A short primer on Twitter, suitable for any deputation, but written for @diofw tweeps
by Susan Kleinwecher, social media coordinator for the Episcopal Diocese of Fort Worth
Convention deputies and anyone tweeting about convention will use a personal accounts, not our diocesan twitter account @diofw. We want a lot of voices tweeting!
Getting Started: At twitter.com, create an account, select a username, and in your profile, upload a photo that looks like you. In your account settings, do NOT protect your tweets (you may change that in a month).
Connect with the diocese: search for and follow @diofw. @diofw will add all tweeters in our deputation to a public, subscribable twitter list: @diofw/GC77. The list aggregate our voices. Other people can subscribe to it. Here’s how! to subscribe to/follow other people’s lists:
At the start (starting now): Start listening to the conversation! Search #gc77 in the twitter search box. Follow people you want to hear more from, find other hashtags that interest you #episcopal #tweeps. Learn how to retweet (RT), reply & mention (@reply & @mention), send a direct message (DM), subscribe to a list. Go to twitter help https://support.twitter.com/ and search for an unfamilar term.
Contribute to convention dialogue: When we are tweeting about General Convention, we will use the hashtag #CG77 in every tweet. Every. Single. Time. In fact, lead with it, so you don’t forget (voice of experience).
What are hashtags? Hashtags, indicated by the hash or pound mark “#” provide a way to track messages associated with a topic; think of them as a keyword to search for. Consider your target audience when using hashtags; they are there for tracking, not for fluff, although that does not inhibit creativity! Use #gc77 for information related to the 2012 Episcopal General Convention. See what hashtags others are using, either from twitter or using a web service like (twittterfall.com) – you will see #churchgrowth #drama #budget #conventionprobs #PHOD
“Dang!” you exclaim when you grapple with the fact that Twitter limits your messages to 140 characters. You’ll get the hang of it without looking like a teenager; most of it is phonetic, so moving your lips helps.
Best Practices: One of the best uses of Twitter is to tweet about blog entries, with a “topical tease to read” introduction and a shortened URL link to your blog entry. Typical URL shorteners are bit.ly http://bitly.com/ and goo.gl http://goo.gl/ Copy the shortened URL into your tweet, so it looks like this: “Light bulb ON at #gc77 lunch http://goo.gl/9agxG & now I undrstand the lingo”
Use #diofw if you want us to track your comments there or track comments about us.
Subscribe to our public deputy list @diofw/gc77. Subscribe a list of tweeters employed by TEC using @diofw/TEC-Tweeters. This tells article describes how to subscribe to lists: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460-how-to-use-twitter-lists
Go Mobile: When you’re comfortable with using Twitter in your browser, get it on your smartphone by downloading the app for Android, iPhone, Blackberry, or Windows Phone 7. No smartphone? You can still tweet – read https://support.twitter.com/articles/14589-getting-started-with-twitter-via-sms and http://support.twitter.com/articles/14020-twitter-sms-commands. However, there is no mechanism to search for hashtags using SMS (probably because the message volume would be overwhelming).
Handy Tips: Consider a handy service called Twitterfall at twitterfall.com. In Twitterfall’s searches box, type #gc77 and “add” it. You can change the color scheme if you like, making searches and lists different colors. Add list @diofw/gc77 and @diofw/TEC-Tweeters. Updates come every 30 seconds or so. Many find that tracking #episcopal is overwhelming!
What other handy tips do you have to share about Twitter for General Convention?