Twitter Guide for Government: Monitor Your Account

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


Creating a Twitter account is one thing but keeping it alive is another. If you create a Twitter account for your organization, you had better do some thinking beforehand.

Who will monitor the account for mentions or direct messages (i.e. praise, criticisms, RTs, @ mentions, etc.)? Some of the tools mentioned in commandment 1 will come in very hand here to monitor your own accounts.

What will you do with those mentions? When do you reply? What should go to your media staff? Do you have a list of key contacts in the organization that you can forward questions to? How will you handle criticism? These are all things you have to think of ahead about time and include in your planning.

I would suggest a quick risk analysis while you are at it. What happens if your ac-
count gets hacked? What if someone sends out a tweet by mistake? The better prepared you are, the lower your level of risk to your organization.

P.S. When someone RT’s your tweet, it is customary to thank them! @johndeus Thank you for the RT. Much appreciated.

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