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They Did What?: 

Twitter has a 136-page handbook to help turn politicians into tweeters


Including the answers to difficult questions like, “What is Twitter?”

Earlier this year, Barack Obama signed up to Twitter and gained one million followers in five hours. Not all politicians, though, have such an easy ride, and – with the world watching – it’s not the sort of place you want to expose your basic lack of IT skills.

Brilliantly, then, Twitter has stepped in and created ‘The Twitter Government and Elections Handbook’ – effectively a sort-of ‘Twitter for Dummies’ aimed squarely at elected officials. As it turns-out, it’s more manifesto than political pamphlet, containing a whopping 136 pages of tips and tactics.

As dug up by NPR, the document answers all the tough questions, from ‘What is Twitter?’ to ‘Where do Tweets appear?’ and ‘Who reads them?’

Selling its service as “The town hall meeting…in your pocket”, Twitter’s guide goes on to break down individual tweets by their key components. Here’s an example straight from the good book itself;


As you can see, the handbook doesn’t stop at explaining potentially confusing ideas like hashtags and, err, hyperlinks, but also dates, names and profile photos. Really, you’d hope the men and women running the US government could have worked those things out for themselves.

Another one of our favorite sections encourages politicians to ‘be creative’ by ‘talking to athletes’ or by tweeting about their favorite TV Shows. It even throws in an example, House of Cards, In case the reader had forgotten what a TV show is.

Still, the guide is probably something worth taking seriously, as mistakes on social media have a way of coming back to haunt you – just ask the Labour Party’s Ed Balls. Even if you do manage to delete your tweet in time, then there’s always webites like Politiwhoops to catch you out and save it for posterity.

To read the Twitter Government and Elections Handbook in all of its 136-page glory, just fill in your details here and hit download.

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