#PitMad is a Twitter contest that lets authors pitch their novel in 140 characters or less. If an agent or publisher favorites a pitch, they’re inviting the author to send along a query letter. Naturally, such an opportunity makes this a very popular contest, and #PitMad quickly trends on Twitter.

However, when a hashtag starts trending, spammers infiltrate the hashtag stream, and you’ll see tons of tweets that look like this:

PitMad Spam

WHAT DOES IT EVEN MEAN?

It’s obnoxious having to scroll through these spam tweets. Worst of all, it hinders agents’ and publishers’ efforts to find the gems they want to favorite. Fortunately, it’s easy to filter out the spam. Here’s how.

How to Filter Spam on Twitter

Simply do a basic search on Twitter for your hashtag, and include negative matches in your search. It would look something like this:

#PitMad -term -spam -blah

The terms you negative match will depend on what the spammers are saying that day. Sometimes you can include another trending hashtag, but trends ebb and flow throughout an hour, so it’s better to find terms like click, followers (or variations they use like f0ll0wers), etc. that would be used across multiple spam tweets.

Once you create your search, you can save it for later.

Filter #PitMad Spam Twitter

How to Filter Spam on Tweetdeck

Once you set up a search column in Tweetdeck, click the options icon and add your negative match terms to the excluding field. Don’t comma-separate or use dashes between these terms.

Filter #PitMad Tweets Tweetdeck

How to Filter Spam in HootSuite

Filtering on HootSuite works the same as it does on Twitter. When you create or edit your hashtag search column, enter your negative match keywords like this:

#PitMad -term -spam -blah

Filter PitMad Tweets Hootsuite

Spread the word! Here are ready-made tweets:

Click to tweet: How to Filter Out Spammers When Following #PitMad Tweets – http://bit.ly/15PGT31 via @DianaUrban

Click to tweet: Hey agents and publishers! Be ready to ward off #PitMad spammers with this simple trick – http://bit.ly/15PGT31

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