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Secrets of Effective Political Tweeting

by Zach Green on May 10, 2012

in Uncategorized

Welcome to our guide to effective political tweeting, with real examples from the 2012 election. The secrets revealed here will help you write tweets that motivate thousands of people to become active supporters and spread your message. Whether you’re an activist, part of a campaign or non-profit, or a reporter, this blog will be your guide to political activism and campaigns on Twitter. We keep adding to this list, so bookmark this page and watch this space, or subscribe to our RSS feed. If you need help putting these secrets to work for your campaign, check out our consulting services page or contact us.

  1. Understand the power of 140 characters.
  2. Sound like a human. Be succinct & funny.
  3. Limit Tweets to a single idea.
  4. Avoid status updates.
  5. Use between 85-130 characters.
  6. Don’t start public tweets with “@”.
  7. Give them something good to Tweet.
  8. Give them something to retweet.
  9. Measure twice, Tweet once.
  10. Never use more than one link per tweet.
  11. Parody accounts are caricatures.
  12. Host Twitter events on your website.
  13. Use retweet count to test messaging.
  14. Maximize reach on Mondays and Fridays.
  15. Tweet between 10-7 PM EST.
  16. Use #FollowFriday to show recognition.
  17. Don’t Tweet like teenagers text.
  18. Promote Tweets to combat parodies.
  19. Prepare new account launches early.
  20. Don’t feed the Trolls.
  21. Hashtags will be co-opted.
  22. Twitter Trends favor novelty over popularity.
  23. Plan a Twitterbomb at a set time.
  24. Use Direct Messages to spark Twitterbombs.
  25. Direct Message influencers using SocialBro.
  26. Followers protect against account suspension.
  27. 2000 Following Limit WTF FAQ
  28. Don’t send @mentions to many users rapidly.
  29. Revoke Bad Applications to Stop DM Spam
  30. Twitter “Hacking” doesn’t really happen often.
  31. Trends organize topics, then find identifiers.
  32. Following is the best way to get followers.
  33. Target geographically using advanced search.
  34. Ask for retweets using “please retweet”
  35. Use Twibbons to establish community identity.

Since the end of 2010 we have been involved with every aspect of the presidential election on Twitter. We began with a real-time dashboard called 2012twit that provided early insights into metrics, such as the predictive power of follower spikes. Through the Republican primary we provided our own analysis, garnering over 1000 press mentions. We were fortunate enough to talk with nearly every presidential campaign, and hosted the First Presidential Debate on Twitter. We’ve spent the past several months building a unique campaign for Independent Presidential Candidate Buddy Roemer as he seeks the first online nomination, developing and leveraging new tools such as Donate Tweets. In the coming weeks we will be launching a new project that makes it possible to find, follow, and connect with Democrats locally.

Through this all (and that’s the short-list) we’ve slowly shifted from the role of analysts to advocates. Aside from our clients, we manage several successful accounts such as 4more and MittRmoney, whose influence grows daily. Of course, advocates aren’t also accepted as unbiased analysts, so this blog (and our press coverage) has slowed down. Now we have decided to change direction.

We are taking what we’ve learned from tracking, analyzing, and managing successful political campaigns on Twitter to bring you a list of useful, actionable rules. Welcome to our guide on effective political tweeting, with real examples from the election. The gulf between novices and experts is wider than many think. Anyone can write a tweet. Only a few can write a tweet that hundreds enjoy and share. Whether you’re an activist, part of a campaign or non-profit, or a reporter, this blog will be your guide to political activism and campaigns on Twitter. Each rule will be aggregated in the list above, so bookmark this page and watch this space, or subscribe to our RSS feed.

If you need more help than is provided here, check out our consulting services or contact us.

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@April4Congress April 28, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Great meeting & hearing about 140Elect – Can’t wait to work with you.

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