I am not new to Twitter, however, I am also not an avid Twitter user, despite having at some stage been involved in organisational tweeting and having access/management of multiple twitter accounts. I have boiled it down to just three of late, and in practice, just two accounts are used regularly.
I keep a personal account, but I won’t talk about that too much. My last tweet on it was to a customer services account back in January. Prior to those kinds of tweets, the last ’personal’ tweet was back in July 2015, with retweets, customer service tweets in-between.
Following the announcement of the troubles with SNP led Clackmannanshire Council and its budget cuts, I started an Activism account, which I keep separate from my Public Relations account. I use this for organising and arranging with other activists and campaigners. This account was used recently during the University & College Union strikes, and during a recent student solidarity occupation of a university building. Whilst not a member of the occupation movement, I was able to support, and tweet their story further out.
My third and final twitter account (to be briefly discussed) is my Public Relations profile, or EdThomasPR, which is the only one I’ll link to during this article, as part of my desire to keep things separate. My use of Twitter for Public Relations began prior to my master’s degree, I believe, starting. I have used it to tweet out press-releases, to link to blog articles and auto-tweet from my website MyPublicRelations.co.uk when a new blog article or page is published. I also retweet articles of interest in Public Relations, have tweeted questions to other experts, such as Stephen Waddington, and Dr Derek Hodge. I have tweeted articles/websites I have found, which are of interest in Public Relations as well. My twitter profile is linked to my facebook page, my website, this blog and my Instagram account. I have used the account to like and retweet my fellow student’s blogs, as well as our lecturer Dr Derek Hodge’s (maintained on behalf of the department) twitter account, @StirPR.
My use of hashtags ( # ) is limited to my own posts, primarily, or some articles/websites I am tweeting out which may be of interest, the primary three hashtags used are #StirPR, #PublicRelations and #PR.
Whilst I follow a wide range of people (705), the primary people I follow on this twitter account are politicians and political organisations, regardless of political party, as well as journalists, Public Relations experts, organisations, and Twitter accounts. I also follow my peers. I am followed by just 31 people at the moment, not a huge amount. These people tend to be people or organisations involved in media. Some who are involved in politics and random people (who may or may not actually know). Of course, there is also my peers, though I note @StirPR is lacking (how cheeky of me). I try and follow everyone who follows me. However, there are some dodgy accounts, who I deliberately do not follow back!
I sometimes schedule and auto-tweet using Buffer, rather than HootSuite which restricted/removed its free services a while ago. MyPublicRelations.co.uk is built on the WordPress CMS platform, and I use a plugin to aut0-tweet articles, news and new pages from there, which also grabs from this blog (Ed Thomas PR’s Uni Blog) using RSS feeds.
It would be incorrect to describe my Twitter use as ’basic’ — I can do multiple things with Twitter. Am I an advanced user, however, on a technicality level, yes, but on a discussion of how much I use Twitter, no. I am sporadic in my use of Twitter, and rarely use Direct Messages (DMs). I also avoid using too many hashtags, and my use of Twitter has gone-up recently since Twitter’s character limit was increased earlier this year.
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