Twitter is a micro-blogging platform. It’s a newswire in 140 characters or less. Use Twitter to inform your followers and pull them to your website, blog, or Facebook Page. You can also use Twitter as a customer service channel.
A tweet is a post made to your Twitter profile - the status that you update. A tweet can be no longer than 140 characters.RT (retweet)
A “retweet” is essentially a quote of someone else’s tweet. Credit is given to the original author by preceding the tweet with “RT.”@username
Typing "@username" creates a direct link to a user’s Twitter profile page. Connect with other Twitter users, respond directly to tweets, or track when others tweet about you. When someone tweets with your @username, this is called a “mention.”#hashtag
When a pound sign (#) is placed before a keyword, a hashtag is created. Hashtags are used to identify a post as part of a larger idea or conversation. End a post with a hashtag (like #umflint) to track trends about your topic. Use sites like tweetchat.com to follow hashtags in real time.
Twitter usernames can be no longer than 13 characters. Think first and foremost about searchability, as Google and Twitter’s search will pull up accounts based on keyword relevance. It is important to stay unified in naming conventions so that users know that accounts are affiliated with the university. Pick something obvious and relevant. Consider using “umflint” as part of your username (but never use “umf”).
Customizing Your Profile
When selecting graphics for your Twitter profile, use simple graphics that represents the UM-Flint brand. Logo guidelines can be found in the UM-Flint Brand Toolkit.
Services like bit.ly allow you to shorten URLs to conserve your character count. These services can also track click-through rates.Posting Images
If you need image hosting to supplement a tweet, you can use a service like twitpic.com, which lets you share photos on Twitter.UM-Flint Social
Departments, programs, or organizations with Twitter accounts are eligible for inclusion in the directory on UM-Flint Social. To be included in a list, the account must adhere to UM-Flint brand guidelines. University Relations reserves final decision regarding inclusion. To submit your account for the UM-Flint social page or for more information, contact UR.
Social media is not a place for one-way communication. “Social” implies a sort of relationship between users, be they brands, companies, groups, or individuals. By entering the social arena, an institution is implying that this is understood. When establishing a presence on Twitter, it is important to monitor activity and be responsive.
Many users post tweets via Twitter. However, a number of desktop applications allow you to post to Twitter and see others’ updates without visiting Twitter’s website. A fairly exhaustive list of desktop options for Twitter has been compiled by Mashable. These clients as well as Twitter’s website allow you to monitor mentions, keywords, and more.
Best PracticesBe a “good date.”
No one wants to converse with someone who only talks about themselves. Be personable, responsive, and conversational.Don’t be a robot.
Many third-party applications allow you to link your Twitter updates to your Facebook or LinkedIn accounts, automatically generating tweets whenever you update. However, use caution. Automated tweets look like just that—automated tweets. Users are unlikely to follow an account without potential for personal interaction.Be a part of the conversation.
Contribute content that others will find meaningful. Interact with and engage your followers. Twitter provides an excellent point of contact and opportunity for customer service. If your department is using Twitter, make sure someone is able to monitor the conversation.Build credibility.
Credibility on Twitter is important because there are many active spam accounts and it is easy for someone to create an account in the name of your department or unit. Become more credible by filling in all appropriate information on your profile and customizing your page. Follow credible sources that are pertinent to your department.