Feature Article - March 2010
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Expand Your Reach

Marketing in a Web 2.0 World

By Stacy St. Clair



Twitter Do's & Don'ts

There are no hard-and-fast rules on Twitter, so we'll just call these suggestions. Finding what works best for you and your followers may take some time, but here are few tips to get you tweeting.

DO

Interact with your followers. It's called social networking for a reason. Retweet their memes or comment on something they've written. It builds goodwill.

Make your tweets fun. Ask trivia questions, post pictures or make a personal observation.

Follow back. There are different schools of thought about whether you should follow everyone who follows you. Most recreation experts suggest you follow anyone who follows you, and we agree. It helps build relationships and makes followers think you care about their lives, thoughts and opinions, as well. (Plus, personal browsers such as Tweetdeck allow you to organize the people you follow so you can easily find the tweets you care about.)

Make sure your profile is left open to public viewing. You want people to see your tweets even if they don't follow you regularly.

DON'T

Don't forget your messages are public. Anything you write can be retweeted and seen by the general public. A good rule of thumb is not to write anything that your agency wouldn't want to see on the front page of the newspaper.

Don't use the direct message function to market your endeavor. Send people direct messages to confirm personal information such as an e-mail address or to select a meeting time. If you send a direct message to promote an event or a program, it most likely will be considered spam and could cost you a follower.

Don't take it personally if someone stops following you. It ebbs and flows. While your topic may have interested them at one point, interests changes.

Don't ignore your competitors. Follow nearby agencies to keep abreast of their activities and programs. It's perfectly acceptable to re-tweet something they write if you think it would be interesting to your followers.