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Texas State University

Twitter Best Practices

Twitter is a great tool for relaying messages in a timely manner because it is made up of tweets displayed in a reverse chronological order in your feed. While your feed may include an "In case you missed it" section, that formulaic pop-up can be turned off

Twitter's character limit recently changed to 280, but it is still important to be succinct in your messaging. 

You’re encouraged to follow the university’s Editorial Style Guide when possible, but Twitter’s character limit means some of these rules are flexible. Refer to our social media style guide for more specific writing guidelines.

Features

Twitter Moments 

Live Videos  

Hashtags

Hashtags are meant to group posts with similar content into categories so they are easily searchable.

Use approved hashtags. Using the correct hashtags will maximize the reach and effectiveness of your tweet.

When creating a hashtag for an event, be sure that it contains a connection to the university. 

Before using a trending hashtag, make sure you understand how the hashtag is being used and if tweets using that hashtag are appropriate for your audience. A quick search in Twitter will help gauge how others are using the hashtag.

Try to use hashtags in an organic way whenever possible, but it is OK to tag them at the end of your tweet if you need to reach a certain audience.

Links

Use URL shorteners such as bit.ly or those built into platforms such as Hootsuite to shorten links.

While including a link is almost mandatory to convey a full story, use all the characters available to summarize the main point of what you are linking to. Do not use an ellipsis to end a tweet if you do not have enough characters.

Mentions

Mention active user accounts whenever possible in place of the organization’s name, such as @KTSW_899 instead of KTSW 89.9.

Replies

You can start a tweet with @username and your followers will see it, but replies are still semi-private.

Be familiar with how @replies work.

It is not necessary to put a period at the beginning of every @reply.

Retweets

  • Be careful what you retweet. A retweet, especially from a university account, is seen as an endorsement.
  • Before retweeting, take a look at the user’s handle. If the handle is suggestive or otherwise inappropriate, do not retweet.

Analytics

Use Twitter’s analytic tools or Hootsuite to track the success of your Page or Ad campaign. You will also gain insight into your audience and which posts do well.

Following

Following other accounts, just like retweeting, is a form of endorsement. Who you follow should be a resource for yourself and/or your followers.