just by searching #wildlife, #nwf or #birding you will find new people to follow. Check out or and search those who include wildlife or a specific species in their profile.

2) Wild ObsIf you’re looking to log your wildlife sightings then there are several great places for that, but if you are savvy with a phone or want to communicate their exact location–WildObs is an excellent place to go.

While many of the users are also active on Twitter the community and the photos shared on WildObs are freaking fun to check out and I feel like I can spend hours surfing through all the sightings. Definitely worth a try if you find yourself wishing to share the watching experience with others! Follow @WildObs

3) Wiser Earth – Aside from being a great look into the world’s conservation efforts, Wiser Earth is a community that helps bridge divides and provide meaningful resources for making the world a sustainable place. The community is full of passion and there are great wildlife resources posted throughout the site. Take a look and add a link to your favorite resource while you are at it! Follow @WiserEarth


4) Birdpost While this site does cater very specifically toward birds I couldn’t leave it out. I am really impressed with the depth this site offers while giving bird watchers flexibility and a pleasing design to organize their life-lists and track their sightings. If you consider yourself a birder and you like technology you should definitely check out this site. It’s so fun to play with!  Follow @birdpost.


Would love to hear what other sites are out there…

Twitter Users Help Honey Bees With NWF

This week NWF’s twitter feed has been busy as a beefor the bees! All because Häagen-Dazs® teamed up with Twitcause and challenged twitter users to tweet #helphoneybees.  For a dollar a tweet –the hashtag, #helphoneybees, will benefit bee research ($1,000 dollar limit each day).  We’ve been helping them reach their goal while also spreading the word through social media sites because of the importance of research.

Below is a neat show of how many people tweeted the link to our wildlife promise blog as well as how many people tweeted with the hashtag! Very cool to see people rallying for the bees!

NWF on Topsy

I especially want to thank the people who tweeted an extensive amount! And all the rest of you who helped spread the word.