There seems to be a lot of news about Twitter at the moment, what with recent changes to its interface, its mobile apps and its relationship to third-party programs using its API. Here’s a list of some updates, tools, guides and news that I think will be particularly helpful to voluntary and community organisations using Twitter.
1. Make the most of Twitter search. Mashable has collected ten search tips and tricks for making your Twitter searches more powerful, including removing RTs from the results or focusing on certain users or locations.
2. Update your profile picture. Not everyone is enamoured of the changes to the Twitter profile page, but whatever your views, All Twitter has an update of how to use the new picture features.
3. Access an archive of tweets. If you really need access to any tweet from previous geological eras on Twitter (2006, for example) then you can now pay to use the archiving service of Gnip. Read the thoughts of All Twitter about this new service.
4. Learn from tips for journalists. Twitter has published four tips for journalists using Twitter – these are useful to know to help your charity engage better with the media. Read The Wall Blog’s take on the guidelines.
5. Set up a ‘tweet this’ message. If you’ve ever clicked on a ‘tweet this’ button on a website and seen a pre-prepared tweet leap onto the screen in front of you, then you may have wondered how that was possible. Now anyone can create pre-loaded tweets that will help your supporters instantly share your key messages: just read all about it in All Twitter.
6. Who are the Twitter successes? Want to know which UK charities are getting the largest numbers of followers on Twitter? Then look no further than this list from UK Fundraising. If you want to know how they acheived this level of success, or why they feel Twitter is helping their work, why not contact these organisations on Twitter and ask them?
7. Use Twitter in events. Last week I used Twitter to broadcast what was happening at my organisation’s AGM (more of this in another post, later). If you’re considering using microblogging to increase the reach of your events and meetings, then read this tips from The Wall Blog.
8. Comfort in numbers? All Twitter reports that only 12% of US small businesses surveyed reported having live Twitter accounts. What would be the numbers for similar-sized charities, I wonder? If you’re not yet using Twitter for your work then these numbers could be consoling.
9. Track health trends. Health-related charities or organisations working in international development may be interested in @MappyHealth, which purports to track levels of different illnesses by monitoring their mentions. Whether this proves to be a reliable and useful tool for health campaigners or planners remains to be seen, but you can read All Twitter’s rather irreverent take on the matter, here.
10. Use Twitter in an emergency. Japan is leading the way in using Twitter as part of its information services for emergency situations. A recent ‘mock earthquake’ tested how people could use Twitter and dedicated mobile apps to find escape routes and muster points, and alert authorities to the locations of injured individuals. Read The Next Web’s report. (Thanks to All Twitter for this link).
What resources have I missed? Why not share things you’ve found helpful elsewhere on the web by posting a comment, below?