Between now and May, the use of social media to distribute political messages is going to explode. Some posts will be official and formal, some will express personal views, and most will be frivolous.
Here are some tips for those thinking of posting to and reading the Twitter:
1. Expect engagement
If you don’t want to discuss your point, don’t bother posting it. People soon realise when treat Twitter as a poster, and they can get increasingly frustrated. And blunt.
— Anghredadun Cymraeg (@sLaTEsTa) October 11, 2014
2. Read what you write before you tweet it
If it’s full of mistakes, poorly formatted, or simply doesn’t make sense, your message will be lost as the grammar police jump in. Don’t blame them, they’re just upholding #standards.
@JustinRoseWTAE On the left side of the keyboard there is a caps lock button. Hit it so the light goes off. Thanks!
— CapsCop (@CapsCop) August 18, 2014
— #Aylesbury (@_aylesbury) February 7, 2015
3. A meme is just a picture with words on it
Don’t confuse it with real facts or policies. Make sure you include real content or a link to some evidence.
This clearly isn’t a real UKIP policy. Not yet, anyway.
4. Don’t confuse disagreement with trolling…
Some trolls will typically provide an irrational and uncontrollable tirade of abuse for the tiniest of reasons, or for no reason at all. Others will argue or dismiss what you say, they may even be rude. You don’t have to like it, you can simply acknowledge it or ignore it. They are simply exercising their democratic right, and well all love democracy, don’t we?
5. … and develop a thick skin, there’s no more room on the #OutrageBus
If you’re the kind of person who is easily offended and feels the need to tell everyone about it, then the Internet might not be for you.
— Peter Thompson (@TheRedRag) January 19, 2014
6. If you modify or reuse a tweet, always credit the original author
Tweet theft is a (virtual) crime!
These who can do. Those who can't just steal tweets. #ImproveAProverb
— Lord Skip VC (@LordSkipVC) February 8, 2015
It may be 2015, but tweet theft is still rife. Beware. @PoliceScotland
— Toy (@WelshToy) January 1, 2015
7. Finally, if you post something silly enough, ridicule can turn to enterprise