In an effort to be an indispensable campaign tool, Twitter provides a variety of political services, including allowing candidates to raise money by tweet, connect with voters and poll public opinion on issues ahead of the 2016 presidential election.
Now, Twitter offers a manual for politicians and campaigns, giving a wealth of information on how to the social media network correctly.
“The Twitter Government and Elections Handbook” is a 137-page user’s guide with advice on setting up a Twitter account to how to get more re-tweets (hint: post a photo).
Campaigners can learn how to creating the types of messages rise above the chatter, like using hashtags and showing “authenticity.” The guide also touches on best practices for live tweeting events such as rallies and interviews.
“Be yourself,” is Twitter’s top suggestion, but it could just as well serve as a cautionary tale.
Although the guide itself strives to be comprehensive, there are a few things it leaves out – such as the wisdom in not posting nude selfies.
While the guide has become wildly popular since its release last year, Twitter’s handbook (unfortunately) does little to actually prevent sexting scandals and other lapses in judgement.
in the most glaring omission, nowhere does the guide warn against the obvious — sending unwanted nude or sexually suggestive photos messages.
To get the best idea of what not to do on Twitter, users will have to settle on lessons learned from 2011’s “Weinergate” scandal, where then-Congressman Anthony Weiner used his public account to send sexually explicit images to a college student.
However, the handbook does instruct how to delete a tweet – an important step for those who fail to heed Weiner’s misguided actions.
Twitter’s Government and Elections Partnership Team manager Bridget Coyne told NPR recently the handbook is not to censor elected officials or prevent them from doing stupid things. It does, however, give information on how to best use the popular platform.
In addition, after launching the guide, Twitter has since expanded its political toolkit – acquiring Periscope and collaborating with Square as a fundraising platform.
So there are even more features missing from the handbook’s current version.
For those services, Twitter’s government outreach team is working with campaign officials directly.
Although the company wrote the manual with U.S. politicians in mind, Ashley Rodriguez of Quartz says there is an increasing international scope for Twitter.
“Globally, there’s interest in using Twitter really effectively because elected officials and governments and campaigns all understand that they need to leverage Twitter to reach voters,” said Twitter spokesperson Nicholas Pacilio.