Harnessing the Power of Twitter

by Patrick Burtchaell

What is Twitter?

Twitter is a simple, micro-blogging social network that came into existence in July 2006 and currently has over 175 million registered users. These users send tweets-short messages of up to 140 characters to their followers to read. Your followers are other Twitter members who may have similar interests or may be friends with you. Much like Facebook friends, you can see who is following you, read their profile, and check out the tweets they post on their "feed," the Twitter equivalent of a Facebook timeline.

Using This Micro-Blog to Your Lodge's Advantage

Although technically a micro-blog where posts are usually brief messages about personal activities, Twitter is more commonly used in the exact opposite way. Many companies and celebrities have turned Twitter into a powerful and efficient promotional tool. Now, it's your turn to take that same step.

Since Twitter is such an open platform, its use as a news feed is ideal for lodge communication. In my home lodge, Chilantakoba Lodge No. 214, we use our Twitter account to update our members on events, lodge news, and what is happening at our meetings. Our lodge chief and vice chief can tweet lodge event or meeting updates directly from the lodge's Twitter account. For instance, a tweet after a lodge executive committee meeting could read, "NOAC 2012 budget approved. Looks like this is going to be a fun year! #NOAC2012."

A second way to use Twitter is to implement it into your lodge website with the free plug-ins that Twitter provides. This is an easy way to keep your website, and those who do not use Twitter, updated with the latest news. You can also add a "Follow Us" button (anther plug-in Twitter provides) on your lodge website, helping you gain more followers for your page.

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