by Fallon Bleich, Head Editor, INALJ Arkansas
How to Create an Awesome Twitter Account
What a great year INALJ has had! In just a short time, we’ve created a great resource for library job seekers and a small LIS community that’s growing every day. Sometime around the middle of the year, many of us head editors decided to make Twitter accounts for our pages, to reach a bigger audience. When I created my account (first @INALJOklahoma and now @INALJArkansas), I made a goal to grow my followers to at least 300 by the end of the year. I accomplished that goal! While it took a lot of work on my part, I did have a lot of fun doing so and wanted to share with you all some easy steps to do the same for your accounts, whether they are library/work related or your own personal accounts.
1.) Know your audience. As a representative of INALJ, I am careful to make the account as related to library or Arkansas topics as I possibly can. Now, if you’re manning your library’s Twitter account, you may want to use it to announce programs or talk about new additions to collections, but also have fun with it! It would be boring to only use my Twitter account to say “# of jobs posted today”. By retweeting articles I find interesting or Arkansas related topics/events, I’m able to maintain an account that reaches a broader audience and one that’s more interesting than the average library account.
2.) Follow, follow, follow. Not only do I follow fellow INALJ Head Editors, but I actively search once a week for new people to follow. For INALJ, I try to find all the Twitter accounts for libraries, museums, and other related organizations inside the state. I also follow news accounts and LIS related Twitter accounts. Many of them don’t follow me back, but at the same time, a lot of people do and my numbers grow each day. This is also a great way to get more things to post and retweet. Some people will only follow you once you’ve retweeted their posts or mentioned them in a post. This also allows you to get the attention of their audience, too, and help you gain new followers. Don’t follow for the sake of gaining new followers, but follow accounts that relate to yours or regularly posts interesting things to tweet. Who you follow ultimately builds your audience but it also builds your catalog of things to post, too.
3.) Engage. If someone talks to you on Twitter, talk back! Engaging with other users is kind of the point of Twitter and its fun. I’ve had some hilarious conversations about articles that I’ve posted with other users and sometimes the authors of said articles. In turn, those people are more likely to retweet my posts and reference me in their posts.
4.) It ain’t nothing but a number. Finally, don’t be overly concerned with your follower count. While I did have a goal in mind for my account, I also wasn’t actively monitoring it either. After all, it’s just the Internet. Twitter is a great social media tool, but it’s not the end all method to getting your message out there. We have a lot of fun with it at INALJ, but we use a variety of tools to talk to our audience and don’t rely on just one. It’s through the use of all of them that we have gained such a huge increase in our audience, which we’re all grateful for and extremely happy about.