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Template Twitter Strategy for Government Departments

Template Twitter Strategy for Government Departments

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Published by Neil Williams
Strategy for corporate use of Twitter by Government Departments and other public sector organisations (potentially adaptable to private sctor Twitterers too). By Neil Williams, Department for Business, Universities and Skills. Includes information on how to use Twitter, objectives for a corporate Twitter channel, how to measure and evaluate return on your investment, Twitter risks and mitigation, how to promote your Twitter account, and best practice for producing effective Twitter content.
Strategy for corporate use of Twitter by Government Departments and other public sector organisations (potentially adaptable to private sctor Twitterers too). By Neil Williams, Department for Business, Universities and Skills. Includes information on how to use Twitter, objectives for a corporate Twitter channel, how to measure and evaluate return on your investment, Twitter risks and mitigation, how to promote your Twitter account, and best practice for producing effective Twitter content.

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Published by: Neil Williams on Jul 13, 2009
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/27/2014

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Template Twitter strategy for Government Departments1About this document
This document describes why and how we intend to establish and manage a corporatepresence on the microblogging social network Twitter.com.It covers:
Objectives and metrics – why we are using Twitter, and how we will assess its value
Risks and mitigation – how we will contain the risks to our corporate reputation
Channel proposition and management – how we will populate and use the channel
Promotional plan – how we will promote our presence on Twitter to maximise value
2Twitter overview
Twitter is a 'microblogging' platform which allows users to post short text messages (up to140 characters in length) and converse with other users via their phones or web browsers.Unlike email or text messaging on mobile phones, these conversations take place in theopen.The platform is experiencing a phenomenal adoption curve in the UK and being usedincreasingly by government departments, Members of Parliament, a number of our stakeholders as well as millions of businesses, non government organisations andindividuals. It is free to use with a relatively low impact on resources and has the potentialto deliver many benefits in support of our communications objectives.For more about Twitter and why it's important that we join it, see Appendix A. For aglossary of terms see Appendix E.
3Objectives and metrics
Objective
Measures
Extend reach of existing corporate messages online (e.g. news,speeches, web updates, YouTube videos) by buildingrelationships with relevant audiences including intermediaries,stakeholders, and key influencers such as journalists andbloggers (see Appendix B)
Number of followers;relevance and type of followers; number of webtraffic referrals fromTwitter to our websitecontent 
Provide an informal, ‘human’ voice of the organisation topromote comprehension of and engagement with our corporate
Feedback from followers
 
messages
(unsolicited and solicited)
Provide thought leadership and credibility, increasing our visibility as the experts in our remit within the online space
Feedback from followers(unsolicited and solicited);number of re-tweets(Twitter users repeating our updates); click-throughs from our tweets
In line with Government policy (Digital Britain; Cabinet OfficeDigital Engagement policy and Power of Information)demonstrate commitment to and understanding of digitalchannels with exemplary use of this emerging channel
Feedback from followers(unsolicited and solicited);+ve, -ve and neutral mentions elsewhere onblogosphere
Provide an additional, low-barrier method for audiences tointeract with the Department to provide feedback, seek helpand suggest ideas
Volume and quality of @reply and DM contact from followers; impact of this feedback on the Dept 
Provide ways for our audiences to subscribe to updates (byRSS, email and SMS)
N/a. Achieved by having a presence on Twitter 
Monitor mentions on Twitter of ourbrand, our Ministers andflagship policy initiatives, engaging with our critics and keyinfluencers to resolve problems/dissatisfaction and correctfactual inaccuracies, and with satisfied customers to thank themfor and amplify their positive comments
Qualitative assessment of individual cases of turning negatives to positives and  positives into brand advocates
Provide live coverage of events (such as policy launches,summits or promotions) for those who cannot attend
Number of events covered  per year; positivefeedback on that coverage
We will gather evaluation data using a range of methods.
Web analytics for [dept].gov.uk and clickthroughs from URLs in our tweets (usingbit.ly) – to track referrals from Twitter to our web pages
Twitter surveys – regular ‘straw poll’ surveys on Twitter to ask for feedback
Twitter data – the follower/following data presented in our Twitter account
Third party tools – analytics tools including measures based on re-tweeting(Retweet Radar; Twist); online reputation (Monitter, Twitter Grader); impact andinfluence (Twinfluence, Twittersheep); unfollowers (Qwitter)
Alert services – tweetbeep.com and other methods for tracking mentions of our stuff 
Real time observation -http://twitterfall.com/ and similar tools
Analysis of our followers usinghttp://tweepler.com/ and similar tools We will evaluate using all of the above methods every three months.
 
[ Your logo here ]
4Risks 
Risk
Mitigation
Criticism arising from an inability to meet the demands of Twitter users to join conversations/answer enquiries, due toresource and clearance issues
Reduce by managing expectations with clear, published Twitter policy;use holding replies whereanswer will need research;(only if swamped) respond to ‘themes’ not individual replies.
Criticism arising from perceptions that our use of Twitter is outof keeping with the ethos of the platform (such as tooformal/corporate, self-promoting or ‘dry’)
Reduce by sourcing varied content (see 5.3 and 5.4below). Accept that therewill be some criticismregardless.
Criticism of jumping on the bandwagon/waste of publicmoney/lack of return on investment/pointless content
Reduce by evaluating against objectives aboveand adhering to content  principles below 
Inappropriate content being published in error, such as:
News releases under embargo
Information about Ministerial whereabouts that could risksecurity
Protectively marked, commercially or politically sensitiveinformation
Establish ‘light’ but effective procedural controls and guidelines for Twitter users; requireclearance of all tweetsthrough nominated peoplein digital media team.
Technical security of the Twitter account and potential for hacking and vandalism of content
Change Twitter password frequently using strong  passwords; only 2 members of digital mediateam to have access to pw; use cotweet.com todevolve access securely;avoid using unknown 3
rd 
 party tools that require theaccount password 
Lack of availability due to Twitter being over capacity
 Accept (affects all Twitter users, occurs rarely and is
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