Why is Twitter important for your organization?
Twitter is a great way to promote your organization and connect to a network of people doing similar work. It is designed with simplicity in mind – where short and sweet messages come across better than complex communication.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a social media platform (like Facebook and LinkedIn) where users have 140 characters of text to share news and thoughts in real time. The 140-character limit includes all spaces, punctuation, and letters – so it goes fast. One way to save space is to use URL shorteners when you post links. These sites (like bit.ly and tinurl) shorten links for you, turning a really long link into a shortened version, saving precious characters.
Twitter is also public. Unless you protect your tweets, anyone can see your posts. You cannot hide them and restrict viewing.
What’s with the jargon?
Twitter has its own language, so much so that Twitter provides a glossary of terms available here:
https://support.twitter.com/articles/166337-the-twitter-glossary#. Some of the most important terms are Hashtags (#), @replies, @mentions, and retweets.
Using the “@” symbol allows you to connect with other users on Twitter. If you want someone to see your tweet, you might include their username with the “@” symbol in front of it somewhere in the message. For example, if you have a question or want to highlight something and make sure the National Safe Place Network sees it, you could tweet: Heard a great speaker today. @NSPNtweets, you should consider that speaker for a webinar. This is considered a mention.
If you tweet begins “@NSPNtweets” you are responding only to that person and no one else will see that tweet. This is considered a reply.
Hashtags define key words and phrases that allow you to create and connect a community. If you want information on board development, you could try searching for #BoardDevelopment and see what others are saying. If you are hosting an event, like a conference or meeting, you might consider creating a new Hashtag so conference and meeting attendees can connect on Twitter.
Retweeting is when you take a tweet from someone you follow, and send it out to your followers. You can do this by clicking the “retweet” button on Twitter, or by copying and pasting the tweet into your own tweet. When doing this, it’s a good idea to mention the original entity tweeting.
How do I gain followers?
To be effective on Twitter, you need followers. You gain followers by posting regularly, but not too much. Posting once a day is a good goal at first. You can include interesting things in your tweets, like photographs or links to other content. Follow people relevant to your cause and mission. They might just follow you in return. More tips are available here: http://www.hashtags.org/platforms/twitter/how-to-get-followers-on-twitter/
Twitter provides additional tips and information available here: https://business.twitter.com/twitter-101
Hashtag.org also has great resources: http://www.hashtags.org/quick-start