Proposal: WordCamp Central Twitter Strategy and Tactics

On October 11, I accidentally retweeted a @WordCamp tweet about WordCamp US tickets still available. I only verified the link later (bad, bad Birgit) to find out this was about WordCamp US 2016. (No one on Twitter sees you blush unless you post a selfie.) You can just undo the Retweet. Of course, I shared this bit in the #community-team channel on Slack. Turns out the volunteer who managed the Twitter account left, and everyone else was focused on something else. Andrea Middleton put out a call for volunteers to take over the Twitter account.  I felt encouraged to raise my hand, and so did Laura Byrne Cristiano, Marketing Organizer of WordCamp US and Emanuel Blagonic, Co-organizer WordCamp Europe.

Soon after that, we started a group discussion and came up with the cornerstones of a possible Twitter policy and process. This post is a summary of our discussion on this Google Document.  We now need input from WordCamp organizers and attendees, on how a Central WordCamp Twitter account can be used to give the most helpful support to local and regional WordCamps. We identified goals, target audiences, ideas for tweets and retweets.

The strategy and tactics are not yet completely fleshed out. We also discussed tools and a few examples.

We’d like your comment, thoughts, and concerns on this post by November 30th.

With your comments, we can get a group together on Contributor Day at WordCamp US (Dec 3 – 9:00 – 5 pm)  to work the first draft of policy & process. We will post our progress here for more comment. Also, we will be looking for more volunteers to participate, and flesh out the dos and don’ts of a WordCamp Central Twitter policy. If all goes well, we will start testing in January and February of 2018, then adjust and iterate according to the feedback.

Goals for Twitter presence of WordCamp Central and the Global Community Team

  1. Amplify WordCamp’s information from around the World
  2. Expand the reach of local WordCamps (Speakers, Sponsors, Schedule, Volunteers)
  3. Spread the love of WordPress
  4. Help WordCamps in ticket sales and other promotion. (Mentors initiate)

Target Audience

  • People who haven’t been to WordCamps before
  • First time WordCamp attendees
  • Possible speakers
  • Possible sponsors

There was some discussion on how far we should include posts from the WordPress Global Community Team blog in the Twitter stream. Andrea pointed out that WordCamp organizers are not part of the target audience so content from the Make Blog might not be all that interesting.
In general, 90 or 95% of the posts on the Make Blog are organizer-centric information. Once in a while, deputies post about Global Sponsorships, and latest numbers about WordCamps in general, which would be very interesting to be part of the Twitter stream. The WordPress Global Community Team doesn’t have a separate Twitter account, so @WordCamp would be the only place where we can tweet links to these posts.

The fourth goal, “Help with Ticket Sales” would only come to pass, when a deputy mentoring the WordCamp(s) in question requests this Twitter support.

And now to the fun part of this post!

What should @WordCamp Central tweet?

  1. Upcoming WordCamps
  2. WordCamps’ Call for Speakers
  3. WordCamps’ schedule announcements
  4. Blog posts on WordCamp Central a few times after publishing date
  5. InfoGraphics of WordCamp stats (from State of the Word) and monthly stats
  6. Public sightings (Spotted) of Global Community team members at WordCamps
    1. At Community tables w/ people at WordCamps
    2. Upcoming talks by Community Team members at WordCamps
    3. Whatever else they are doing at WordCamps (eating, drinking, karaoke)
  7. Work with social media teams of large and (in the future) regional WordCamps (like WCUS, WCEU, WCAsia) to cross post
  8. Shout-outs to Global Sponsors
  9. Sharing blog posts from WordCamps sites that help any WordCamp attendee-  “What to expect when going to WordCamp” – “First-time WordCamper?What to expect.”

Retweet ideas:

  1. wordpress Release Announcements
  2. @photomatt when Matt Mullenweg tweets about WordPress and related.
  3. Community Organizing as a topic (blog posts, slide decks from Community team members, books, discussions on experiments, call for volunteers etc.)
  4. @WordPressTV announcements when the team starts posting talks from a particular WordCamp (not each talk)
  5. Tweets of Global Sponsors participating at WordCamps and thanking them for their support
  6. Photos of Contributor Days at WordCamps (Amplify photos from WordCamps)
  7. Photos of Global Sponsors Helping the Community

Managed Twitter Lists

  • All WordCamps (public, sorted by continent)
  • WordCamp lead organizers (public, sorted by continent)
  • Members of Global Community Team
  • Multi-Region Sponsors / Global Sponsor

Collaboration Tools Requirements:

  • Allows for a team approach without sharing Twitter credentials
  • Free or low cost.
  • Allows for scheduling Tweets including pictures.
  • Allows for multiple columns re: hashtags, Mentions, Twitter Lists.
  • Need policy for team members permissions.

WordCamp Europe process

(shared by Emmanuel)

  • We have a Sheet in GDocs with a list of WordCamps per month and columns of tweets we tweeted.
  • Someone can prepare the tweets and schedule them using TweetDeck for example. It works like a charm.
  • Anything else (like real-time tweeting when needed, someone asks to RT something) can be done with official Twitter apps.

Automation:

  • WordCamp Central already has a sophisticated notification system for organizers. It might be possible to tab into the resources there.
  • IFTTT can be our friend:
    • RSS to Twitter –
    • Twitter to Google Sheets: Store all WordCamp tweets and retweets, for logging purposes and statistics.

Quarterly Reporting:

  • Activities
  • Engagement
  • What works
  • What doesn’t work
  • Team members

Thoughts on posting

We would need to consider timezones. “Globally important tweets” might need to be posted more than once, over the course of a week or even day. We have not yet decided on what tweets actually ARE Globally important, though.

We also might want to organize along the lines of different things on different days. For example maybe speaker selections opening on Mondays, Ticket sales on Tuesdays, etc. Even if the themes are just internally known to us it might aid structure and balance.

We need some rotation, not only of topics but also how we want to work as team, per month, per week. morning midday night shifts. We should be aiming for as much automation as possible though otherwise this could be a full time job.

Examples

Here are a few examples from WordCamp cheerleaders as to what kind of tweets you might expect from @WordCamp in the future.

https://Twitter.com/camikaos/status/921368154441502720

https://Twitter.com/refreshmiami/status/921725720870707200

https://Twitter.com/WCEurope/status/922343103259955200

https://Twitter.com/bph/status/921533404176420865

Anything missing? If you will be at WordCamp US Contributor Day, and would like to work on this, let us know, too. Leave your notes in the comment section!