petecranston   10 Apr 2012   E-Diplomacy

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Quiz question: which year was Facebook launched? Hint: it was two years before the launch of Twitter ........ and no Googling!

In the same year a new, email-based online community was started by M+R Strategic Services' eCampaigns division. The Progressive Exchange is a way to share information about online strategies, tactics and tools among people doing internet organizing, advocacy, marketing and fundraising on behalf of the public interest. I highly recommend it as a source of practical tips and sage advice from its over 9,000 members, people who use social media as a central tool in their work, and who don't necessarily expect to make a large profit from sharing their advice (Health warning: the volume of email on the site is high, but it is a well-behaved site with settings to manage the flow).

My Diplo colleague, Dr Stephanie Borg Psaila shared with us some snippets of advice for people who Tweet from Progressive Exchange users, which is both generic and useful enough to share here:

  • "I recommend Dan Zarella's The Science of Timing. His research shows that you can tweet up to 21 times a day without adverse effects (losing followers). You can also repeat tweets (change it up slightly) and post at different times of day because your audience changes. Not all of your followers read your tweets.
  • You may try comparing the frequency that your organization tweets to that of other orgs and use that as a basis for the internal discussion.
  • I think you can tweet more than 10-15 times per day, as long as you’re mixing up the content. If it’s 10 tweets about the same blog post, that’s not good. But if you’re having conversations, retweeting, or sharing articles by others, there’s definitely no problem with frequent tweeting.
  • People expect a higher level of tweeting than emailing or Facebook posting, so you can get away with plenty. Assuming of course that you're putting out content people want to hear! I'd look at retweet numbers to get a sense of how valuable other people think your content is. BTW, when I've live-tweeted an event, I've sometimes put out 30-40 posts in an hour without suffering for it. Not that I'd do that all day, but you can get away with it on special occasions.
  • I'd check how many followers on average your followers have in their networks. If its low, you're going to run the risk of flooding feeds of a lot of your followers..
  • My biggest follower spikes have been during the 24 hours after I participate in a Tweet chat or live Tweet an event (conference, election coverage, etc.). I usually put out a Tweet explaining that I'm going to be kicking up the volume for a limited time.  
 

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