Twitter Guide for Government: Be Selective

Download the PDF: Thou Shalt Tweet! 15 Commandments for Government Agencies on Twitter


Following an individual or an organization on Twitter could be considered an endorsement of that individual or organization. So you will need to be selective and strategic about it.

So, what types of accounts should you follow?

  • Programsinitiatives from within your organization who have a Twitter presence
  • Fellow government departments who share  part of your mandate 
  • Foreign government organizations who are in the same “business” as yours 
  • International organizations who bring something to bear on your industry 
  • Universities of other higher learning institution who have programs related to your domain of expertise. 
  • You could also follow other types of stakeholder accounts but always keep the notion of perceived bias in mind: Industry associations (bar associations, or other professional associations) 
  • Thought leaders in your industry


Complete Listing of All 15 Twitter Commandments

This guide evolved from a post by Alain Lemay on GovLoop titled “Who Not to Follow On Twitter: A Guide for Public Sector Employees.” Alain is a Senior Web Communications Analyst for the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Agency in Canada. He graciously donated his time to assist in producing the 15 Commandments for Government Agencies on Twitter Guide in tandem with the GovLoop team.

  1. Thou Shalt Listen Before You Leap
  2. Thou Shalt Use Thy Profile Information Properly
  3. Thou Shalt Have a Disclaimer
  4. Thou Shalt Not Be a Bully (Nobody Likes a Bully!)
  5. Thou Shalt Tweet Regularly
  6. Thou Shalt Integrate My Tweet Approval Process
  7. Thou Shalt Not Register Alternate Accounts
  8. Thou Shalt Not Automate Thy Tweets
  9. Thou Tweet In the First Person
  10. Thou Shalt Not Bait and Switch
  11. Thou Shalt Not Spam
  12. Thou Shalt Be Selective About Who You Follow
  13. Thou Shalt Monitor Thy Account
  14. Thou Shalt Contribute to the Conversation
  15. Thou Shalt Measure for Success