My Social Media Marketing class was given an assignment to come up with an objective related to Twitter and then to blog about our experiences. I am currently on a “wishy-washy” weight-loss diet; so, I decided that it would be great to connect with people on Twitter for weight loss and fitness motivation. My specific objective was to find and follow twenty people that are currently involved in a weight loss/fitness program and are using Twitter for their own motivation and to motivate others. The second part of this objective was to get ten of those people to follow me back so that I could engage with them. It would be great to share low-calorie recipes and tips and ideas related to weight loss, fitness, and healthy eating and living. This assignment was due in seven days so I figured that this was an attainable objective.
I almost changed my objective within the first couple of days. Some of the hashtags that I was using to search for people were: #diet, #weightloss, #fitness, #exercise, #skinny, #thinspiration, #health, #nutrition, and #wellness. I started following nine people out of desperation. I have since unfollowed these nine people. I was becoming very frustrated and disappointed with my findings.
Here is what I found using those hashtags:
- Websites and blogs that were using Twitter to market their products
- Magazines and news sites related to health, weight loss and fitness
- Anorexic people with very disturbing profiles, tweets and images. One of these images was so disturbing that I had to look away. Some of these people were on a mission to convince others that anorexia was a choice, not a disease.
- People with random tweets about weight loss or dieting that were not currently on a diet or fitness program
- People with very negative attitudes which became very apparent by their very negative tweets
- People with very sexually disturbing and/or excessively profane tweets
- People with very different weight loss ideas: One person ate celery only and another allowed herself only 400 calories per day.
Just when I thought that I was going to have to change my objective I found a hashtag that I hadn’t come across before. That hashtag, #FitFam, changed everything. It led me to swarms of people that were currently on a diet and/or fitness program. These people were posting positive tweets and were using a few more hashtags that I hadn’t found before. They made it clear in their profiles and tweets that their intent was to help and motivate others in their journey and to receive the same in return. They referred to themselves as part of the “family”. The family that they were referring to was the Fit Family (#FitFam).
I have since followed ninety-seven people; of which, twenty-seven have followed me back. I have started to engage with some of them. My next objective is to pick twenty-five of them that I will engage with on a regular basis.
The biggest lesson that I learned from this exercise is that you really need to do your research and dig deep when choosing keywords. The second lesson that I learned is that the keywords that you choose (hashtags in this exercise) vary greatly depending on what media you are using. Whether you are using hashtags for Twitter search or keywords for search engine optimization, selecting hashtags and keywords can be very tricky. Skill, research and the right resources are needed. The third lesson: NEVER GIVE UP!