July 24, 2014
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Using Twitter to keep up-to-date on #RIT news Athenaeum, PR musings, Social media

In an April 12 Athenaeum story, colleague Paul Stella writes about Twitter’s use by a group of students, known as “5 RIT Students,” and others on campus.

RIT University News, an early adopter of Twitter (having joined the “microblog” in summer ’08), uses Twitter daily to efficiently (quickly and concisely) share top RIT news. Twitter is especially appropriate and effective for delivering breaking news. For instance, in 2010 we broke the news on Twitter that RIT was switching from quarters to semesters; later that year, we first announced the “Tiger Power Play” for a new ice arena and the campaign’s first major gift.

More recently, Twitter was one of many communication tools used to notify and update people during last month’s “Great Umbrella Scare of 2012” (the eventful hour recounted nicely in a recent blog post by our co-op student, Brittany Remington).

RIT News shares, engages
Twitter is useful for engaging with followers (as Ashley Hennigan, assistant director of undergraduate admissions, and Brick City Ambassadors Emily Okey and Kevin Granger explain in the Athenaeum story). And the people comprising RIT News engage with their followers, while also sharing RIT-related news (whereas @RITNEWS, as an entity, rather than individual, mostly shares news — typically in headline form). Some of those we follow and our followers include news reporters and organizations — affording new opportunities to pitch RIT news stories.

Subscribing to Twitter lists — or making your own — is a great way to track specific interests. Keep up with everyone in RIT University News by following this list: RIT UNS Tweeters.

And here’s another good list for staying in touch with all things RIT:
RIT Tweeps (a fairly comprehensive “news feed” from official — or at least “semiofficial” — RIT organizations using Twitter; and you don’t even need to be a registered Twitter user to see it).

Alternatively, you can individually follow those who interest you. For a comprehensive list of RIT organizations using Twitter (along with Facebook and YouTube), see the RIT social-media directory at www.rit.edu/socialmedia.

#hashtags and @replies
Searching Twitter “hashtags” (the pound symbol, plus a keyword) is another easy way to discover what other people are saying about topics that interest you. For example, #RIT, #RITNEWS and #RITHockey are commonly used hashtags.

To mention, reply to or direct comments in a tweet to a specific user, use the @ symbol before a username. This type of tweet (pronounced “at reply”) is also searchable — allowing users to not only engage with others, but also to see what others are saying to them. So, you can talk to us by tweeting to @RITNEWS, or see what others are saying to us.

Incidentally, you might wonder why RIT isn’t @RIT. Well, quite simply, someone else already has the username (and, unfortunately, he does not seem inclined to relinquish it, despite countless misdirected tweets he receives and redirects — go figure).

For more thoughts from RIT News on social media, including Twitter, see Summertime meditations on social media (parts 1–4).

See you in the Twitterverse!
@MikeSaffran

 

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