What is Twitter?
Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows users to post short messages that show up in the Twitter feeds of the people who choose to follow your account. Twitter offers instantly updates information for just about anything you can imagine. Here’s the catch” Twitter allows only 140 characters per post, called tweet, so tap into your creative side to make your message fit.
What can Twitter do for me?
Twitter is an effective tool for KU organizations an departments that need to share frequent content about meetings, events, news, and even emergency information.
How do I get started with Twitter?
Start by creating an account here on Twitter. Since the account is associated with a KU unit, it should be associated with a KU e-mail address.
Optimize your account for Twitter searches:
Note that a username and a name are two separate items. For example, “KansasUniv” is the username and “University of Kansas” is the name. Usernames are character-limited.
Customize your profile:
Use the column on the right side of your account page to upload a profile picture, write a short bio, and set up Twitter on your mobile phone so you can tweet from anywhere. See KU Graphics and Trademarks page for more information.
The one line bio will appear with the username and name in search results. Use this area to note your relationship to the University of Kansas even if you think your username and name have already made this clear. For example, only using “KU” may create confusion since there are several universities who may use the same acronym.
Include the URL of your university-hosted website to reinforce your authenticity.
- Use other tools. Research external applications that are designed to help Twitter users enhance the Twitter experience.
- Consider Twitter management tools.The Twitter website itself is prone to going down based on heavy traffic so consider skipping Twitter.com to manage your Twitter accounts and check out more reliable management services including TweetDeck and Hootsuite.
- Find the community leaders. Spend time engaging people who are interested in similar topic areas. This means identifying the most influential social media users in your niche area. Klout is a tool that tracks influence on Twitter and Facebook. See who is a thought leader, connector, or a decision-maker.
- It takes a village. Twitter itself does not have a way for multiple people to uniquely access one account other than by sharing the username and password among administrators. Social Media Management tools allow you to have multiple content providers without having to share login/password information (which is a violation of most Terms of Service).
- Impersonate others through the Twitter service.
- Publish or post other people’s private and confidential information.
- Publish or post direct, specific threats of violence against others.
- Engage in username squatting – or establishing an account name for a unit with no intention of using it (see Twitter’s username squatting policy).
- Use the Twitter.com’s address book contact import to send repeat, mass invitations.
- Use the Twitter service for the purpose of spamming anyone.
- Use obscene or pornographic images in either your profile picture or the user background.
Violation of any of the above actions may lead to removal of a post, or removal of your account from a KU-affiliated web page. This decision is at the discretion of the KU Marketing Communications staff or KU unit responsible for the social media presence.
- Stay under the 140-character restriction. Use commonly accepted shorthand and post links that provide more information.
- Include links. Drive followers to your website from tweets. Inbound links also improve your ranking with search engines. Note: link only to HTML webpages unless absolutely necessary. If you must link to a PDF or other non-HTLM document, use a document-sharing service like Scribd or SlideShare.
- Use link shorteners. Links can be long and quickly take over a tweet’s 140-character limit. Use bit.ly or another similar service to shorten them.
- Tweet regularly. Appoint more than one person to tweet if needed to continue regular content.
- Understand why people follow you. If your followers want information about the group you represent, they probably don’t want to know your daily activities. If you are a KU celebrity, your followers are more likely to be interested in your life events. Follow others. This allows communication between you and your followers and is part of Twitter etiquette.
- Re-tweet! Tweet the content posted by another Twitter user that might be of interest to your followers. Make it about more than just “me, me, me.”
- Use hashtags. Hashtags consist of using the # symbol followed by subject words such as #KU. They help organize information, make tweets searchable, and are conversation drivers. Hashtags are especially useful for enabling real-time conversation during events, such as #KUBBall games.
- Incorporate other Twitter users. An example tweet might be: “I am going to the @KUEngineering fair this afternoon.”