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Suggestions for Tweeting About Your Technical Docs
2015, Q2 (February 21, 2015)
By Ann-Marie Grissino, STC Fellow, STC Carolina Chapter Member, Information Engineering at NetApp

Ann-Marie Grissino
Ann-Marie Grissino
So, your technical communications group wants to jump into social media. How does your group start? What do you tweet about?

Here is a short set of guidelines, certainly not exhaustive, but something to get you going.

Develop a strategy for tweeting

Before you begin, develop a strategy for how you are going to handle social media in your group. Consider the following:
  • Review corporate and legal guidelines.
  • Use one group email or blog location for your group’s tweets. That way, many people are contributing to the tweets for your group rather than individuals.
  • Agree on the hashtags to use to categorize the tweets consistently.
  • Decide on categories of tweets. One company organizes its tweets into: product info, culture info, leadership info, and innovation info.
  • Decide what to post and very important, what not to post.
  • Share tweet suggestions with the group on a bi-weekly basis. Possibly share them on a wiki where multiple people can contribute to ideas. Then, individuals can take the suggested tweets and rephrase in their own words. Eventually, when your team is more comfortable with tweeting, you can let go of the wiki step.
  • Monitor your competitors’ social networks.
  • Look for corporate social network allies. This is a great way to collaborate and enhance each others' reach.

Tweet about your product and its accompanying information

You can tweet about the technical documentation that accompanies a product. Consider tweeting about the technical documentation along with these events:
  • Product launches
  • Documentation updates
  • Interesting tidbits found in the doc
  • Information about the doc and current events, especially holidays

Follow best practices when tweeting

Many guidelines exist. Here are some key guidelines.
  • Post brief tweets. They get more likes than longer posts.
  • Post regularly. Here is where it helps to have a group ID, so that multiple people can keep it going.
  • Include photos or videos. These get more hits.
  • Ask for opinions from readers.
  • Ask questions of Twitter followers.

Examples of tweets

Product launches

Here's a tweet announcing a product launch.
Product launch tweet

Culture information at your company

Here's a tweet about the culture of a company.
Great place to work tweet

Interesting tidbits about your doc

Here are some tweets about technical information.

EPM whitepaper tweet

NetApp doc tweet

Tweets about events, especially holidays

AP Stylebook tweet

Ann-Marie Grissino can be reached at grissino at netapp dot com or @amgrissino for Twitter. End of article.

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