Unspooling Twitter Threads

August 3, 2020 at 6:04 pm Leave a comment

2020, what a year! Thanks to a raging global pandemic I’ve been spending more time at home, eating in more often and keeping tabs on the thoughts of prominent epidemiologists – just as I planned! My current crushes are Dr. Anthony Fauci (America’s heart throb), Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard University and Dr. Thomas Inglesby of Johns Hopkins University (Maryland Strong!). From a communications standpoint, I’ve been reminded of Twitter’s ability to provide direct-from-the-source messaging, often in the form of threads – a tool frequently used by public health professionals and one that more professional services companies should consider.

A Thread?

Twitter is all about relatively short, direct messages. A poster has 280 characters to say what is on their mind. For issues that require a deep dive, threads are the way to say more through a series of connected tweets.

How to Thread

Creating a thread is easy. Start a new Tweet, when ready for the next item in the thread, press the plus button. Best practice is to note how many tweets will be in the thread, for example:

Each tweet in the thread will show up on your timeline, with a button that allows viewers to see the whole series:

The Thread Reader App Twitter bot can also make threads easier to read.

Why Write a Thread?

Here are three reasons to write a thread:

Limited Media Opportunities – Your organization may have what it feels is important news or insight it wants to get out, and the current news cycle is crowding it out.

Deep-dive Breakdowns – Threads offer the opportunity for a technical dive or detailed breakdown of developments. Such granularity may not work well on other outlets.

Complete Message Control – If a person or organization wants to comment or correct comments attributed to them, Twitter threads offer the opportunity to do so with no filter. One can even refer a reporter to a tweet or thread when they are seeking comment. This is particularly useful with crisis communication.

In addition, Twitter threads offering real-time analysis on breaking news can later form the basis of longer client alerts.

Use Twitter for messaging, media monitoring and business retention and development. (You do follow your clients on Twitter, right?). It’s a powerful communications platform, and a crucial element to any communications plan.

Michael Bond

Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

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