Wednesday, January 14, 2009

5 Easiest Ways to Use Twitter to Advance Conservatism

I've been trying to think of the most basic, simple ways to utilize Twitter to advance the conservative cause. Many people have harnessed Twitter to create social networks and websites - those are awesome and I'm a part of many, but there are TONS of them and it can be time consuming & energy draining, sometimes you just want to stay on Twitter. Or there are some people who are conservative and on Twitter but are not using it to their full advantage.

What can the average, busy, maybe even lazy person easily and simply do every day to advance conservatism on Twitter? I'm glad you asked!

1. Join TCOT (if you haven't already). Michael P. Leahy and others have done a great job rounding up a list of the Top Conservatives on Twitter (TCOT) as well as expanding the site to conservative action projects, mentoring, and news. Get on the list to follow and be followed. It gives you a great starting point to find people you will enjoy following, so go through it and check out people's profiles. It can also help people find and follow you, although now that the list is so long, if you're at the bottom it's not as easy to get noticed. However, following others and writing great tweets will help you gain a following. Which brings me to my next point:

2. Tweet conservative. I know Twitter asks "What are you doing?" but come on, now, I really don't care what you're having for lunch or what your plans are tonight - unless you are doing something really, really, amazingly cool. I want to see conservative topics like: what's the hottest political news, what articles and blogs you find interesting that I may enjoy, what your thoughts on news of the day are, what outrageous thing the left is working on next, etc. When you tweet conservative, try to add the hashtag #TCOT so it will show up on this feed and you gain a wider conservative audience. Put something really great out and hopefully others will:

3. Retweet. Before the election, Twitter had a special banner of hot election topics. Although the topics weren't always the ones most tweeted about, the hot topics were usually items favored by the left. And viewing the feed, one could see why. The Leftists on Twitter acted as a giant echo chamber retweeting each other's articles and information to advance their cause. Conservatives should have been doing the same thing to get their favored topics on the list and move the agenda.

On Twitter now, conservatives should be retweeting and advancing each other's comments, blog posts, and article links to spread them rapidly and attract attention via trending. One thing that is so great about a network like TCOT, you can use it to amplify your message, kind of like playing telephone as a kid, except hopefully the messages doesn't get scrambled by the end. We need to become a giant echo chamber like the Left, the key difference being that when the left does it, they are repeating lies and bias over and over again until people get confused and think it's the truth. We need to reinforce and spread the truth and our own message so the American people know it.

[If you're a newbie, the standard way to retweet looks something like this:
"RT @AlexaShrugged Meet the new Great Satan, same as the old Great Satan #TCOT"
RT stands for Retweet, @AlexaShrugged indicates it was me who originally said it, then the tweet and hashtag #TCOT. The important thing is the information in the retweet so if you don't have room to write the person's name you can leave it out or cut words.]
So, retweet other's tweets, and then:

4. Retweet your retweet. If there's something important, feel free to retweet it multiple times throughout the day. Because everyone is following a bunch of people, your tweet can get lost in the shuffle. Or some people are only on twitter at certain times of the day. Don't be annoying and do it 10 times in 10 min. - a couple times in one day spaced out by a few hours should help you be seen by most of your followers. And hopefully many of your followers will retweet your retweet.

5. Blog exchange. Another way to amplify our message is to get interconnected through our blogs. When you follow someone or are followed, check out that person's blog. If you like it, add it to your blog roll and ask them to do the same. Simple enough.

These are 5 really simple and easy ways to use Twitter for conservatism that you can integrate right now without even breaking a sweat or feeling overwhelmed with monitoring and joining yet another conservative network or website.

I pledge to begin immediately, how about you? Any other ideas?


Anonymous said...

Great list. I re-tweeted it. Let's hope we as conservatives get our act together in the next 18 months. I'm working on a presentation for my local County and District Party to teach the activists the importance of social media.

Alice H said...

I'm doing a presentation at our county Women Republicans meeting in a month or two about leveraging new media for the next election. Do you mind if I print and distribute your post at the meeting? Credit will be given, of course.

Chuck said...

Good read. We, as conservatives, need to get it together and take over the net

Alexa said...

Alice H, yes, please use this! I wish I was in your county!

Paul Mitchell said...

Other than blogrolling being sooooo 2005, there is the linkdumping on your blog that you can do.

I have added quite a few blogs to my reader since I joined Twitter and try to linkdump at least three times a week.

The only other thing that I have noticed is that most "Conservatives" are not that. They appear to be individualists instead. I have no idea why those folks accept the moniker that was bequeathed them by hard left media in the 1960s to tie them to the old Dixiecrats.

John Gillmartin said...

Alexa - I'm working on my part ... three things you missed (IMO) but would make a great follow-up post - 1) join TCOT's new ning site and get involved in a project, 2) comment on conservative Tweeters' blogs in order to show support, and 3) explain DM as an adjunct to Tweeting.

Smiles and blessings

Forrest said...

Please don't do #4. That is so very annoying and a good way to get unfollowed! Retweeting yourself is plain poor Twitter etiquette.