Rotary Club of Ellon Twitter Guidlines
Rotary Club of Ellon
A Twitter Account has been set-up under the username Ellon Rotary Club.
What is Twitter?
Twitter is a form of Social Media used by many individuals, organisations and businesses to interact with others. Its purpose/intention is to communicate real-time information, Tweets, in short sound-bites of no more than 140 characters, in essence about 1 2 sentences in preference to screeds of information people switch-off to. Tweets can signpost or provide links to more information on the subject matter, for example, a link to a website, news article or Facebook page and can include photographs. Users may thus scan tweets and interrogate only ones of interest to them for more information if necessary.
Who uses it and Why?
Anybody and everybody Individuals, High Profile figures, Governments, Businesses, Organisations, Agencies, Media, etc. Individuals frequently use it to say whats on their minds, communicate emotions, etc; pop stars may promote gigs/albums/image/brand, etc; businesses may likewise promote sales/image/brand; news agencies communicate real-time headlines; and organisations may use it more to signpost people to events and information, etc.
Twitter can be used to inform, warn, advertise, promote, sell, recruit, or whatever people want it to achieve. Imagination is the only limitation! Android Apps make it accessible 24/7 on your tablets or mobile phones, meaning you can Tweet on the move. It is an immediate, up-to-date, real-time forum to communicate with others in your shared network.
Shared Network.. whats that?
Obviously you would be snowed-under with tweets if you were to receive all the tweets around the globe. I suspect Twitter would grind to a halt with information overload. Indeed, 99.999999999% of tweets would be of no interest/relevance to you in any case. Therefore you select your audience to Follow so you only get tweets from sources of interest to you. This may be friends, businesses, organisations (including Rotary), etc. Of course, to be of any value, you must have Followers or there is little value in posting tweets.
So, if I post a Tweet, is it only those Following me/us that see it?
Not necessarily. There is an option to Re-Tweet. Thus a Follower may regenerate your message into their network which could reach a much wider audience and so on. Popular tweets may be regenerated several/many times, and become viral. Twitter publishes tweets that are Trending so you can see them at a glance. It is important therefore, to recognise that once a Tweet is posted, there is no way of containing its circulation and due consideration should be given to the nature of content and not to divulge personal information.
So whats in it for Ellon Rotary Club?
For us, Twitter is an outward facing window to showcase our Club and all that we do to the wider community and beyond. It will not replace our Club Weekly Summaries or Club Newsletter for members which are more inward facing for members. It will not replace our weekly press releases to the media or replace the public notice board. It will not replace Facebook. It will not replace the word-of-mouth from Rotarians. Twitter will work in harmony with all these and fits the profile of our MPRC communications strategy to promote Rotary and our Clubs image and reputation by communicating our good work to the Twitter community, or as some might say, to the Twits!
Do we need Twitter?
I dont know. We didnt have it before and it didnt make us a bad Club. Most other local Clubs dont have it.. yet!
What I do know is that Social Media is very popular with the younger generation and successful businesses. It is widely recognised and respected by business and government agencies.
I also know many other Rotary Clubs are struggling to recruit members, something we fortunately dont have an issue with in Ellon at this time, hopefully ever. But I dont think we can become complacent.
I also know there is a Twitter community out there, many of whom Im sure we didnt reach before. We now have that opportunity.
I also know that Rotary International (RI) advocate the use of Twitter and Social Media. It markets us as modern, forward looking and effective.
Are there any Risks?
There are few. One risk is that something offensive is tweeted to tarnish our reputation or cause embarrassment. To mitigate, we must remain vigilant and professional at all times. To be honest, as long as we are sensible (which most of us usually are!), this should not cause us any issues. Our account is password protected to prevent unauthorised tweets. Furthermore, it is proposed initially that only MPRC Reps will be entrusted to tweet to retain some degree of control. This may change and could be open to all members should there be an appetite.
For me, the biggest risk is by not keeping abreast with current trends and embracing Social Media/Twitter, and our Club will, over time, be seen as full of IT illiterate dinosaurs!
What will we Tweet?
Anything and everything where there may a benefit to realise. Examples could include:
Upcoming events, e.g. Charity Golf day, Bon Accord Car Raffle sales
Appeals for volunteers, e.g. Swimarathon, RYLA
Public Information in advance, e.g. road closures for Pedal Car Race
Thank Yous, e.g. donations for Tools For Self Reliance
Good News/Work of Rotary, e.g. End Polio, Community Grants
Rotary News, e.g. New Club/Office Bearers, new members
Volunteers to help events?
Appeal for Potential New Members to join Rotary?
The list is endless. Whatever will help our cause and promote our Club in a positive light. This is only limited by imagination.
So do I need a Twitter Account or how do I Tweet?
Simple. Its up to you. You dont need a Twitter account and you dont need to Tweet.
It is fully recognised Twitter is not for everyone. Traditionalists will not have to change. This is purely a bolt-on to what we already have. You will not be excluded from anything just because you dont have Twitter.
You may want to monitor what Ellon Rotary Club is Tweeting - you will need a Twitter account to do this.
You may want to Tweet information or appeals. Ellon Rotary Club will Tweet on your behalf - your Clubs Committee MPRC Rep (or another) will do this.
OK, so how do I create a Twitter Account?
Its very easy. Google Twitter. Hit the Twitter link. Click on Sign Up. Follow the online instructions. All you need is an email address, a user name and a password. These are all personal to you.
You will then need to create a Network. You may be able to do this through your email contact list or you can search manually using the twitter search tool under the Discover link.
Twitter use HashTags (#) to assist searches. A good starter-for-ten will be to search on #Ellon. This will identify local users. Here you should find EllonRotaryClub. Simply click on the Follow button. By clicking on the EllonRotaryClub account, you will be able to see what the Club has already tweeted. By doing this for all search results, you will get a flavour or insight on what they tweet and whether or not you wish to follow them.
You will probably want to personalise your network of Following by people and subject matter (interests, hobbies, organisations, sports, etc) closest to your hearts. There are a wealth of Rotary accounts to choose. I suggest Ellon, District 1010, RIBI and RI as relevant. There are many, many others!
Who does Ellon Rotary Club Follow?
The account has been set-up up with Rotary, local media, local businesses and local organisations/agencies as the main focus for intended audience. This is not exhaustive and grows as and when. There is no limit and members are encouraged to have this extended to increase the opportunity for others to Follow us just let us know and we can have them added. At this time, we are Following over 140 accounts and from this, have 40 Followers. It is hoped our Following audience will increase as our network grows and our tweets become more popular.
So how does Ellon Rotary Club administer this?
Responsibility falls to MPRC to adopt ownership and administer this account. To be effective, it is hoped each Club Committees MPRC Rep will become a Twitter user and be given user access on behalf of the Club as they will/should have an intimate knowledge of their Committees activities and be able to use Twitter to best effect to serve the project needs. If this is not possible, I will administer these and other matters falling out with the Committees remit. One example of this is the re-tweeting of the recent Community Councils tweets regarding the Ellon Christmas Lights switch-on, road closures, etc, where we capitalised and simultaneously broadcast our Light-Up Rotary theme message.
Of course, you may wish to have something tweeted to help/promote/advertise your cause. Just ask me or your MPRC rep to have this tweeted.
How Often and When?
There are no rules but there is social media etiquette. It all depends. There is a broad spectrum of responses. News channels broadcast frequently. Some individuals dont ever tweet. For us, I suggest our tweets must be meaningful, relevant and with purpose or people will switch-off and may Un-Follow. They should be regular or people will forget who we are. They should not be too frequent or again we risk losing followers through the not again boredom factor. That said, there are occasions when it may be necessary to tweet often. It all depends!
Good practice would suggest each Club event should have a media strategy, i.e. what to release and when. Before, during and after. This I think is something we are good at, but of course, there is always room for improvement. As a minimum, our Club should be looking at one tweet per week, possibly summarising our Club meeting, speaker, etc, but all in one sentence. thats the real challenge! Realistically, our Club is so busy, it is more likely we will have several tweets each week. There is no target. Even one tweet is one more than we had before. To date, we have issued over 20 Tweets. This helps grow our network.
I am no expert on Twitter and to be honest, Ive probably only scratched the surface of what it can do for us. I am still learning. I think we will all learn as a Club and evolve and develop Twitter protocols.
RI/RIBI have much more comprehensive advice and guidelines on Twitter, but Ive tried to personalise it towards Ellon. That said, I will try and answer any further questions this raises around our Clubs use Twitter. If all else fails, the Twitter website has some good help links if required.
MPRC Committee / Twitter Coordinator (Twit)