(Cross-posted from the Cabinet Office digital engagement blog, with thanks for the guest spot.)
You might think a 20-page strategy a bit over the top for a tool like Twitter.
After all, microblogging is a low-barrier to entry, low-risk and low-resource channel relative to other corporate communications overheads like a blog or printed newsletter. And the pioneers in corporate use of Twitter by central government (see No 10, CLG and FCO) all started as low-profile experiments and grew organically into what they are today.
But, having held back my JFDI inclinations long enough to sit down and write a proper plan for BIS‘s corporate Twitter account, I was surprised by just how much there is to say – and quite how worth saying it is, especially now the platform is more mature and less forgiving of mistakes.
So in case it’s of use to others who are thinking of doing the same, I’ve turned BIS’s Twitter strategy into this generic template for any government Department:
You’re welcome to re-use this however you like, be that to adopt it wholesale or remix it to suit the needs of your organisation. Let me know any changes you’d make (I am sure there will be lots) via the comments below, on the DirDigEng blog or get in touch directly.
For the next version of this document, prompted largely by Steph, I’d like to cover how and when civil servants should support, encourage and manage Ministers’ use of Twitter for Departmental business (and navigate the minefield of propriety this might imply), and add a light touch policy for officials who tweet about their work in a personal capacity.
Finally, some of the benefits I’ve found of having this document in my armoury are:
- To get buy-in, explain Twitter’s importance to non-believers and the uninitiated, and face down accusations of bandwagon-jumping
- To set clear objectives and metrics to make sure there’s a return on the investment of staff time (and if there isn’t, we’ll stop doing it)
- To make sure the channel is used consistently and carefully, to protect corporate reputation from silly mistakes or inappropriate use
- To plan varied and interesting content, and enthuse those who will provide it into actively wanting to do so
- As a briefing tool for new starters in the team who will be involved in the management of the channel
I hope you’ll find it useful too.
Some other Twitter strategy tips, if you’re hungry for more:
- Jon Bounds – tweeting for a brand or organisation
- Digital Engagement (the other one) – top ten Twitter tips for councils
Image credit: Matt Hamm