Presentation: Scheduled Twitter Campaigns in Your Library

I gave this presentation in December 2010 when interviewing for the position of Instructional Technologies Librarian at the Leonard Lief Library at Lehman College (CUNY).

Participants in the instruction session learned to schedule tweets in advance to meet a library’s instruction, outreach, and public services goals.

The introduction covered suggested uses of Twitter in a library, the benefits of scheduled Tweets, and some helpful tips about this social media platform. Then participants were put into small groups, given a goal, and enabled to plan a sample campaign. (See all the handouts here.) The groups then used the lightweight tool TwitResponse to schedule 3 test tweets on Twitter accounts I created for the exercise. The session ended with a debrief around the usefulness of this tool in everyday library work.

I gave copies of my slides to participants because a recent study “provide[s] preliminary evidence that lecturers should provide their students with handouts during the lecture.”1 I also made supplemental material, including a comparison of scheduling tools, available to participants on a LibGuide for further research. (This content is copied below.)

Katz, Robin M. “Scheduled Twitter Campaigns in Your Library.” Lehman College. Bronx, NY. December 6, 2010. Job candidate presentation.

1Marsh, E., & Sink, H. (2009). Access to handouts of presentation slides during lecture: Consequences for learning. Applied Cognitive Psychology, 24 (5), 691-706 DOI: 10.1002/acp.1579


Content from the LibGuide

Using Twitter
Examples
Twitter Schedulers

Using Twitter

“How to Start Tweeting and Why You Might Want To” by Ryan Cordell
Great introduction to Twitter for those of you aren’t tweeting yet.
“A Framework for Teaching with Twitter” by Mark Sample
Excellent matrix for instructional design with Twitter.
“Practical Advice for Teaching with Twitter” by Mark Sample
A follow up to the pedagogical framework above.
“The Effect of Twitter on College Student Engagement and Grades” by R. Junco, et al.
This study found tweeting college students were more engaged and earned higher grades than the non-tweeting control group. “This study provides experimental evidence that Twitter can be used as an educational tool to help engage students and to mobilize faculty into a more active and participatory role.”

Examples of Scholarly Scheduled Tweets

Discovering the Civil War
Part of the Discovering the Civil War exhibit from the US National Archives.
History Day
Related to the History by Day website.
This Day in History
Several posts per day about this date in history.
ARTstor
Artstor uses Twitter and Facebook to pose regular Image Hunts and historical facts related to their collections.

Journals’ Scheduled Tweets

Many scholarly journals now have Twitter feeds summarizing and promoting the content of their current issues. Garrett Eastman, Librarian at the Rowland Institute at Harvard, has compiled this spreadsheet of scientific journals on Twitter. Librarians interested in promoting scholarly sources could learn a lot from the short bibliographic entries used by these journals.

Free Twitter Schedulers

In descending order of preference:
TwitResponse
Simple web-based interface. No registration needed (log in with Twitter account). Automatically detects timezone. No ads. Can upload CSV files.
Future Tweets
Simple web-based interface. No registration needed (log in with Twitter account). Displays ads. Does not maintain a list of already scheduled tweets. Recurring tweet feature recently removed because it violates Twitter’s Terms of Service.
Twuffer
Simple web-based interface. No registration needed (log in with Twitter account). Can only set to hourly increments (ex: 3:00 not 3:30). No ads. Created as developer’s pet project, so it might not be well supported.
Twaitter
No registration needed (log in with Twitter account). No ads. More complex interface. Manage users of an account. Can categorize tweets, set recurring tweets, and use blogs or RSS feeds to populate tweets. Also includes a translator.
Social Oomph
More robust web-based platform to schedule tweets and automate other Twitter functions (ex: follow those who follow you, send direct messages to new followers). Must register. Formerly TweetLater.com.
CoTweet Standard
Designed for companies, this social media “management solution” allows multiple users to publish and analyze Facebook and Twitter posts.
Hoot Suite Basic
Designed for companies, this web-based “dashboard” manages multiple users on multiple social networks in one client.
AutoTweeter
This desktop application also follows people and sends custom replies. Not recommended for an organization – web-based platforms are better.
Tweet Manager
As of 5 December 2010, in private beta.

My Favorite Scheduling Tool: TwitResponse

Chosen for its simple interface and pared-down functionality, with TwitResponse you can choose to shorten URLs, view pending and sent tweets, and upload a CSV file.

Schedule tweets in 5 easy steps:

  1. Go to twitresponse.com
  2. Click “sign in with Twitter”
  3. Enter scheduled tweet
  4. Set date & time (time slider is a bit odd, can type in numerals)
  5. Click “queue message”

The source of a tweet displays below the text:

The original guide design was influenced by findings of LibGuide usability tests at the University of Washington, as presented at the 2010 Library Assessment Conference.

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