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Around the Twitter World in 60 Minutes March 16, 2010
Audio is only available by calling this number:
Conference Call: 800-950-1454; Access Code: 6339392
You are being recorded…
Around the Twitter World in 60 Minutes
Presenter:Allen Gunn, Executive DirectorAspiration
Allen Gunn (Gunner)
Assisting with chat questions: Kevin Lo & Elliot Harmon, TechSoup and Matt Garcia, Aspiration
All presentation content is Creative Commons licensed :)
This is an overview of essential facts and best practices regarding Twitter
Focus is on organizational accounts
“Stuff we wish we'd known at the start”
Most valuable to folks starting out on Twitter, or those with accounts that want to learn how to better use it.
Less valuable for Twitter “power users”, though we welcome your feedback
Twitter is a messaging platform hosted at twitter.com
Often referred to as “micro-blogging”
Severely over-hyped, but often useful
Users “Tweet”140-character messages using a browser, cellphone or app.
Other users “Follow” tweeters of interest, and see others' tweets in real time as they are posted
Twitter is a new way to engage your online networks and keep allies updated on your work
Lighter-weight, more instant than email
Social network features propagate tweets
Mobile support can reach new audiences
3rd parties can extend the platform
Unique, incremental step in online comms
It is not The Revolution.
Common follow-on questions
Is Twitter going to be around in a 2 years?
Do we need both Facebook and Twitter?
Likely, it depends on who you target
Will Twitter replace email?
Nope, it complements it
Is Twitter useful for our nonprofit?
Ask again in 55 minutes :^)
How can you make it your own?
Supply a URL and short biography
Upload a profile image (your “icon”)
Select a theme and/or background image to better brand your page
Link your account with your mobile phone
Add geographic location to your tweets
Change your privacy settings
Tweet: post a status update to be seen by all your followers
Follow: add another Twitter user the list of users whose updates you receive
Retweet: post a tweet from someone else for your followers to see
Direct message: send a private tweet to a specific user
Tweet good stuff :^)
Retweet others and hope they reciprocate in kind
Twitter is an “attention economy”
Barter is the norm
Integrate Twitter into organizational workflow. Encourage tweets about:
New staff and staff recognition
Web updates, blog posts, eNewsletters
News, news, news about allies, allies, allies
Have Twitter guidelines
Establish a consistent organizational voice
Snarking about old milk in staff room refrigerator is not a good public tweet
Follow and study others
Note what you like about others' tweets
Trust your gut, use common sense
It's a brave new world, but it's not brain surgery, rocket science or pastry cheffing
Start out using Twitter as a simple announcement service
As followers grow, engage other users as time permits
Respond to direct communications
Thank people for retweeting & mentions
As your following becomes interactive, do intentional engagement
Action alerts, surveys, petitions, questions...
Frequency of tweeting
It's okay to tweet once a day or several times a week, just keep it real and sincere
Pay attention to your follower count
Visibility of Tweets
Tweets are public by default
Treat them as permanent public record
Direct messages are private
You can “protect” your tweets, but...
A nonprofit's Twitter account should be owned by the organization
Contact email should be something like firstname.lastname@example.org
Forwards to one or more staff members
Don't use a specific staff address
Don't use a non-work email address
Plan for different staff managing the Twitter account over time
One of the most useful things you can do in Twitter is share or publicize links
But with a limit of 140 characters, URL's can take up the whole tweet, or not even fit
There are many “URL Shortening Services” that produce tweet-friendly URL's
Hashtags are specially marked keywords inside of tweets that indicate the topic of the tweet
Not unlike a subject line in email
Use # to indicate a hashtag,
#nptech, #costarica or #healthcare
Example from twitter.com/inveneo:
#Haiti Update - 1st long-distance WiFi Internet link up for @SaveTheChildren, second one coming up soon http://ow.ly/Zsgj
Lists are collections of Twitter accounts which can be followed as a unit
Why do I care?
Good way of grouping what you follow
Establish thought leadership in topical areas
Unique, valuable lists build higher visibility
Being on other users' lists increases organizational visibility
Twitter has many conventions that have been established by users
When you mention a user, precede their name with @
“listening to @aspirationtech give a groovy webinar”
To complain about something that doesn't work properly, use #fail
“#sfmuni 24 bus 45 minutes late #fail”
Phishing: tricking users into divulging passwords and other personal data
Phishing tweets might try to
Impersonate a friend or organization
Get you to click on malicious links
Visit a Twitter look-alike page and supply user name and password
It's a brave new ever-changing world
Think thrice before you click
Use “listening tools” to see where your tweets are propagating and how your issues/keywords are trending
Examples of listening tools
Many tools are built on top of Twitter
Client apps to manage messages
Search tools to explore content
Tweet schedulers to queue up tweets
Petitions to build network support
Fundraising tools to accept donations
Analytic tools to track how you're doing
Submit your questions using the chat box.
Additional questions can be answered by posting in the Emerging Tech Forum:
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