To tweet a different way.

31Jul09

So most .org’s that use Twitter have a general account that is usually something like @[YourOrgHere]. At AAPA we don’t do that, we have two AAPA branded accounts – @AAPALynn & @AAPABrooke and a smattering of other staff under their own usernames.

I’m realizing this is completely different than any other .org I’ve seen on Twitter. It seems like they all have a general account. I guess this would be considered a best practice, but to me it doesn’t sit right most of the time. I guess I look at it from a customer service perspective in my own experiences with ASAE on Twitter. I am 10 times more likely to reach out to an individual (poor Lisa Junker!) than I am the general account if I have a problem or catch something they should be aware of, etc.

This is the heart of the AAPA Twitter Strategy. It’s all about connecting individuals & though it’s all well & good to say in the bio who is tweeting on behalf of the .org, it takes longer to build a personal connection with a general account. I think a lot of this has to do with the stripped down, purely informational tone that most general accounts take, but for me it just doesn’t sit right.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve thought about changing my account to a general account, but at the same time I don’t want to lose that personal connection I have with my Tweeps (yeah, I said it, sue me). Part of it might honestly be that I don’t have the time to manage two work accounts, along with trying to somewhat maintain my industry connections on my personal account. There are tools that could help me crowdsource tweets from AAPA staff, but a lot of them don’t “get it” yet. (We are working on that btw!)

Anways, I guess my question is am I crazy? Is my .org the only one doing this? Am I going against all “best practices” for association social media? (that’s an oxymoron – social media best practices…)

I’m curious your experiences, both as an organizational tweeter or one who subscribes to an .org’s tweets.

~Lynn

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6 Responses to “To tweet a different way.”

  1. Hey, you’re always welcome to tweet me with questions or concerns! You’ve caught some great things that we were really grateful to have brought to our attention. And I’m always happy to help when I can.

    That said, I personally think what matters is that your Twitter strategy works for your organization and your members. Even if you are the only association handling Twitter this way, as long as it’s working and creating the interaction you want to see between Twittering staff and members, you aren’t crazy at all.

  2. That’s an interesting approach. At ACNM, our members seem to want connection with individual midwives, but not individual non-midwife staff members in the world of social networking. It’s a little bit frustrating. BTW, your facebook webinar was excellent!

  3. Lisa – I find that it creates a more personal connection, individuals seem to pick up on things we do much faster & they are more likely to pay attention/respond to my tweets than if we were just a nameless faceless org. I used you as an example (thanks for that btw) because I’m more likely to come to you with something than I am @asaecenter. It’s that personal connection.

    Melissa – Thanks for the compliment on the webinar! If you ever want to reference it again, you can find it at http://bit.ly/yfkXV.

    Have you tried starting a hashtag? We started #PhyAsst as a way to help connect PAs with each other & the monitor usage as a metric for us. It might be an alternative. Also if you’re having someone on staff tweeting, the more outgoing the better. I do a lot of monitoring, reaching out, following, etc. It takes a lot of work, but the payoff & involvement are worth it.

  4. Lynn:

    I agree with you that having a human name attached to an organization account is better. It provides that level of trust, authenticity and transparency that I want to see from an organization.

    When I see an organization using a company name for their profile without a personal name attached to it, I immediately think the organization has an old-school, top down, hierarchical, bureaucratic approach. I actually had a long discussion with my friends at ASTD-OC about this very situation and wrote a long article on why they should identify the users of the account. They now identify who is tweeting from their organizational account by using abbreviations at the end of the tweet. When you look at their Twitter profile or Twitter page, you’ll see the tweeps clearly identified by abbreviations.

    I have too more than my share of organizational accounts and most are Jeff4(org name). That separates my personal account from my organizational accounts. It’s how we’ve adopted our accounts here at our work as well.

  5. Do you work for an AMC?

    Previously I worked at an AMC where I had multiple clients, meaning one email address. I found it very difficult to explain sometimes why I didn’t have an @insertassociationhere.org account. But is multiple accounts the way to do it? Do you find yourself spread thin at all? Do you have separate email addresses for each client, etc.?

    Not sure how much overlap there is for clients with regards to content, but just some questions I had as I don’t know anyone off the top of my head that is working at an AMC with multiple clients. (I’m assuming you answered yes to my first question).

    Thanks for the comment Jeff!


  1. 1 Taking on Ghost Tweeting this time. « SNAP’s Blog

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