Quick tips for a local government looking to start using Twitter

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Twitter is not right for everyone but it is fairly easy to set up and most local governments should become familiar with it. These quick tips assume you already have a basic understanding of Twitter and other social media networks. For those that do not, I have included our Social Media Guide below. While it is in need of another round of updates it provides a great deal of very useful information.

Here are the quick tips:

  • It is not necessary to send 10+ twitter updates a day. Provide a couple of official updates a day (either about the local town or surrounding region and one or two personal, behind the scenes tweets, something similar to “We’re running around like crazy today, trying to get update X,Y, and Z done…”.
  • Provide a personal feel, while the information is official you need to be approachable in your messaging.
  • When you have time, do a twitter search on search.twitter.com and find anyone that has tweeted within 25 miles of your town. Follow them all, these people are potential consumers of your information. As they follow you they will help you spread your message.
  • Don’t worry about your number of followers. You are not a rockstar, you’re a town.
  • Setup a search, using Tweetdeck or your favorite twitter client, for terms that could be about your town, your politicians, or your local employees. Check it after lunch or at the end of the day, you won’t have many in the beginning.

While this is clearly boilerplate without understanding your exact situation, it is appropriate for most local governments.

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