Why Twitter Team Tweeting Works | Beth’s Blog

Why Twitter Team Tweeting Works

Tips, Tools and Tactics

 

 

Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved is a state network that links resources with people who can make change happen in Colorado.   They work in collaboration with health care providers, policy, and decision makers, industry experts, advocates, and individuals in communities across Colorado.   Their vision is to ensure  that health care systems meet the needs of the medically underserved and the needs of those providers and systems of care dedicated to caring for the underserved.

As part of their integrated communications strategy for social media, they tweet through CCMUTweets – taking a networked approach.  Sarah Mapes is the Director of Communications Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved and she also coordinates a team that shares updates through this profile as well as their individual profiles.

Sarah supports other staff members who tweet to support their communications objectives.    She provides training and encourages staff members to get into a regular Twitter habit.  One techniques she uses for new users that join the team is to  create a “Twitter Scavenger Hunt.”   By making Twitter fun, it inspires more regular use.

She says about the activity, “They’re (mostly) very simple tasks for new Twitter users to do–I usually set the length of a challenge at 2-6 weeks depending on how many tasks I give them to do, and then we celebrate with breakfast at staff meeting when it’s over.”

Here’s an example:

  • Find a new hashtag and use it successfully
  • Tweet a photo you took with your phone
  • Follow 5 new people that interest you
  • Schedule a tweet using HootSuite, Tweetdeck, or another service
  • Find and sign up for a link that will track your clicks
  • At a conference, tweet at the end of each session with a main point, important quote, or biggest learning moment
  • At a conference, direct a tweet to a speaker thanking them for their presentation, asking a question, or responding to something they said
  • Search for a topic or hashtag you are interested in
  • Create a Twitter lists
  • Reply to someone’s tweet and get them to respond to you
  • Tweet something that draws a connection between something you learned and something you’re working on that you can link to on your organization’s website
  • Trade twitter handles with a colleague
  • Use a social media tool to determine your most effective time of the day to tweet
  • Gain 10 new followers by following less than 10 people
  • Use #FF to list a few people you enjoy following

If you are supporting staff and others at your organization to help with Tweeting, what motivational techniques do you use?

13 Responses

  1. Amy Murphy says:

    Hiya Beth. Thanks for this great list. I help many clients and friends get started–and use several of the techniques you’ve suggested.

    I often run a short workshop about Twitter, explaining the lingo, and getting people to actually sign up, fill out their profiles and tweet during the workshop to get them comfortable. It helps if you can work together to select some key people to follow, and a few hash tags to track, too.

    Then, I direct-message or @mention them in my own tweets, to get them started, over the first couple weeks. I do lots of positive reinforcement via Twitter, too, retweeting great posts and complimenting my clients publicly on their good work. Private feedback for improvements is helpful too.

    And, I work hard to keep Twitter top of mind for them. I’ll follow their key hash tag conversations for a while, and nudge them to respond if they have an opportunity.

    LOVE the idea of the celebratory breakfast!

  2. Alan Levine says:

    That list is super handy and will likely be borrowed by someone. Ones I might add

    * follow five people who work in sectors outside of yours
    * tweet a link to a video (for any link tweeting we need to encourage including a context or mention why it is relative)
    * use a tweet to introduce two people you think should get to know eac others work
    * sign up for a service that archives your tweets
    * add your twitter handle to your email footer, blog, web site, or other online profiles (e.g. About.me)
    * customize your twitter profile including changing the default egg icon (ahem)

    I’d like to see you write about the pros and cons of having a shared account that does not easily indicate the individuals who are communicating for an organization (you got me thinking about that a few years back with what I think has evolved to http://www.grouptweet.com/

  3. These are great ideas. I find there is a definite gap between training and encouraging people to start tweeting. As we know, you can only really learn by doing. I recently tried to fill this gap a little by starting a Why I Tweet series showcasing good Tweeters asking them to blog about tips, techniques (and flops): http://www.russellwebster.com/category/probation-wednesday/

  4. Ryan Craft says:

    Hi Beth, you mentioned you “coordinate a team that shares updates through this profile as well as their individual profiles.”

    If this is the case, GroupTweet is indeed a solution that I think would work really well for you guys and others in a similar situation.

    With GroupTweet, you can just add each member of your team as a “Contributor” to the @CCMUTweets account. Depending on how you configured your GroupTweet account, contributors can Tweet from @CCMUTweets simply by including a hashtag such as #CCMU, mentioning @CCMUTweets, or sending a DM to the CCMUTweets account.

    The great thing about our platform is that each contributor can send a GroupTweet via any Twitter client each of them prefers, whether that’s from their iPhone, Tweetdeck, Twitter.com, Hootsuite, whatever.

    Better yet, GroupTweets can be configured to either display each contributor’s name when the Tweet is sent, or keep the contributor’s name hidden.

    I’m happy to answer any questions you may have!

  5. Beth says:

    Alan,

    It is great to hear from you (waving from India). I love your list, plus Sarah’s. So much that I have stolen the idea and incorporated it into hands-on training for ngos new to Twitter.

    I think the pros of team tweeting is that more hands make light work, plus if the team is also tweeting through their own individual accounts – it helps expand the network even more. The downside is the lack of personality or you put it – easily identifying who is actually tweeting. I’ve seen some organizational twitter accounts use a background that identifies who is tweeting and they were signing their tweets with ^BK – the ^ plus person’s initials.

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  8. These are great tips to use for getting your board better engaged as well. We also find it’s important for our clients to have a “go to” social media network that resides outside of their organization as not only a vital component of a solid crisis management strategy but also to have a reliable network to generate conversation around key issues. Sometimes the first step is just getting an organization’s supporters comfortable with the social media landscape–Twitter is still uncharted territory for some. With this list, anyone can master the basics. Thanks for sharing!

  9. Beth – These are great tips and provide me with some additional opportunities for motivating my team.

  10. Beth says:

    Heather and Marchell – yes I love Sarah’s idea – and getting comfortable with the tools is so important. A good strategy is making fun

  11. [...]  The todo list of Twitter n00bz is worth 'attention' cost of the article:  "Find a new hashtag and use it successfully Tweet a photo you took with your phone Follow 5 new people that interest you Schedule a tweet using HootSuite, Tweetdeck, or another service Find and sign up for a link that will track your clicks At a conference, tweet at the end of each session with a main point, important quote, or biggest learning moment At a conference, direct a tweet to a speaker thanking them for their presentation, asking a question, or responding to something they saidSearch for a topic or hashtag you are interested in Create a Twitter lists Reply to someone’s tweet and get them to respond to you Tweet something that draws a connection between something you learned and something you’re working on that you can link to on your organization’s website Trade twitter handles with a colleague Use a social media tool to determine your most effective time of the day to tweet Gain 10 new followers by following less than 10 people Use #FF to list a few people you enjoy following."    [...]

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