Whether it’s news about a resurfacing project or a flooded road, residents increasingly expect accurate and frequent updates. Social media tools such as Twitter can help you meet their needs.
Twitter is the fastest-growing social network in the U.S. (according to eMarketer.com). It allows you to send small bursts of information called tweets. Each tweet can be up to 140 characters, and can include a photo or video to show an update at a glance.
Twitter is great for breaking news, keeping the public informated, and building community. It’s also an effective way to reach the media and elected officials. Here’s some advice for setting up an account:
First, ask yourself these questions:
- What do you want Twitter to do for you?
- Who is the audience or community? What do they want to hear from you? What do they want to tell you? Who do you want to interact with?
- How will you manage your account, and how many people will manage it?
Then, follow these steps:
- Set up account. The hardest decision is figuring out your “handle”. Keep it clear, intuitive, and short. Also, keep in mind that an e-mail address can only be tied to one account. If you want to have multiple accounts, you’ll need to use multiple e-mail addresses. And, if you want to share administration of a single account, you’ll want to use a shared e-mail address.
- Create your profile.
- Follow, tweet, learn, interact, and experiment.
- Graduate to Tweetdeck or Hootsuite, tools to schedule tweets and make management easier.
- Discover.twitter.com/learn-more (Twitter basics; explains what a hash tag is)
- Getting started (step-by-step directions; https://support.twitter.com/articles/215585)
- Tweetdeck.com (social media dashboard application for management of Twitter accounts)
- Hootsuite.com (social media management system)
- Mashable.com (covers the top social media news on topics like Facebook, YouTube, Gmail, Twitter, Amazon, Pinterest and more)