Subscribe via RSS

Twitter Campaign Tips

How to spot astroturf, and why its a bad idea.

March 20, 2014

Astroturf is when one individual operates many accounts to give the false appearance of widespread grassroots support. I have seen many groups attempt it over the years, and its pretty obvious. On Twitter, astroturfing is sometimes achieved through a network of accounts that retweet content together. This network of accounts rarely does anything else, which [...]

Read the full article →

Use Twibbons to establish community identity.

May 17, 2013

Show your support for #EQUALITY by adding a #NOH8 badge to your profile photo! — NOH8 Campaign (@NOH8Campaign) March 26, 2013 Twibbons are an essential tool for all social media campaigns. They are simply small icons placed upon profile pictures. These are leveraged widely to generate awareness for causes, but should also be considered [...]

Read the full article →

Ask for retweets using “please retweet”

May 16, 2013

Asking for retweets is perfectly fine on Twitter, if done sparingly with “retweetable” messages. Explicit requests to share your content are most appropriate during social justice and awareness campaigns. Done correctly, Tweets may receive four times the reach they would otherwise. We checked the average number of retweets per Tweet containing certain strings of text, [...]

Read the full article →

Target geographically using advanced search.

May 14, 2013

Folks on Twitter tend to connect by interest, not location. If you are running a local business or campaign then changing that dynamic is essential. Building regional networks is easy using advanced search. Simply visit then enter a city or zip code in the field labelled Near this place. Clicking Search will return Tweets [...]

Read the full article →

Following is the best way to get followers.

May 5, 2013

Shouting into the void is no fun. On Twitter, gaining followers is the foundation of all other efforts, just as connections are the basis of all social media. The best way to gain followers on Twitter is simple: follow others. You can Google “Get Twitter Followers” and find a lot of free services. They break [...]

Read the full article →

Trends organize topics, then find identifiers.

April 2, 2013

Mark Sanford was trending, now #StopSanford is instead. #HowYouLikeThemApples — Stronger Together (@UniteBlue) April 3, 2013 Twitter’s algorithm for determining Trending Topics does not simply scan all Tweets for the most used tags or words. First Tweets are sorted into topics, then representative tags and words are identified. That means three things. 1. Topics don’t [...]

Read the full article →

Twitter “Hacking” doesn’t really happen often.

March 15, 2013

Often when something goes wrong with Twitter, users immediately think their account was hacked. After a while, it becomes clear that it wasn’t. First of all, it is important to remember that things often go wrong with Twitter. Sometimes Tweets and Direct Messages won’t send, retweeting won’t work, and things just disappear. That is simply [...]

Read the full article →

Revoke Bad Applications to Stop DM Spam

February 19, 2013

Until Twitter's DM bug is fixed (…) copy/paste this in your browser to TrueTwit validate: — What Spam Looks Like (@LooksLikeSpam) November 2, 2013 You are going to receive this Direct Message (DM) sooner or later. Perhaps you will also meet its cousin, “Hey this person is spreading horrible rumors around about you!” People [...]

Read the full article →

Don’t send @mentions to many users rapidly.

February 11, 2013

@uniteblue @trendingblue @140elect… — What Spam Looks Like (@LooksLikeSpam) February 11, 2013 Twitter works hard to detect accounts promoting a product by @mentioning everyone. You’ve seen it. Somebody with only a few followers sends an endless series of nearly identical tweets, likely with a link lacking explanatory text. That’s why sending too many @mentions [...]

Read the full article →

2000 Following Limit WTF FAQ

January 27, 2013

So you reached that hidden Twitter error after 2000 perfectly okay follows. Here’s the problem: You can’t follow more than 2000 users on Twitter until you have over 1800 followers. Afterwards, you can follow 10% more users than follow you. If you hit the 2,000 limit, unfollow some and then you can follow more. Just [...]

Read the full article →

Followers protect against account suspension.

January 25, 2013

Most spammers on Twitter have to repeatedly create accounts after they get suspended. Since the accounts are always new they have relatively few followers. For this reason, Twitter’s algorithms that detect spam are more sensitive to accounts with fewer followers. Recently, a group organized under the tag #TGDN has been connected with coordinated spam-blocking. Accounts [...]

Read the full article →

Direct Message influencers using SocialBro.

January 20, 2013

Want to Direct Message (DM) a few people, but not sure where to begin? SocialBro can help you find and DM your most influential followers. Remember, you can only DM followers, up to 250 per day. Here’s how in five steps: 1. Create an account at Social Bro: Create your account –> go to [...]

Read the full article →

Use Direct Messages to spark Twitterbombs.

January 17, 2013

Hash-tags trend on Twitter when something new suddenly explodes. Now that you have a new tag and set time, let’s lay the groundwork for an explosion. Direct Message (DM) the tag and time to everyone you trust. Include “pass on in DM” or “share through DM only” in the message so everyone will get the [...]

Read the full article →

Plan a Twitterbomb at a set time.

January 15, 2013

Our last post revealed Twitter Trends get excited when something new suddenly explodes. For a new tag to appear suddenly, a large number of people must agree to start tweeting together at a certain time, and not before. That is a “Twitterbomb.” The next few posts will teach you how to bring that group together. [...]

Read the full article →

Twitter Trends favor novelty over popularity.

January 14, 2013

#DoItForGabby trending number 4 in the US — Breaking News Trends (@TrendingBlue) January 14, 2013 Want to make a hash-tag trend on Twitter? The next few posts will teach you how. Your first step is to create a new hash-tag you want to trend. Already have one? Has it been used on Twitter before? [...]

Read the full article →

Hashtags will be co-opted.

September 5, 2012

People like co-opting tags more than they enjoy using them as originally intended. It seems the headline “Republicans co-opted Democrats’ tag #…….” happens every week, or the opposite. This isn’t really news so much as a basic matter of affairs in Twitter politics. Your tag can and will be used against you. It costs a [...]

Read the full article →

Don’t feed the Trolls.

September 1, 2012

@ameer1534 Trust me asshole. I would see that you NEVER got near my wife. Watch your scumbag mouth punk. You fucking with the WRONG person. — Dave B. (@noway90) August 29, 2012 @ameer1534 @140elect Ridiculous is one thing, threatening a woman with rape is another.Not OK. — M.K. Hajdin (@mkhajdin) September 1, 2012 Welcome to [...]

Read the full article →

Prepare new account launches early.

August 11, 2012

I’m honored to join @mittromney on America’s Comeback Team. #RomneyRyan2012 — Paul Ryan (@PaulRyanVP) August 11, 2012 Mitt Romney’s campaign revealed a new Twitter account for Paul Ryan today, and it has already broken 60,000 followers. Romney gained 1,688 new followers the day he launched his presidential campaign, and never received this many (excluding [...]

Read the full article →

Promote Tweets to combat parodies.

July 15, 2012

I created the parody account @MittRmoney last January, and it seems Romney’s campaign is finally responding. I noticed the above tweet promoted in my mention stream yesterday when checking TweetDeck, and found the same results on Twitter Search and Twitter’s mobile app. This simply means they added “MittRmoney” to the list of keywords for their [...]

Read the full article →

Don’t Tweet like teenagers text.

July 5, 2012

.@messina2012, check this out bro, we raised north of $100 million in June.I’m assuming u & Axe will need beers 2night bro — Rick Wiley (@rick_wiley) July 5, 2012 Twitter sprouted into life when @Jack Dorsey described for his colleagues a service that uses text messages to tell small groups what you are doing. While [...]

Read the full article →

Use #FollowFriday to show recognition.

June 21, 2012

Thanks to all of my 60k+ followers on Twitter! I am honored by all of your support! #FF @ConTeach @JamesHWilliams — Herman Cain (@THEHermanCain) August 19, 2011 Every Friday on Twitter users suggest other people to follow. The funny thing is, about 90% of people don’t respond or use “Follow Friday” to add followers. It [...]

Read the full article →

Tweet between 10-7 PM EST.

June 13, 2012

Analyzing over 32,000 tweets sent by presidential candidates since January 1, 2011 reveals the below trend. All times are based on Eastern Standard. To the dismay of bosses everywhere, people are most actively retweeting political events during (and shortly after) working hours. If a great idea comes to you late at night, save it and [...]

Read the full article →

Maximize reach on Mondays and Fridays.

June 12, 2012

Any good marketer knows not to send material that will arrive on Monday or Friday. Everyone plays catch-up on Monday and new material gets easily lost. By Friday people just want to finish what’s on their plate, plan on dealing with anything new on Monday, which they then forget. Average Daily Retweets for Presidential Candidates [...]

Read the full article →

Use retweet count to test messaging.

June 11, 2012

Political campaigns are beginning to learn that Twitter has a memory, and anything you say can and will be used against you in the court of public opinion. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. While every day is new in politics, most fundamental messaging has persistent value. An attack that works one day may well [...]

Read the full article →

Host Twitter events on your website.

June 7, 2012

Did u participate in my Twitter town hall? Check out my @Storify of the event to see if your tweet was included — Senator Kay Hagan (@SenatorHagan) June 6, 2012 Twitter town halls are all the rage this election. An endless stream of presidential and congressional candidates have tried variations on a theme. Many [...]

Read the full article →

Parody accounts are caricatures.

June 5, 2012

Parody accounts are nothing new to Twitter, but they are making their way into offical campaigns. Mitt Romney launched parodies of Joe Biden and Debbie Wasserman Schultz last April, with the purpose of attacking President Obama using their quotes from 2008. Today, Romney’s campaign made a little stir by creating a parody for Bill Clinton, [...]

Read the full article →

Never use more than one link per tweet.

May 31, 2012

Video: #Solyndra(@ Solyndra) — Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) May 31, 2012 Mitt Romney sent the above gem after his surprise visit to Solyndra today. While the 102 retweets it garnered may sound good, that is merely 23% of his weekly average. In fact, this message got fewer retweets than anything @MittRomney has sent since [...]

Read the full article →

Measure twice, Tweet once.

May 30, 2012

#Amercia is one reason why the Romney campaign needs a new copy editor. Here’s another:… — Han Nguyen (@hanseldee) May 30, 2012 Mitt Romney finally secured the Republican nomination for president after six years of persistent campaigning, only to have the news cycle overshadowed by a silly typo in his new mobile app. To [...]

Read the full article →

Give them something to retweet.

May 25, 2012

You probably missed it, but President Obama held a mini Twitter town hall yesterday. He managed to break many of the rules I’ve posted so far, squeezing too many ideas into single tweets or spreading single ideas across multiple tweets. I’ll forgive him this once for not reading my blog. This was the first time [...]

Read the full article →

Give them something good to Tweet.

May 24, 2012

Mitt Romney left Massachusetts with a 39% approval rating and 47th out of 50 states in job creation #OneTermGovernor Tweet Mitt Romney’s records as Governor are gone. He ordered staff to destroy computer drives after buying them for $100,000. Tweet Mitt Romney supports this tweet, unless you don’t like it, then he knows nothing about [...]

Read the full article →

Don’t start public tweets with “@”.

May 23, 2012

If you’ve noticed users putting periods at the beginning of their tweets, it’s probably not a typo. In order to clean up users’ timelines, Twitter changed the way @mentions enter streams. Imagine a tweet is sent by @UserOne, and begins with the text “@UserTwo.” Only users who follow both @UserOne and @UserTwo will see that [...]

Read the full article →

Use between 85-130 characters.

May 21, 2012

The below graph is derived from over 25,000 tweets sent by Presidential candidates over an eleven-month period. It shows the average number of retweets per tweet for each length from 0 to 140 characters. You’ll notice a dramatic drop-off in retweet count under 85 and over 130 characters, with a real sweet spot around 120-130. [...]

Read the full article →

Avoid status updates.

May 18, 2012

I love Colorado’s Western Slope! Great turnout this morning. #COGop — Rick Santorum (@RickSantorum) February 4, 2012 Senator Rick Santorum’s campaign never quite figured out Twitter is not Facebook. While Facebook is great for status-updates, Twitter is a unique platform that enables far more virality and engagement. Twitter increasingly performs like a real-time newswire, [...]

Read the full article →

Limit Tweets to a single idea.

May 17, 2012

Great debate. About to be on #Hannity. Please help me for final Ames Straw Poll push & give what you can here #iacaucus — Tim Pawlenty (@timpawlenty) August 12, 2011 Governor Tim Pawlenty’s campaign never quite had the time to figure out how to use Twitter, so they are a great resource for what [...]

Read the full article →

Sound like a human. Be succinct & funny.

May 16, 2012

To be clear. I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy. — Jon Huntsman (@JonHuntsman) August 18, 2011 Governor Jon Huntsman still claims the most shared tweet ever sent by a Republican presidential candidate, racking in over 4,900 retweets. The result? A 55% increase in new followers and incredible mainstream [...]

Read the full article →

Understand the power of 140 characters.

May 15, 2012

Twitter epitomizes all that is right in America: transparency, dialogue, and an open forum for citizen debate. God bless social media. — Gov. Buddy Roemer (@BuddyRoemer) October 11, 2011 With Twitter spurring political upheavals across the globe, it’s become clear this new medium for mass social communication will fundamentally alter the political process in the [...]

Read the full article →

Secrets of Effective Political Tweeting

May 10, 2012

Welcome to our guide to effective political tweeting. The secrets revealed here will help you write tweets that motivate thousands of people to become active supporters and spread your message. Whether you’re an activist, part of a campaign or non-profit, or a reporter, this blog will be your guide to political activism and campaigns on [...]

Read the full article →