October 12

Regaining Trust as a Local Government- 6 Strategies to Build Your Twitter Presence

Author: Dani Esterline

Twitter is one of the leading social media platforms around the world, serving as a multifaceted tool to inform and engage residents and form an organization’s brand identity. As of the fourth quarter of 2020, Twitter had 192 million monetizable daily active users (mDAU) worldwide. For local governments, a robust Twitter presence will only add legitimacy to the organization's credibility- which is why we have collected 6 strategies to build your presence in our latest blog. 

Let's get into it then!

1. Get verified. 

Getting verified on Twitter increases a government organization’s credibility, and in today’s political climate authenticity and legitimacy are valued by residents for receiving trustworthy information. 

Being verified on Twitter represents a status of interest to the public, making residents and users more likely to interact with your media. Think about the type of accounts that are verified on Twitter- celebrities, news sources, businesses. The blue checkmark serves as a symbol of legitimacy.

barack obama twitter page
Barack Obama's verified Twitter account 

HOW: The first step is to request verification on your account on Twitter.
Go to the account information page in settings and scroll down until you find request verification

iPhone verified account Source: Twitter

Follow the Twitter steps prompted and a team of humans with additional automated verification processes will check your account for verification. It’s important to note that Twitter plans to use demographic surveys for verified accounts to ensure equity.  

Protip: Don’t change your username, this could cause confusion and cause your Twitter verification to be taken away.  Think about the username of your Twitter before hitting full-send on the verification process. 

2. Tweet consistently

Verified accounts don’t usually tweet once a month and Twitter serves as a social media platform to get quick updates in a consumable manner. If your local government is not sharing and creating new content regularly on Twitter, users will be less interested and might unfollow your account.

iPhone screen of Twitter feed

3. Unified social media branding

Government social media marketing is a niche industry, meaning there are different obstacles to overcome when creating a brand presence. Standing out with logos, taglines, and marketing strategies will help your local government stand out among others for economic development.

Screenshot of Riverton UT Twitter bio
Riverton, UT Twitter Bio & Profile Photo
Screenshot Riverton City Government's ( rivertonutahgov) Instagram profile
Riverton, UT Instagram Bio & Profile Photo

Your government organization should have the same profile picture on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, etc.

An example is Riverton City, Utah- this account has the same bio description on FB, Instagram, and Twitter along with the same profile picture. This aids users to recognize the brand when interacting with content.


4. Engage with users 

Think of growing your follower base on Twitter the same way you think about making friends at a party. You wouldn’t just stand in the corner, waiting for people to talk to you (or maybe you would but that’s not a very good tool for making friends).

To make friends, you have to ask people questions about their interests and respond with secondary questions and feedback. The same is true for forming a following on Twitter.

Engage and reply in threads, start polls, as a social media manager for Twitter you are in control of making friends (and followers) and building your government personality.

 Tweets with replies by New Jersey ( NJGov) Twitter
New Jersey's Verified Twitter replies to Pennsylvania's tweet creating conversation and showing users the states unique personality

5. Use photos and videos

Photos and videos are a mode of communication that social media users are excited to interact with, the key is to keep the photos and videos specific to the account’s content.

Riverton, Utah Twitter video screenshot
Riverton, UT using videos on their tweet

Adding photos and videos to a tweet shows users your content and sparks interest in the topic.

6. Use Twitter Analytics

Twitter analytics help track engagement and see which tweets are getting the most engagements, reach, new followers, etc. All components to see what works and what doesn’t work for creating new content. Discover what links create user interest and who is viewing your content. 

Twitter engagements, insights, profile clicks on tweet

Screenshot of what Twitter analytics look like when engaging with a tweet

Bottom Line: Getting verified on Twitter is one way to increase credibility and allow residents to view trustworthy information, local governments are trusted by residents to receive news and updates. As Twitter users grow, local governments need to be ahead of the curve on proper social media management.  Enhance your brand presence on Twitter and watch resident engagement go up, use the conversation-starting platform to start a conversation.

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