About the platform
Created in 2006 as an SMS-based service to share topic-based messages, Twitter continues to make headlines social media industry. Messages are short and concise with a strict limit of 280 characters (including links to websites).
- 23% of U.S. adults say they use Twitter on a daily basis according to 2021 Pew Research.
- 27% of students use Twitter daily and it’s the fourth most common platform for them to use to research colleges and universities. (2021 Noel Levitz Survey)
Recent changes in leadership at Twitter have plunged the platform into uncertainty with adjustments to some of the platform's most important rules and long-lasting strategies. Despite the uncertainty, Twitter is still a way to share news and events, participate in relevant industry discussions, and converse with your target audiences.
About the Twitter algorithm
Users can choose their algorithm option. By default, they can view “Top Tweets” based on Twitter’s algorithm or change their timeline to reverse chronological order known as “Latest Tweets.” Twitter’s algorithm bases content on location, virality, a user’s personal interests (for example, if someone reads tweets about UNLV frequently, they will get more and more UNLV-related content), and types of media (photos, videos, or GIFs). (Source)
How can you use this to your advantage? Knowing your audience is key to optimizing your reach for any algorithm, and that applies to Twitter as well. Start by analyzing the topics or subject areas that seem to get more engagement–do people tend to interact with posts about students or faculty more? Then take a look at types of content–do people tend to engage with links to a website, photos, or videos? As resources allow, try to create more of the content people engage with as often as you can to better serve your audiences.
On Twitter, you can also make sure your tweets are relevant (the more relevant to trending conversations a tweet is, the higher chance it will be served to more people) so by seeing what trends are popular on the platform at a given time and tailoring your content to that, you can increase the reach and engagement of your tweets.
Twitter is best used to
- Post urgent messages–Twitter continues to be useful to notify a large number of people quickly.
- Share university news and events that apply broadly to students, faculty, staff, alumni, fans, and the community. Twitter is a great choice for sharing in-the-moment content (for example, reminding people of events or live streams that are starting soon).
- Monitor dialogue and manage conversations by replying to tweets that mention UNLV via hashtag or within the text, retweeting UNLV-related content, and answering questions or concerns.
- Interact with UNLV athletics and participate in discussions about what’s happening in the Las Vegas and Southern Nevada communities.
- Share engaging content that creates a sense of Rebel Pride for prospective students, current students, alumni, and stakeholders.
- Connect with the Southern Nevada community.
- Alumni, donors, and fans
- Las Vegas and the greater Nevada community
- Research community and industry experts
- Local and national media
- Prospective and current students and their families
Post when you have engaging content to share. Generally, if you can share as often as 2-3 times per day, you’ll steadily grow an audience. However, refrain from posting just to meet a frequency goal and rather focus on creating valuable, engaging content. On Twitter, you should be monitoring conversations and retweeting reliable accounts on sources to increase your engagement and build an audience.
Sharing content and tagging accounts
When referencing another college or department, the account tag should be worked into the content of the post so it reads like a natural sentence whenever possible.
When using hashtags, always follow camel case and capitalize the first letter of every word (for example use #RebelsMakeItHappen rather than #rebelsmakeithappen). This is a better accessibility practice for people using assistive technologies.
Always make sure that you provide a caption file for videos to meet accessibility guidelines. You can upload your own transcript or use the automated captions, but it is best to make sure they are accurate and correctly transcribed. Add alt text to any photos that you upload to meet accessibility guidelines.