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Twitter: Creating Good Content

by shackbarth

So you know the nuts-and-bolts of getting your boss set up on Twitter. Now comes the important part: creating good content. Here are some suggestions to be interesting on Twitter to help your boss better serve his constituents.

What not to tweet

Here’s what your boss shouldn’t tweet about:

  • That sore they found on their big toe.
  • What they had for breakfast. (Unless it was someplace cool like with the troops in Iraq.)
  • Anything with the words “released the following statement.”

Those tweets are mundane, boring, and cringeworthy.

Twitter gives your boss a chance to tell a story unfiltered. Take advantage of that.

Tweet interesting stuff

Good, valuable content will get attention. As a member of Congress your boss has access to content no one else does. Take advantage of that exclusivity and become a valuable news source:

  • Did you boss hear an interesting fact from a committee witness? Tweet that.
  • Was there a breaking news story on your boss’ #1 issue? Tweet that.
  • Will your boss be holding a town hall meeting? Tweet that.
  • Did your boss visit a small business back home that is hurting because of the economy? Tweet that.
  • Did some troops come home after a successful tour overseas? Tweet that along with a picture.

Tweet about what they ran on

Your boss got elected because they cared about a set of issues. Get them to tweet about what they successfully ran on. Did they run on jobs and the economy? Get your boss to tweet a series of posts on what should be done to grow the economy.

Has your boss sponsored a bill? Take followers on the journey of it (hopefully) becoming law—subcommittee hearings, committee markups, floor votes, and conference committees. Few people really know how a bill becomes a law. Tell that story. Your followers will appreciate the civics lesson. It might also get your boss some earned media.

Break out of the bubble

A powerful benefit of Twitter is connecting with constituents and breaking out of the DC bubble.

  • Encourage your boss to tweet him/herself. They may be skeptical, but they might end up having as much fun as Sen. Chuck Grassley does.
  • Schedule periodic question and answer sessions on Twitter. It’s like a town hall meeting without the need to set up a conference call or finding a physical meeting space.
  • Twitter is a two-way medium so get your boss to have actual conversations. Acknowledge constituents for sharing their concerns with you and try to give them useful answers. Constituent service is moving beyond processing snail mail or e-mail letters. Providing good answers to constituents’ concerns will let them know your boss really is listening.