A short primer on Twitter, suitable for any deputation, but written for @diofw tweeps
by Susan Kleinwechter, 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).
Tutorial: Twitter Tutorial from gcflearnfree.org
Connect with the diocese: search for and follow @diofw. @Diofw will add all tweeters in our deputation to a public, subscribable twitter list: @diofw/GC78. The list aggregates our General Convention deputation Twitter voices. Other people can subscribe to it – learn how to subscribe to/follow other people’s lists or create and manage your own at Twitter’s help article Using Twitter lists.
At the start (starting now): Start listening to the conversation! Search #gc78 in the twitter search box. Follow people you want to hear more from, find other hashtags that interest you #episcopal #tweeps. Learn how to
- follow people
- use hashtags
- retweet (RT)
- reply & mention (@reply & @mention)
- send and receive a direct message (DM)
- use Twitter lists
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 #CG78 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 #gc78 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
Keep it 140: “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 abbreviations and shortcuts are 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 link to your blog entry. Twitter automatically shortens your long URL to 22 characters long so you don’t have to use other URL shorteners are like ttp://bitly.com/ and http://goo.gl/
Use #diofw if you want us to track your comments there or track comments about our diocese.
Subscribe to our public deputy list @diofw/gc78. This tells article describes how to subscribe to lists: https://support.twitter.com/articles/76460-how-to-use-twitter-lists.
Go Mobile: Whether or not 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 Getting Started with Twitter via your mobile phone and Twitter SMS commands. However, there is no mechanism to search for hashtags using SMS, probably because the message volume would be overwhelming
Handy Tips: If you’re not using your mobile for monitoring #GC78 tweets, consider a handy service to help aggregate and display tweets. There are dozens of them! One is called twitterfall.com. In Twitterfall’s searches box, type #gc78 and “add” it. You can change the color scheme if you like, making searches and lists different colors. Add list @diofw/gc78 and your own twitter lists. Updates come every 30 seconds or so, and you can set the speed, fall size, and most importantly, pause the fall while you’re busy!
Your Turn: What other handy tips do you have to share about Twitter for General Convention?