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A couple of weeks ago I participated on a panel with our CDC colleagues Ann Aiken and Jessica Schindelar about Twitter monitoring, evaluation, and engagement at the CDC’s National Conference on Health Communication, Marketing, and Media – providing different definitions of it and how we at HIV.gov work to engage our Twitter followers (and here are the slides).
When it comes to defining “Twitter engagement” there isn’t just one definition. There are many websites and software programs that evaluate “engagement” on Twitter such as Klout, Twitalyzer, Tweet Grade, Tweetlevel, and many others. Some sites look at how often your tweets are retweeted, others include how many times you are referenced, or how actively you participate within your community of followers. One that resonated with us was Jeremiah Owyang definition: “the level of authentic involvement, intensity, contribution, and ownership.”
While there isn’t consensus about the definition of Twitter engagement, we know that Twitter is a tool that allows you to connect with your audiences, whether it be through sharing information, retweeting, or participating in a dialogue. Certain activities, such as the recent National HIV Testing Day Twitter Town Hall, evolve over time.
We’ve had a steady increase in HIV.gov Twitter followers, retweets and mentions since we started tweeting more than two years ago. In order to create and maintain our activities, we’ve integrated Twitter into our overall communications plan (PDF 574 KB). I asked members of the HIV.gov team for their advice about using Twitter to engage with our audiences. As I said during my presentation, “It takes a team flock”. Here’s what the flock had to say:
Those are some of our Twitter engagement lessons learned. What are yours?