Young Life & Twitter

Twitter in the new frontier for Social Media in the lives of kids.  Facebook now has the “mom factor” (when moms use a social media platform, some kids will move onto the next social media platform that their moms are not in touch with).  Twitter does not have the “mom factor”, yet.

Twitter limits you to share information or a status update in only 140 characters.  The original idea behind Twitter was to be mobile based.  With a cell phone text message you are limited to 160 characters in one message.  You can interact with Twitter by SMS (text message) or through the Twitter.com website.  So what are you going to Tweet with 140 characters?

Setting up your Young Life area Twitter account?  Think about these things – If you can get your area name with Young Life all in 15 characters, then you are good.  Young Life takes up 9 of these 15 characters.  You can abbreviate Young Life down to YL with your area name allowing you 13 characters for your user name.  The key is to have Young Life associated with your area name to have the clearest identify for your area on Twitter.  We suggest if you already have a personal Twitter account to set up a unique Twitter account for your Young Life area.

Twitter Basics – There are three things that you will need to know as basics for Twitter.  The great thing (and frustrating thing) about Twitter, at times, is that their is not an automatic connection both ways.  Here are three examples:

  • You can follow people that don’t that follow you.
  • You can be followed and not have to be their follower.
  • You can both be followers of each other.

Below are some basic skills and terms you should know as a Twitter user.

 Tweets – On your home screen you will see “Tweets”, this is how many messages you have sent.  You will only see the messages you have sent in “Tweets.”

 Followers – These are people that subscribe to read your tweets.  Messages that you send will show up on their Twitter account.

 Following – These are the people you follow.  Their messages show up on your Twitter account.  Unless you see “Follower” next to their name, they are not following you back.

Twitter 2.0 – After you mastered the basics of Twitter, you will want to move quickly to Twitter 2.0 to get the most out of Twitter in association with social media.

@ Connect – You will see a section that is entitled @ Connect.  This is the area you will see interactions with other people.  You will see people that have followed you, mentioned you in a tweet or added you to a Twitter list.

Direct Messages – To Direct Message another person you must be following them and they must be following you back.  On the Twitter website you will find Direct Messages under the little  person on the top righthand corner (by your settings tab).  Direct Messages is a great way to have a more private conversation over Twitter.  *Important FYI – if you have a “private” conversation in the normal Twitter interface, everyone will be able to see your conversation.

#Hashtags – Hashtags allow what you are talking about on Twitter to trend.  Trending gives all Twitter users the ability to search and see what other people are saying about a topic.  Example: if a bunch of people used the Hashtag #younglife in their tweet during a large event, then anyone could see what other people are saying about the topic using the same Hashtag, whether they were Twitter followers of each other or not.

Twitter Lists – As your Twitter world expands, you will find that you miss a lot of important information when it comes to your Twitter feed.  Lists is a great way to easily track what is being said by people you follow.  It is similar to the “old school email” inbox folders.

Ideas for Twitter Lists

  • Young Life Kids
  • Young Life Leaders
  • Young Life Staff & other Young Life areas
  • Young Life Committee Members
  • Young Life Resources (you can find a list we created for this on www.twitter.com/yldigital)

2 responses to “Young Life & Twitter

  • Mary Beatty - Naples WL Team Leader

    Hi, Do you think this is also good to use for Wyldlife? Or is HS on up the kids that are targeted here?

    • YL Digital

      I would ask your junior high students
      If they use twitter. Also your audience is bigger than just junior high students. Parents, leaders, high school leaders, etc; of which many use twitter. I know many of our 8th grade students are on twitter. I hope this helps. Let me know if you have any more questions or if I can help you in any way.

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