Posted in Social Media

Tweeting in local gov

High 5
As part of my doodling I have decided to start doing a little feature called a ‘High 5 Guide…’ where I give my top 5 tips on a subject. This one is on tweeting in local government. Tweeting is now second nature to most and has become part of ‘business as usual’ in the team you work in.

So here are my 5 top tips that will help make life a little more interesting when tweeting.

#1 – make sure you’re having conversations.
Don’t just let your residents/customers come to you with a moan or a groan – go out to them – ask questions, find out what they’re up to, interact and make sure you really talk to them. It’s also a good idea to introduce yourself every day, like – Hi – it’s Karen here and I’ll be on hand to take your queries today. Other accounts like TfL and Southeastern do it and it works really well. At Lambeth Council we have been testing this out and believe it or not it has made a massive difference in the tone that a person will speak to you. It’s more friendly, even when people have negative things to say.

#2 Use pictures
Pictures really help illustrate what you’re saying and make for much more interesting retweeting. It will really help your tweet come to life and make sure you also link to interesting and cool things. Not always a press release or something similar. Be inventive.

#3 Take advantage of your influencers
There will be many people connected with the council who have a lot of influence in your community. Get them tweeting and having the conversations. Councillors for example will know the issues and can help influence people. Some of them will also have a very high number of followers, so if you retweet from the corporate account too then it doubles the reach!

#4 Connect with people
I’d say don’t be afraid to use your personal account to make contacts and network. This not only means journalists but also people in the community who also carry a lot of influence. Start following people of interest and be curious! If you see a story in the local/national press – tweet the journalist – again – start up a conversation. Likewise if you need to defend something it’s much quicker to do it via a tweet than to send an email. It’s quick and to the point.

#5 Keep up-to-date
Be on Twitter as much as you can and as much will allow to make sure you keep in the know, do the same with blog sites. It will really help you construct more interesting tweets than just want the council is doing the whole time, it will allow you to build up a reputation for offering insightful tweets.

Find me on Twitter – @karenjeal

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