Twitter remains one of the fastest, most effective ways of sharing information online. It’s a fantastic resource for music educators IF you know how to leverage its reach to the fullest. If you don’t, you can end up tweeting, flapping your wings, and not getting very far at all. To get started (or give you a push!), consider this short list of do’s and don’ts:

DO: Nail the basics
– Your Twitter “handle” is your username
– The @ (mention) that precedes each user’s handle allows you to directly reference that user in a tweet, or help you search for them and tweets related to them.
– The # (hashtag, not a sharp in this case) is your way of tagging something topical such as #guitar or #NAfME. You, and anyone else who searches this “hashed” phrase, can view all of the other tweets on the same topic. Groups are also started using these hashtags.
– You’ve got 140 characters per tweet. Abbreviation is your friend. Don’t be afraid to use it (eg. gtr, HW, etc.).
– The (^) hat sign gets tagged onto the end of a tweet, accompanied by initials, to let the Twitterverse know that this tweet was sent by an individual representing a larger group.

DON’T: Tweet just to tweet
Make your tweets relevant to your audience and helpful to your cause. This will allow you to make organic connections and grow your following in a sustainable way.

DO: Seek out directories
The Twitterverse is large, and sometimes it’s hard to know where to find followers and other folks to follow. In addition the hashtags, directories are a great way to home in. Here’s one example:

DON’T: Tweet anything you wouldn’t want your students to read
…Or their parents! Digital messages are hard to erase.

DO: Use chats and hashtags to learn about new resources
This is a great way to find teachers groups and forums; conferences and seminars; and to learn about sales, trades and giveaways of gear.

DON’T: Get lost in lingo
If you’re new to Twitter or haven’t dedicated a ton of time to it, it can feel like a foreign country. Lucky for you, there’s a cheat sheet for quick reference:

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