When I first heard about Twitter, I was a little intimidated by its simplicity and perplexed at how it was going to revolutionize how we communicate. With over 200 million users, Twitter has weaved itself everywhere – whether it’s a ticker at the bottom of a news channel, or online – I can’t seem to get away from the Twitter bird asking you to “follow me”.
So after many years of having a dormant account, I decided to open a new account and explore what I had been missing by following groups like the CDC, WebMD, and public health colleagues. So what did I learn? Twitter is a place to get out real-time information and listen or participate in different conversations. This presents both a challenge and opportunity for Public Health organizations.
Here are some tips to keep calm and tweet on:
- Creating an account: Align your profile name, avatar and biography with other content you may have already created on other social media tools.
- 140 Characters is more than enough: It may not seem like it but you have more than enough space to share your message. Don’t get hung up on trying to think of something catchy all the time. Sometimes the fastest way to get information out there is to not re-create the wheel. Retweet another organization’s tweet, or simply share links with existing content related to your message.
- Getting your name out there: If your organization is new to the Twitter world, use your existing networks to encourage them to follow you – whether that’s email, Facebook or embedding your twitter name on newsletters.
- Keeping your followers engaged: Build tweeting into your schedule and events post topics that are relevant to your audience.
- Learning by doing: Follow organizations that are similar and different from yours. Take note of their tweeting styles and try it out.
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