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The Good Tweet Guide for councillors

My own Tweeting efforts have been pretty feeble so far. They usually consist of an alert when I have put up a piece on Residents First, which is the blog for Hammersmith and Fulham Conservatives.

But there are some useful tips here (from Adrian Short via Cllr Liam Maxwell) for beginners like me with aspiration for enhanced status in the Twitter community.

What constitutes a good Tweet? Here is what Adrian says:

 - Deals with a single issue. Always stick to one issue per tweet. It's far better to write three tweets that to write one tweet that covers three issues.

- Is complete in itself. While you may link to a web page that provides further information, the whole story should be in the tweet itself. Bear in mind that many Twitter users won't be able to follow links in tweets so the message in the tweet is all that they will see. (This is similar to the use of headlines in inverted pyramid writing. The headline contains the whole story and subsequent paragraphs are
just increasing levels of detail.)

- Uses plain language rather than bureaucratic language or jargon. "Traffic wardens" not "Civil Enforcement Officers" or "CEOs", "pavements" not "footways", etc. These aren't specific examples that you must use -- your style guide should cover all relevant examples.

- Uses the active voice - "Collect your free grit..." rather than "You can collect free grit..." or worse, "Free grit can be collected..."

- Gets to the point. While you've got 140 characters to play with, you don't need to use all of them. Shorter is better than longer.

- Puts relevant customer service phone numbers and/or email addresses in the tweet. Remember that not everyone will be able to follow to a linked web page.

Interesting the advice about not making the Tweet too long. I hadn't thought it possible for people to get bored reading a long Tweet. Does a Twitter consumer have the attention span of a gnat? Anyway useful guidance and explanation on using @ and #. 


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