Source: AETC Social Media Workgroup
*Since Twitter settings and capabilities are constantly changing, we recommend tracking the latest updates on a monthly basis. This document was last updated in September of 2011.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is an information-sharing network that has many applications to the work of the AETC community. Twitter was founded in 2006, and currently has over 200 million users. Members use the site to send and resend text messages (known as "tweets") of up to 140 characters to their followers. The AETCs are just beginning to use Twitter to promote trainings, post noteworthy news articles, and share new resources. One reason that Twitter is popular is that sending and receiving messages is possible via the phone even without an internet connection.
What are the Benefits of Joining Twitter?
|Your AETC can connect with like-minded organizations|
|Twitter provides the opportunity to promote AETC resources and trainings|
|You can ask frequent questions via your page|
|Twitter allows your AETC to update its audience in real time|
|Twitter builds awareness about the AETC network|
Managing your Account
To keep your Twitter page updated, social media experts recommend that you post at least once a day and spend an average of 1.5 - 2 hours per week managing your page. If possible, it is best to include management of social media activities within the job description of a staff member at your AETC.
Significant Lessons Learned
|Ask related organizations to re-tweet any important tweet you post (thank people when they re-tweet your posts)|
|When an organization or person follows your page, follow them back, and send them a message with links to your other social media sites (your Facebook page, blog, etc.)|
|Make your tweets interesting by including links to pictures, newspaper articles, etc.|
|Insert your Twitter link into your signature, and post it on your website|
|Only re-tweet very relevant, high-quality information |
|When re-tweeting, include your perspective in the tweet (this personalizes the tweet for your particular audience)|
|Regularly monitor the comments made about your AETC|
How to Set-Up an Account for your AETC
- Log on to http://twitter.com/, fill-out the name of your organization, email, and password, and click "sign up"
- Check over your user information and click "Create my account"
- Confirm your email address by clicking on the link in your email
- Once you are in your account, click on your account name in the upper-right of the page, choose "settings", choose "profile", and add a picture, bio, etc. to your account
- Under "Settings" choose "Design" to change the background of your page, "Notifications" to control how often you receive emails from Twitter, "Mobile" to connect your phone to your Twitter account, and "Account" to update your time zone and privacy settings
- Choose "Who to Follow" to find recommended organizations to follow and to search for organizations
- You are ready to start tweeting!
Evaluation is always an important step when incorporating social media into your AETC activities. To evaluate your progress, you can track your number of followers, the number of people who retweet your tweets (go to "Home", "Retweets", and "Your Tweets Retweeted"), and your number of weekly tweets. Tweetstats (http://tweetstats.com) is a useful tool as it graphs items such as how often you tweet, who you retweet, and your tweet timeline. Another useful evaluation strategy is to ask participants of your trainings if they found out about your event via Twitter.
Examples of Twitter Feeds
Workgroup Members and Contributors
Authors: Jenna K. Bardwell, AETC NRC (Author and Managing Editor); Jamie Steiger, AETC NRC (Workgroup Leader/Coordinator); Nicolé Mandel, AETC NRC (Workgroup Leader/Coordinator); Estela Balderas, MATEC; Lucy Bradley-Springer, Mountain Plains AETC; Halley Cornell, NCCC; Elizabeth Fullerton, SEATEC; Elisabeth Gleckler, Delta Region AETC; Adrena Harrison, SEATEC; Jayson Jaynes, AETC NRC; Veronica Jones, AETC NRC; Kimberly Koester, AETC NEC; Max Lora, FL/Caribbean AETC; Oswaldo Luciano, NY/NJ AETC; Bruce Maeder, Northwest AETC; Kendra Malloy, MATEC-MO; Mari Millery, NY/NJ AETC; Andrea Norberg, AETC NRC; Priyatam Piya, New England AETC; Jaclyn Rubio, HRSA HAB; Sarah Rybicki, MATEC; Ashley Tijerina, TX/OK AETC; Diana Travieso Palow, HRSA HAB; Shannon Weber, NCCC and Amanda Wilkins, MATEC