This week was full of all things Twitter as friends of ECCF joined us for two social media workshops. Staff and board members came to learn with both minds and thumbs at the ready. While participants learned how, why and if they should join the social media world, it didn’t take long before questions and tweets took flight.
The request for such in-house training came during a recent board meeting. So two sessions were planned—sooner than later—with an eye also to another in the fall. ECCF Trustees, Allan Huntley, Joe Grimaldi, Susan Gray and her husband Alec Dingee joined in, as well as ECCF CEO Dave Welbourn (pictured here with great enthusiasm) and staff members Kathy Moriconi, Joan Henkels and Pat Kelleher. By the end of the workshops, at least four new people had tweeted for the very first time!
One might expect a social media workshop to cover when, where and how often to tweet. It did, but Jo Kadlecek, director of communication, also encouraged the groups first to “breathe, pause, and think.”
“There’s a big difference between knowledge and wisdom when it comes to today’s digital platforms,” said Jo. “You can be the most knowledgeable person in the world about social media but not tweet with wisdom or care. So it’s important to think first about what kind of message and persona you want to communicate before ever hitting ‘send.’”
The discussion around the table included a variety of questions and answers about Twitter in particular, such as:
Q: What is the difference between a #hashtag and a @handle?
A: #Hashtag is a way to categorize or emphasize ideas, and @Handle is your name.
Q: What should you include in a tweet?
A: With only 140 characters, a really good tweet includes a focused message that might point you to another good resource via a link or photo. It can be entertaining or informative, but it should always be polite, engaging and thoughtful.
Q: What’s the point?
A: To engage, learn and network. Think of it as a joining a bigger conversation on the things you care about. But set goals that are sustainable.
As a final tip, all social media—like all good writing—requires we be “clear, concise, creative and cordial.” See you in the Twittersphere!
—Carissa Collins, social media summer intern