Twitter Guide for Government: Contribute

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


Yes, you can use Twitter purely as a push medium and, indeed, some of the bigshots do. But you can move your agenda forward by retweeting those accounts that have the same goals as your organization. 

Start by making a list of your stakeholders and follow their accounts. These could include:

  • Other government departments which share your mission    
  • Foreign departments that have the same mandate as your agency
  • Universities
    Trade unions

A side note here, following an account can be seen as an endorsement of that organization/business/individual, so be selective. Only follow official accounts of reputable organizations. Avoid (unless it makes sense) following individuals, businesses, or politicians.

When they put out important content, don’t be afraid to retweet (RT) the post. In turn, they will likely retweet your information when it is appropriate. After all, that is the whole point of using Twitter – circulating important information.

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