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@Wormlady is our 400th Twitter follower

2008 November 21

About the author: Jeffrey Levy joined EPA in 1993 to help protect the ozone layer. He is now the National Web Content Manager.

Two weeks ago I wrote that we’d hit 300 people following us on Twitter. I invited them to mention us, to see whether our follower count would jump, and promised a follow-up.

Only one person did tweet us, as far as I could find on Twitter search. Thanks, wingy22!

Yet in the past two weeks, we’ve picked up another 100 followers. Six months from 0-300, two weeks from 300-400. Errr … 401 … 402 … umm … wait a sec … 403 … make that 408. Anyway, @wormlady was #400. I put her name in the title because that’s about all that actually shows up in Twitter’s 140-character posts, so I’m hoping she’ll notice her name the next time she logs in.

Anyway, the sudden jump amazes me. Was it as simple as noting we’re on Twitter in a post, as opposed to just having the link on the right?

Let’s try the same thing on Facebook and MySpace. We’re not doing much there yet, but we have big plans, and knowing there’s interest helps. If you want to know when we do get going, become our fan on Facebook and MySpace.

How to engage the most people isn’t an idle question. The first time, for example, that we take comments on a regulation via social media, we’ll want to get the biggest bang for the least effort (efficient use of your tax dollars, doncha know).

What do you suggest?

Editor's Note: The opinions expressed here are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.

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10 Responses leave one →
  1. Anna Wilde permalink
    November 23, 2008

    Hi Jeffrey

    social media is a fantastic way to reach leverage many to many conversations and you never know when a message will take off virally and suddenly impact a hugely wider audience than even intended. this is because of the interconnected nature of so many concerns. for instance stewardship of the environment is related tangentially but interconnected directly with health food and preventative medicine due to the correlation of health and environment and food. You never know when a message/post you release will virally take off. Every one that does take off cumulatively expands the reach of subsequent messages. thanks for this topic Anna Wilde

  2. Jon Alan permalink
    January 3, 2009

    With the ever increasing use of twitter and other such social media sites I think more of the government should take advantage of what they have to offer. It’s great that the epa gets its environmental message out there but other departments of the government could also benefit in it’s use.


  3. jona permalink
    May 3, 2009

    So Twitter is awesome for Taking traffic to you website . It is very
    simple to setup and its a fun positive way to keep in contact with

  4. Aaron permalink
    June 20, 2009

    Congratulations, it looks like you’ve multiplied your followers by 10x since this post. Great to see our government embracing social media. Twitter is an amazing way to connect with people.

    I did notice from your stream of tweets that they are basically all pointers to articles. Not exactly ‘engagement’. It’s a great first step. Are there policies for how agencies can (or cannot) respond to users on non-government sites?

    I write a blog on Twitter marketing and plan to write an article specifically on how government agencies are using Twitter. We’ve already written extensively about small businesses, corporations and non-profits. We’ll definitely include your Twitter info.

  5. Jeffrey Levy permalink*
    June 21, 2009

    Aaron: we’re still working out how best to use Twitter. As you noted, @greenversations is simply an RSS-fed account. I know real engagement is the gold standard, but it seems plenty of people are happy enough with this to follow.

    @usepagov is also primarily RSS-driven, but I’ve started monitoring it and answering questions through manual tweets on the rare occasions we get any.

    Thanks for reading and commenting!

    Jeffrey Levy (@levyj413 on Twitter)

  6. Robert R permalink
    September 22, 2009

    Twitter is a great way to get out the word for sure! The results of the viral word of mouth is astronomical! I will for sure post about this on twitter so that the word can get out on this blog!
    thank you!

  7. Kyle Eagle permalink
    November 12, 2009

    Very interesting read! Twitter is definitely an amazing site to use, and fun too! Sometimes I think I’m addicted to Twitter because I’m on it so often – haha. Great post!

    ~Kyle Eagle

  8. demetriusalwyn permalink
    February 8, 2010

    myspace is more to keep in touch with friends, talk with people, meet new people, while twitter tends to be attractive to people that like to blog.On twitter the basic premise is to send out short “tweets” that are like little updates sent out to everyone on your friends list, i.e. “just got done shopping, now I’m gonna go workout!!”

  9. Anonymous permalink
    February 15, 2010

    Twitter is great for sending visitors to your website . Simple to use and setup isa breeze.

  10. Mark Leonard permalink
    February 15, 2010

    Twitter is great for sending visitors to your website . Simple to use and setup isa breeze.

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