Twitter allows you to share information with an audience in 280 (or fewer) characters. Here are some tips to help you succeed in the Twitterverse.
- While Facebook users expect fewer posts (11–13 a month), Twitter is a much more immediate medium—posts are here and gone in a matter of seconds. You can tweet numerous times a day and not overwhelm your followers. With the rapid passing of tweets, you can also post multiple times about the same event without annoying your followers—too much. Just remember to mix it up a little bit so they don’t tune out your tweets.
- As with Facebook it’s good to have a mixture of post content, such as the approximations below:
- 50 percent call to action
Example: Alumni tweeters! Let us know you’re out there so we can add you to our alumni list. Or check out the list and see what other Loggers are tweeting!
- 25 percent conversation about the university
Example: What’s a burger to us, when Haiti is hungry? Puget Sound students donate $1,580 in meal points to relief effort. http://bit.ly/cARteq
- 25 percent personality posts
Example: Careful crossing campus, Loggers. The summer residents may be swooping! http://yfrog.com/9ferirj [photo of sign warning about nesting crows on campus]
- Personality is key. Notice that in all the sample posts above, whether they were call to action, university information, or “personality posts,” the author’s voice and personality shone through. It’s key to have personality while still reflecting professionally on the university.
- As with other social media sites, it is recommended to create your Twitter account using a role-based university email address, such as firstname.lastname@example.org rather than a personal account such as email@example.com. (Contact the Technology Services Service Desk for assistance setting up a role-based email account.) This will be easier for staffing changes. It’s also a good idea to make more than one person in your department an administrator on the account.
- Be sure to search Twitter regularly on your handle, or save searches for keywords and hashtags you use so you can see what others are saying about you, and to retweet those posts. There are also many online tools out there that can help you aggregate what is being said about you on Twitter (or other social media).
- Consider using a feed manager (we use Tweetdeck) to help manage multiple feeds and schedule planned tweets.
- Standard actions/conventions in Twitter:
- @handle: You can make sure the folks you’re tweeting about see your posts by using the @ sign with their handle in your post.
Example: STUDENTS: Be a DJ this semester!! @KUPSTHESOUND is accepting apps thru Sept. 20. Request an app: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Reply: Reply to someone else’s tweet by using their handle (with @ sign) as the first thing in your post. Your reply will show up in your feed as well as theirs.
Example: @ivoandov Fabulous! Welcome to the fold, Ivo! Consider yourself alumni listed.
- Retweet: Sharing someone else’s tweet on your feed. You can retweet with or without adding your own comments.
- URL Shorteners: These free online services take a long URL and reduce it to just a few characters. Our favorite is bit.ly because it offers tracking and customization of the links.
- Hashtags: Hashtags are keywords you can use in your post so that people can follow a thread or topic. Hashtags are preceded by the # sign. Beside to promote your hashtag on event materials and in promotional posts.
- Lists: Twitter lists allow you to organize groups of tweeters around topic, region, relationship, or any other conceivable organizing principle. We maintain two lists on the university Twitter account: an alumni list (Puget Sound alumni who have self-identified as alumni who tweet) and a Tacoma list (area organizations and groups that tweet useful local information).
- Useful links to help keep on top of changing policies and information about Twitter: