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A guide for communicators
What are Twitter Alerts? • During times of crisis, disaster or emergency, your choice of communication channel is key • Twitter Alerts are available to local, national and international institutions that provide critical information to the general public e. g. public safety and law enforcement agencies and Government bodies. • The tool makes the most of public, real-time and wide-distribution capabilities of Twitter to enable fast and easy dissemination of vital, time-sensitive information.
Twitter Alerts: • Can be published from desktop computer or a mobile device. • Are immediately delivered as notifications or text messages to all your subscribers. • Have a distinct look to stand out in Twitter timelines and public Tweet links. • Are seamlessly integrated into the Twitter experience, so your audience won’t need to download a separate app or get used to a new service. • Can be retweeted, favourited and replied to.
Twitter Alerts: • As a Twitter Alerts account, you will be exempted from Twitter’s spam rate limits. While you should only send your highest priority Tweets as Alerts, you will be able to tweet organically as often as the crisis situation requires. • As a Twitter Alerts account, you will also get access to the Bing-powered automatic translation feature. Users will be able to see translations for your Tweets by clicking on a “View Translation” option. • No cost attached to using Twitter Alerts, either for you as a publisher or your audience as consumers.
How to receive Twitter Alerts • Go to the URL of the company you wish to receive alerts from. For example West Yorkshire Police: www. twitter. com/westyorkspolice/alerts
You’ll then see this screen:
Choose activate alerts
To receive Twitter Alerts as app notifications you need to download from same screen Your number is displayed here
Step-by-step guide to using Twitter Alerts if you have already enrolled • Step-by-step guide to using Twitter Alerts if you have already enrolled
Content creation Using a specialised Tweet composer, craft a Tweet and tag it as critical from any computer or mobile device. Note: As an enrolled organisation you’ll see a Twitter Alerts icon on your Tweet composer. Tapping or clicking on this icon will automatically add “#alert” to the body of your Tweet, transforming it into a Twitter Alert.
Delivery This critical Tweet will be instantly delivered to your subscribers as a push notification or text message, putting your must-know information directly in front of them
Distribution Twitter Alerts will be distributed directly to subscribers’ phones. Twitter Alerts are designed to draw attention, standing out from other Tweets on your followers’ Timelines and across twitter. com and the Twitter mobile apps.
Dos from Twitter – Do use Twitter Alerts sparingly, when conditions merit their use. – Do include relevant media along with your Alerts, such as photos and maps. – Do point and encourage your audience, off and on Twitter, to visit your custom “/Alerts” URL and start receiving your Twitter Alerts. You can do this online by tweeting, emailing or otherwise sharing this custom link — or offline by printing or announcing it.
Do not’s from Twitter – Do not send multiple Twitter Alerts restating the same or substantially similar content. – Do not use Twitter Alerts for updates that aren’t critical. For example, Twitter Alerts should not be used for general updates about your organisation or fundraising requests.