Five tips to take twit out of Twitter

Written by: Karen Jeal

June 13, 2014 - 9:56 am
Categories: Communication , Digital , Engagement , Social Media

Twitter rules the social world right now. Just to tell you how much – more than 1 billion people now have an account with more than 100 million people using it daily.

That’s a mammoth figure. What did we do before social media? Life seemed to move a lot slower. But now the pace has picked up we must move with it.

So what’s the best way to use Twitter and how can you ensure you’re using it to its full potential.

Here are five tips and examples to show you different ways Lambeth Council are using it to engage and collaborate with residents and other audiences.

Number 1 – Engage with your community
Audiences can be diverse and you shouldn’t assume that they will all understand what you’re tweeting about. On June 10 the Portuguese community celebrated Portugal Day. So instead of ignoring it or tweeting in the normal way we devised a number of tweets in Portuguese to reach out to these audiences. The reach was better than had hoped and we got some great compliments.

Number 2 – Use hashtags
Always try and use hasgtags in your tweets, because more people will see your tweets and you’ll get a wider reach. But take these wise words on board…

Be very careful. Don’t make them too long and make sure they relate to something. Here’s an example #SpringLambeth or #CleanandGreen. Try and tag things like places or major events like #WorldCup for example. Be careful not to use something that might have something inappropriate attached to it.

Also if you are going to use more than one word make sure that it doesn’t make up other words in between. Remember the awkward hashtag used for Susan Boyle’s new album party?  

Number 3 – Replying and direct tweeting people
Here’s two examples of the best ways to reply to someone on Twitter. Example A will only been seen by that person – as it starts the beginning of the tweet. So this is direct tweeting them.

@Lambeth_Comms – hello thanks for your tweet.

In Example B the @ name is in the middle of the tweet so that means it will be seen by all of that person’s followers.

Hello @Lambeth_Comms – thanks for your tweet.

We’ve been using direct tweeting as part of its community awards to target local community groups to encourage them to nominate someone in their community. This had more of an effect than just general tweeting and has resulted in a number of nominations coming in because of those tweets and subsequent retweets.

Number 4 – Live Q&A

In the run up to the election we used an hour one lunchtime to hold a live Q&A for any questions people had on the elections. We managed to answer some really useful questions and also put out answers to some questions that had been really common in other communication channels. For example – do I need my poll card to vote? We used the hashtag #MyLambethMyVote throughout the hour and reached a good portion of people with this activity.

Number 5 – Asking Questions
The final example of how Twitter works well is to ask questions. Make Twitter two way! Don’t just keep bombarding your followers with promotional material ask questions and get opinions. This will help you develop your thoughts further.

Lambeth Council wanted to mark International Women’s Day. But instead of just telling people the date and that we want to mark it – we asked people to nominate people in Lambeth who were inspirational and deserved a bit of recognition.

Then we tweeted out those nominations and marked the day with some really thought provoking two-way messages. It was a great success and something we’re now able to replicate across other dates and projects.

Next time you take to Twitter have a think about how best you’ll use it, because we know that 46% of people use it daily and over the course of a month people spend 170 minutes on it, so that’s a lot of attention to keep in a competing market.


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