Following on from my post about growing usage of Twiter, today I’ll look at how we might use Twitter at Edge Hill.
The number of followers has crept up – 174 at the time of writing – but many of them are other universities and colleges or possible spammers. Admittedly numbers aren’t everything but I think that’s indicative of us not using Twitter as well as we can.
So what are other universities up to? In the UK it seems largely similar to us. Some are purely automated, others have teams managing tweets and responding to replies. Two that are fairly typical are Keele University and the University of Bath. The latter has, however, experienced an unexpected boost – UniofBath tripled their followers in under a week. How – because a load of snow dumped down on the city last week! As Alison Wildish explains:
[...] The bus and train services ground to a halt and as a result the University closed. During the morning the Communications team posted messages and updates on our internal homepage AND on Twitter. Alongside this the Customer Services team at Bath Bus Station updated their own Twitter account with the latest news on the buses. Both streams of information proved invaluable and as the day went on the number of ‘followers’ increased.
So what Edge Hill needs is 2′ of snow? Maybe it would help, but while that might be an initial draw, as Alison acknowledges, it’s not going to keep people coming back. What if the snow doesn’t come? How should we promote usage of Twiter?
- Announce that we’re on Twitter: it’s only just dawned on me, but we’ve never made a formal announcement. Bath did this on Thursday mid way through the “crisis”.
- Connect Twitter with our systems: we have the GO portal which could easily have a panel for our Twitter feed (it can already using RSS but let’s make it more accessible).
- Diversify our messages: not every news story will interest everyone (sorry Paul, Angie and Mary!) so we should feature a broader range of the things going on at Edge Hill – events, conferences, open days, sports results, alumni – the list is endless.
- Create a network of Twitter accounts: it’s quite likely that not everything will fit neatly into the main edgehill account – how about an account for the Students’ Union? SOLSTICE Conference have an account too, so let’s get them working together.
The likes of Chris Moyles (who’s added 40,000 followers in a week) are appealing to Edge Hill’s core demographic so we can infer that there must be some more students out there using Twitter. Let’s go find them!