Running for the highest office in the land is no easy task — just ask Rick Perry and Scott Walker, who went from GOP hotshots to roadkill in what seemed like the blink of an eye. Key to their demise, many say, is the presence of one very large combover — I mean, personality — in the form of Donald Trump and his insatiable Twitter feed. Of course, the Donald doesn’t play by anyone’s rules, and his Twitter profile probably shouldn’t be heralded as the industry standard in politics. But for those candidates still trying to find their voice, Twitter has a 136-page handbook filled with tips and tricks on how best to leverage their tweets to garner votes. And it’s 136 pages of pure gold.
According to Bridget Coyne, a manager on Twitter’s Government and Elections Partnership Team, the handbook has proven “wildly popular” among public figures, many of whom are of a generation where Twitter and social media as a whole is still something of a mystery. “We don’t want to make assumptions,” Coyne told NPR. “We want to make sure that people feel empowered with the full story of what Twitter is.”
And as Sam Sanders of NPR reports, the full story is pretty compelling. The radio show has taken a few choice excerpts from the tome of a manual, which is as detailed as it is entertaining. For example, Page 25 includes some need-to-know questions and answers about the platform as a whole, including:
- What Is Twitter?
- Where Do Tweets Appear? Who Reads Them?
- Why 140 Characters? (The answer to this one? “Brevity keeps Twitter fast-paced and relevant by encouraging people to tweet in the moment and to focus on the essential ideas they want to communicate”).
The manual also provides the “anatomy of a tweet,” complete with a very serious visual aid, and some pretty incredible selfies to boot.
The handbook, Coyne told NPR, is perfect for campaign managers, politicians, and just about everyone across the political spectrum. “The best Twitter users in Congress and in government are offices that have everyone participating,” Coyne said. “People reading content, finding great content to retweet or reply to. Understanding the platform. The congressperson, the chief of staff, even the intern should all understand how Twitter works … And knowing how it works you can create the best content strategies around that.”
So if you’re wildly impressed by your politicians’ social media skills, it may be time to say “thank you” to Twitter and, more importantly, to its 136-page guide to greatness.
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