What is Twitter?
Twitter is a micro-blogging service that allows you to post short messages to the Twitter feeds of the people who follow your account. Twitter allows for instantaneous response. Because of the character limit —140 characters per post, or "tweet" — you'll need to tap into your creative side to make your message fit.
What can Twitter do for me?
Twitter is an effective tool for KU organizations and departments that need to share content about meetings, events, news, and even emergency information.
Don’t have enough content to sustain a Twitter feed?
If you would like to promote your organization on Twitter, but don’t have enough content to maintain your own feed with consistent messaging, contact Katie McCurry at firstname.lastname@example.org to feature your content on KU’s Twitter account.
How do I get started with Twitter?
Start by creating a Twitter account. If the account is associated with a KU unit, it should be associated with a KU email address. Do not sign up with a student’s email address.
Optimize your account for Twitter searches
Note that a username and a name are two separate items. For example, “@KUnews” is the username and “University of Kansas” is the name. Usernames are character-limited.
Customize your profile
Use the profile tab in settings to upload a profile-specific header photo, write a short bio, and set up Twitter on your mobile phone so you can tweet from anywhere. See KU Graphics and Trademarks page for more information. bit.ly/KUidentity
The bio will appear with the username and name in search results. The bio allows 160 characters, so use this area to note your relationship to the University of Kansas even if you think your username and name have already made this clear. For example, using only “KU” may create confusion since several universities may use the same acronym.
Include the URL of your university-hosted website to reinforce your authenticity.
- Use other tools. Research external applications that are designed to help users enhance the Twitter experience.
- Consider Twitter management tools. The Twitter website itself is prone to going down based on heavy traffic, so consider using more reliable services such as TweetDeck, Hootsuite, and SproutSocial to manage your Twitter accounts and allow you to have multiple content providers without having to share login/password information.
- Find the community leaders and engage people who are interested in similar topic areas. Identify the most influential social media users in your niche with tools such as Klout, which tracks influence on Twitter and Facebook.
- Don’t impersonate others on Twitter.
- Never publish or post other people’s private and confidential information.
- Don’t publish or post direct, specific threats of violence.
- Username squatting – establishing an account name for a unit with no intention of using it – violates Twitter’s username policy.
- Don’t use Twitter.com’s address book contact import to send repeat mass invitations.
- Don’t use Twitter to spam.
- Never use obscene or pornographic images in your profile picture or the user background.
Violation of any of the above actions may lead to removal of a post or removal of your account from a KU-affiliated web page. This decision is at the discretion of the KU Marketing Communications staff or KU unit responsible for the social media presence.
- Stay under the 140-character restriction. Keep tweets short and creative.
- Character limits: Text only: 140 characters; Text + link OR photo: 117 characters; Text + photo AND link: 95 characters.
- Post links that provide more information and drive followers to your website. Inbound links also improve your ranking with search engines. Note: Link only to HTML Web pages.
- Long links eat into a tweet’s 140-character limit. Use link shorteners such as bit.ly. This service also analyzes clicks to your links.
- Tweet regularly — consistency is important. Schedule your regular content through Twitter management tools.
- Understand why people follow you. For example, do your followers want information about the group you represent or do they want to follow your daily activities?
- Follow others. This allows communication between you and your followers and is good Twitter etiquette.
- Re-tweet content posted by other Twitter users that might interest your followers. Make it about more than just “me, me, me.” A true RT will have other user content show up in your own feed. Avoid “faking” RTs.
- Use hashtags, which are the # symbol followed by subject words such as #KUresearch. They help organize information, make tweets searchable, and drive conversation. Hashtags are especially useful for enabling real-time conversation during events, such as #KUbball games. Also, use KU hashtags that follow messaging themes:
- #KUexperience: The Jayhawk experience (academics, FYE, etc.)
- #KUdiscoveries: Making discoveries that change the world
- #KUdifference: The KU difference (differentiation/distinction points)
- #BeAJayhawk: Why choose KU (student recruitment)
- #KUleaders: Educating leaders
- #KUcommunities: Building healthy communities
- #growKS: How KU contributes to the vitality and economy of Kansas
- #KUworks: KU programs/outreach/services that provide direct benefits and assistance to rural communities – especially places that would otherwise not have access to that assistance.
- #BestofKU: A review of the year’s notable accomplishments (grants, awards, groundbreakings, etc.)
- Other key KU hashtags are: #KUresearch, #KUstudents, #KUprofs/#KUprof, #KUcampus , #KUgrads, #KUalumni, #KUfacts
(Note: Always capitalize “KU” and leave the rest lowercase.)
Incorporate other Twitter users. For example: “I am going to the @KUEngineering fair this afternoon.”