As I have said before many times in this series, the best way to build a Twitter following is to tweet about interesting things in an interesting way.
One of the ways of livening up your tweets and adding variety is by the use of multi-media – or, more simply, putting pictures or video in your tweets.
This has always been possible on Twitter but has become much more attractive since the last Twitter upgrade which means that the image or clip is available directly from within your tweet.
Your followers can click on the thumbnail and see the attachment without leaving Twitter, where previously you had to open another window to see the Twitpic or similar.
Here’s a recent example.
@SirIanBlair made a video in advance of last week’s police rally against the cuts:
— IanBlair (@SirIanBlair) May 8, 2012
Using multimedia in Twitter has become so popular that earlier this month Jennifer Lopez (@JLo) launched her new single exclusively on Twitter:
Ideas for use
A number of Probation tweeters, such as @SalfordCPayback, @daveupw & @CPaybackASPT, routinely tweet photos of the work undertaken by offenders supervised on Community Payback orders – which has much more impact than a 140 character description of the work undertaken. Before and after photos are particularly impactful and tweeters are careful not to show offenders’ faces.
— SalfordCPayback (@SalfordCPayback) May 1, 2012
Police tweeters have an even greater choice of subjects. To give you an idea of the range of possibilities, check out the West Midlands Force’s daily photo diary on Flickr which depicts a different aspect of police work every day. Corporate Police tweeters could easily do something similar and tweet their pic of the day.
@londonprobation have recently tweeted with links to a series of audio clips with probation staff talking about their jobs:
— LondonProbationTrust (@LondonProbation) May 8, 2012
Posting a picture
Type your Tweet. In Twitter or Tweetdeck, click on the camera icon. In Hootsuite, click on the paper clip.
Find the image on your computer and select it.
You will then get a preview of the image in your Tweet box and you will lose about 20 characters from your 140 (this is the link to your image).
Tweet in the normal way.
If you take a photo on your phone, click on share image and you should have an option to share via Twitter, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite etc.
Taking photos with your phone and sharing them immediately on Twitter is a great way of engaging your followers in aspects of your everyday work.
If you need to, you can look at Twitter’s help article for posting photos.
Posting a video
This is almost as straightforward.
You then just write your Tweet and add the link of the video to it.
Once again, the link will use up about 20 characters of your 140.
If you need to, you can look at Twitter’s help article for posting videos.
Again, many smartphones will let you upload videos taken on them to YouTube with minimum fuss.
A 10 second clip of a blizzard-affected Motorway is much more likely to deter drivers than a normal tweet.
Next Wednesday marks the last in this series: Measuring your Twitter impact.
I will then put all ten posts into one document which will be made available for free on the Blog.
The following Wednesday kicks off a ten-week series of “Why I tweet” from a variety of police and probation Tweeters.
Have a good week till next week.