Twitter for Schools: Practical Tips To Help You Manage Your Account

Red Desk have been working with Islington Schools and have developed this document called “Twitter for Schools” as a one-stop checklist to help you manage your school’s Twitter account in a practical manner.

  1. Optimise your profile: Your Twitter profile creates a first impression, so it’s important that you optimize your online presence. Consider your twitter account an extension of your website & an important part of your online reputation. When creating a twitter ID make it as similar to your website url as possible, this will assist with your online presence.  When you are creating your twitter account you can decide whether to make it public or private, this will depend on how you wish to use twitter.
  2. Connect with other professional bodies and organisations: As well as using twitter to connect & share with parents & the local community you can also use it to connect with other schools & educational bodies to share ideas.  Follow other like-minded accounts that you can engage with in the future.  
  3. Hashtags: Hashtags ensure that your content is as discoverable as possible, and enable you to connect with like-minded users. Create your own hashtag for your school or project but be sure to search the hashtag before you begin using it and make sure it is not being used for an unrelated conversation.
  4. Create lists: Lists allow you to group relevant accounts you follow. Once you have grouped important accounts you can go directly to those lists ensuring you don’t miss any relevant content.  
  5. Mentions: If you see content that adds value, give credit where it is due. ‘Favourite’, ‘quote’ and ‘retweet’ tweets that you find helpful, this practice will help you gain followers and build online relationships.
  6. Notifications: This is where you will see any tweets that have mentioned you, check your notifications feed regularly & respond where necessary. Twitter have recently introduced new filtering options for your notifications to give you more control over what you see from certain types of accounts, like those without a profile photo, unverified email addresses or phone numbers.
  7. Use images: It’s a fact that Tweets including images receive more engagement, which is reason enough to make sharing images and videos on Twitter a priority. Ensure that you adhere to your school policy on publishing pupil photos. IF you post pupils photos you need to have signed permission to use those students (and staffs) photos online.
  8. Scheduling: To save time, it’s a good idea to schedule tweets. By planning for Tweets to go out at peak times, you can ensure you are improving visibility. Use a social media dashboard such as Buffer or Hootsuite
  9. Pinned Tweet: Important content can be pinned to your profile.  A pinned tweet will remain just under your profile rather than moving down your profile feed, ensuring anyone viewing your profile will see it.
  10. Share responsibility: Decide who will be tweeting, having more than one member of staff responsible for tweeting will not only spread the work but make for a more interesting account.


twitter for schoolsOther Useful Tips:

Follow @TwitterSafety: Tweets the latest safety tools, resources, and updates from @Twitter.

Moments: Twitter Moments are curated stories – create your own Twitter Moment. You can access Moments at the top of your profile page. To get started all you need is a title, description, tweets, and a selected cover image.

Set Up Twitter Analytics: Use Twitter Analytics to see how your tweets are performing, you can pin successful tweets to the top of your profile or create similar content to improve your account.

Networking Hours

You can virtually “network” on Twitter by using certain hashtags at specified times ie #NorthLondonHour (Monday 9-10pm) so do research which hours might be relevant to your industry/area.  It’s a great way to gain new followers and increase your content reach.

Be consistent

When users want to clean up their twitter accounts the first thing they do is unfollow accounts that have not tweeted in the last 30days (Tools like Manageflitter can be used to do this ) Whether running a personal or professional account, commitment to posting is important to ensuring you continuously add value to your followers.

Focus on quality over quantity

As with most things in life, when it comes to your Twitter strategy you should place more importance on quality over quantity. While it is, of course, tempting to focus on your number of followers, ignore this number and instead dedicate time to building quality relationships with other users of relevance.

Have patience

While we all love instant gratification, patience with your social media approach is key. In recognizing that you will not instantly gain thousands of followers, retweets, or favourites overnight, you are able to concentrate on building value through engagement and content, which will help your number of quality followers and interactions flourish organically.

Keep it short

We’ve all seen those unfortunate tweets where the 140 characters are mostly used up by a lengthy URL. Use a tool like Bitly to shorten your URLs

Initiate conversations

While it’s all well and good to simply favorite a tweet that somebody mentions you in, by taking it that one step further and initiating an actual conversation with that user you are showing a dedication towards engagement that many others neglect.

Even in offering a simple “thank you for sharing!” or asking them what they took away from your post, you are helping open up windows of communication that would otherwise remain closed, thus establishing irreplaceable rapport that will potentially help you in the future.


Twitter Glossary

Tweet: A Twitter message. Tweets can contain up to 140 characters of text, as well as photos, videos, and other forms of media. They are public by default and will show up in Twitter timelines and searches unless they are sent from Protected Accounts or as Direct Messages.

Retweet: the full Tweet appears in your timeline in its original form, complete with the author’s name and avatar.

Quote Tweet: A way to retweet where a user can include their own comments along with the tweet.

Feed: The main place where the steady stream of updates and information from other users is presented to you. On Twitter, your Twitter feed shows updates posted and shared by those you follow.

Handle: Handle is another way of saying your account name. It’s important that you try and maintain consistent handles on all of your social network profiles, since people who follow you on Twitter might want to find you on Instagram or Pinterest. A consistent handle helps with discoverability.

Mention: The act of tagging another user’s handle or account name in a social media message. Mentions typically trigger a notification for that user and are a key part of what makes social media “social.

Trends:  A list of the top tweets for that day, based on your interests.  You can edit this list if Twitter is not showing you relevant tweets.

Direct Message: A direct message (DM) is a private Twitter message sent to one of your followers. Direct messages can only be sent to a Twitter user who is already following you, and you can only receive direct messages from users you follow.

Hashtag: The hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the “#” sign. Hashtags are a simple way to mark the topic (or topics) of social media messages and make them discoverable to people with shared interests.

Quote Tweet: A way to retweet where a user can include their own comments along with the tweet.

Mute: Muting a user on Twitter means their Tweets and Retweets will no longer be visible in your home timeline, and you will no longer receive push or SMS notifications from that user. The muted user will still be able to favorite, reply to and retweet your Tweets; you just won’t see any of that activity in your timeline. The muted user will not know that you’ve muted him/her, and of course you can unmute at any time.

Block: This feature helps users in restricting specific accounts from contacting them, seeing their Tweets, and following them Accounts you have blocked cannot follow you, and you cannot follow an account you have blocked. Blocked accounts do not receive a notification alerting them that their account has been blocked. However, if a blocked account visits the profile of an account that has blocked them, they will see they have been blocked (unlike mute, which is invisible to muted accounts).

Verifying : The blue verified badge   on Twitter lets people know that an account of public interest is authentic. Twitter approve account types maintained by users in music, acting, fashion, government, politics, religion, journalism, media, sports, business, and other key interest areas. If you believe your account is of public interest and should be verified you can request verification.


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