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Recap: Twitter 101

This post is written by Mary Lauran Hall, communications manager for the Alliance for Biking & Walking.

Given that 20% of global internet users are on Twitter, there are almost definitely people in your area who are tweeting about biking and walking issues. And if your advocacy organization doesn’t have a Twitter presence, you’re missing out on opportunities to join those conversations.

But if you’re not sure how to start tweeting, don’t fret — we’ve got you covered.

Yesterday, the Alliance and the League of American Bicyclists hosted “Twitter 101,” the second in a series of webinars focused on using social media as a way to connect with your consituency and bolster your campaigns. We drilled down into the basics of tweeting — wait, what IS a tweet anyway? — and discussed how to begin building up a network of online supporters.

If you missed the session, check out the slides (PDF) and watch the recording below.

During the webinar, we had the chance for some great Q&A. Thanks to everybody who tuned in live and asked great questions! There were some issues were weren’t able to address in our allotted time, so here are some quick follow-up items.

First, you can definitely connect Twitter and Facebook. Here’s Twitter’s guide on how to push all of your tweets to your personal Facebook profile or to a page you manage, and here’s Facebook’s tool for pushing your Facebook posts to a Twitter account.

That said, I would argue that it’s actually best not to link your Twitter and Facebook accounts. Here’s why. Twitter and Facebook are very different social networks, with different norms and sets of etiquette. On Twitter, brevity is key, and multiple posts per day are the norm. On Facebook, the image rules, longer posts are A-OK, and folks may get annoyed by a barrage of posts in a single day. Your tweets will likely look out of place on Facebook, and the same is true for the reverse. So I recommend updating the two accounts separately, provided you have the time and staff resources to do so.

This post looks great on Facebook…


…but looks like an unfinished thought on Twitter.


And, for what it’s worth, here’s how I would have modified the original content for a tweet.


Also, you can tweet from a mobile phone even if you don’t have a smartphone. It’s as simple as sending a text message. Here’s Twitter’s guide to tweeting via text.

Finally, I benefitted enormously from a glossary of Twitter terminology when I first started tweeting. Thanks to Sue at BikeTexas for recommending Mashable’s Complete Guide to Twitter Lingo.

More social media webinars are on the horizon! To stay up to date, sign up for the League’s bi-weekly e-newsletter

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