Twitter Tips for Dance Organizations
February 16, 2011 9 Comments
Earlier this week, Dance Magazine tweeted a link to an article from its February
2008 2011 issue titled “Dancing in the Twittersphere” by Nancy Wozny. Wozny talked about how dancers from So You Think You Can Dance? and dance companies like Houston Ballet have embraced the micro-blogging tool to connect with their communities. The story got me thinking about dance organizations in the DC Metro area; and how even after three years since the article came out, many have yet to effectively utilize this social networking tool.
I am no Twitter expert, but I like to think that I’ve attended enough professional development events, spoke with enough social media enthusiasts and read enough articles to learn a thing or two. If you need some additional reassurance, Klout – the standard for influence – considers me an ‘activist.’ I have a cause I want to share (dance in DC) and my audience counts on me to champion this cause. After thinking about my interactions with and reading the Twitter feeds of various dance organizations, I came up with suggestions on how these groups can improve their social media outreach:
1) Engagement – Many of the dance organizations I follow on Twitter have never acknowledged my direct messages or mentions. I don’t expect a response to every tweet, but at least answer questions. To improve engagement with followers, listen to what your followers are saying and seek out opportunities to communicate. Use search.twitter.com to monitor conversations about your organization and respond with a personal touch. A great example is this tweet from Dance Place.
2) Consistency – You don’t have to tweet every hour to be consistent. Decide what works best for your organization and stick with it. There are too many feeds out there that have been created and have no tweets. Or even worse, the last time they tweeted was May 21st, 2010! I’m talking about you, @Velocity_DC (also your background and bio information says 2009!). If you don’t have the resources to manage your feed, get rid of it.
3) Tools – Finally, there are a lot of simple tools out there to help make the most out of your 140 characters. URLs can be long, but there’s bit.ly to shorten your links. Social media dashboards like Hootsuite also have this function and allow you to schedule tweets in advance so you can focus on other tasks. I also learned about What the Hashtag?! from Amanda Miller Littlejohn and Alex Priest at their DC Power Twitter workshop last August. This site allows you to find out what hashtags have been used so you can create a unique one for your event.
I could go on and on about Twitter, but hopefully this is a good starting point. There are tons of articles and websites that provide Twitter tips, but I really like this list from Chris Brogan. You can also check out the upcoming PR and Social Media Bootcamp: Kicking Up Your Social Media workshop presented by C. Fox Communications and the Arts and Humanities Council of Montgomery County Friday, February 25th.