Well, a much-loved member of our helpdesk staff is moving on so I asked her if she would write some guidance on how to tweet from our Student Development account to help new members of helpdesk staff. Here's what she said.
There are just a few things to remember when sending out Twitter updates:
- Students are not children - they do not like to be patronised.
- Students don’t generally use Twitter for business, so don’t want lots of boring updates. You have to catch their attention.
- Anyone can see your Twitter update- you need to make sure you don’t say anything you’ll later regret.
- If you make the tweet interesting enough, maybe it will be re-tweeted (and you could start a revolution).
It’s important that students know what’s going on, but also important that you show how it could be useful. I try and make it a bit personal, usually by asking a question beforehand or relating it to a situation that many students will be in:
You can do the same thing for resources that are available. I think if it’s clear that you understand what students are going through, they’re more likely to make use of the things you are advertising.
You can find things on the events pages of the website that people might not know about otherwise, like tree planting or cake baking, or re-tweet things from other people that SDZ followers might find useful.
Feel free to be creative with tweets- it might make people take more notice.
If all else fails and there is nothing going on, I usually resort to grammar guides - if your grammar is shoddy and you don’t make an effort to sort out your punctuation either in essays or job applications, it gives the impression that you might not pull out all the stops in other areas, too. Anyway, nobody likes a misplaced apostrophe!