I recently started using Twitter after listening to Geoff Livingston at a Ft. Worth PRSA luncheon earlier in the year. He was helping us understand how to integrate social media into communications plans (and sell a few copies of his book, Now is Gone, which is really an excellent read.)
I became hooked on this online tool. I started noticing many organizations using it as well for various uses (DFW Airport, CNN, Red Cross, etc.) and I began to think that school districts could (and probably should) use this microblogging tool for updates. As more and more people become aware and use social media tools like Twitter, it is imperative that school districts go where the people are to get stories out.
We setup the Mansfield ISD Twitter account and began with a few posts. We were met with mild success so far without much in the way of publicity. The only thing done at first was a soft-launch in the district's blog. This received a mention in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Education Blog. We even received a nice tweet from a follower.
Our communities are quickly coming around to using new media tools. It is our job as communication professionals to move forward (or in some cases keep up) with the conversation.
So how do you get some Twitter love for your district? Try some of these resources:
- You Can Understand Twitter in 30 Seconds
- Video: Twitter in Plain English
- The Big Juicy Twitter Guide
I suggest using Twitter to post general (read: useful) happenings, articles, pages, etc. from a district's Web site. You must decide if this is a useful tool and decide if Twitter matters. Plus, consider using a "tweet" (yes, that's really what they are called) to give updates in the event of problems that tend to arise. I'd like to see if others are considering or are currently using Twitter in this way.