Twitter Alerts Illustration
Twitter Alert illustration from http://media.twitter.com/best-practice/twitter-alerts

It was reported last week that Twitter released a new best practices guide, part of which covers advice for government agencies using Twitter.

The section features a lot of old news that we’ve heard before – like advice on using photos and ensuring website integration. However, the best part about the new section is the comprehensive information on Twitter Alerts. The value of this new alert feature is that your tweets can appear on subscribers’ phones as SMS notifications when you mark the tweets as an ‘alert’. They will stand out in the timeline as well – marked with an orange bell.

“Alerts are a recent addition to Twitter. This feature provides vital information to the public during fast-moving situations or emergencies. When other communication services are down or can’t be accessed, Twitter Alerts give organizations and people another way to broadcast messages about public safety, accessibility and natural disasters.”

Many government agencies are invited to participate in the Twitter Alert service. I encourage every city, county and law enforcement agency to enroll. View the Alerts page to fill out Twitter’s enrollment form.

Kristy Dalton is the creator of Government Social Media and host of the GovGirl.com online video series. Read her full bio.

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