Lessons from Twitter

We learn lessons every day from Twitter: things brands do well, things politicians and celebrities do wrong. But this isn’t that kind of post. We learned a LOT from Twitter, the company, today. Specifically, from Sean Evins (@Evins), Twitter’s Partnerships Manager for Government & Politics. Sean was kind enough to visit our D.C. headquarters this afternoon to share some inside information about how to make the most of the platform.

Conference room - Twitter presentation

FUN FACT: When Twitter first came online, it took 2 1/2 years to get to the first billion tweets. Now the site sees that level of traffic every two days.

1) Adoption in Government is growing rapidly. 100% of the U.S. Senate, 97% of the U.S. House and 100% of U.S. Governors are on Twitter. Candidates know that they are elected because of engagement and they also know that constituents crave the feeling of direct access they may not otherwise have. Twitter is the perfect complement to politics and it will be interesting to see how it helps (and hurts) candidates going into November’s elections.

2) Twitter lists can make the overwhelming more manageable. If you follow thousands of people (as I do) on Twitter, keeping track of all that content can be impossible. Creating Twitter lists consisting of people you follow, as well as people you don’t, help you keep track of topic-specific content without clogging your general Twitter feed. These lists can be monitored through Twitter.com or managed as columns in Tweetdeck.

3) So can filters. If you don’t use filters to search in Twitter, it’s time to start.  Go beyond the hashtag by using filters to search out influencers and target geographic locations.  Making use of search functionality will help you cut through the chatter and see what the people who matter are talking about.

4) As ever, content is king. Showcase what makes you unique and sets your brand, product, or service apart.  Make use of photos to increase views by over 60 percent.  Utilize Vine to tell your story and reinforce key messages.  A great example of using content to tell a story is the Department of the Interior’s twitter account @Interior.  Instead of posting text-only messages, they showcase photos that tell a visual story of America’s National Parks.

As a bonus takeaway number 5, don’t forget to follow @StantonComm to keep updated on what we are doing in PR and public policy!



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