Twitter for Child Care Professionals

Why Twitter?

"[the] unique culture of Twitter, which revolves around passing resources on to others, makes it really quite useful as an outreach and communications channel" --Reaching Out To a Wide Audience: A Twitter Case Study, Idealware, 2010.

  • Streaming News
  • Sharing
  • Community Culture
  • Exposure
  • Credibility
  • Learning
  • Advocacy Alerts
  • Activities
  • Direct Access

Common Twitter Misconceptions
Twitter is NOT

  • Just for narcissistic young people talking about themselves;
  • Just for famous people Public Relations;
  • Just for people to feel like they know famous people;
  • Just for people to feel important and talk about themselves; and
  • Useless tool for someone like me, I just use Facebook.

RT, @, # - What in the world does this "twitter speak" mean?
What do you see all that time that makes you go hmm?  How about @, # and RT?  Here is what they do and why they are useful.

  • @ is a way for you to directly message people on twitter.  You can do it on Facebook too, it is the same idea.  People get notified that you have mentioned them directly in your tweet.  It is nice to do if you retweet (RT) something that person has posted.  It is a good way to get someone's attention too! 
  • # is called a hashtag in the Twitter world.  When each and every person in the twitter world puts a "#" in front of a word or phrase it will create an entirely separate twitter feed for just that topic.  For example if you search #preschool, you will get results of all of the tweets people have made that have to do with preschool.
  • RT means retweet.  This goes in front of a tweet that you are reposting from someone else's twitter feed.

Twitter Talk Example (how you can communicate and it can be useful)

I wasn't sure about a new memo released by the USDA and if it applied to the CACFP so I asked the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) via twitter.  They answered my question within 24 hours.  This is how the conversation went:

My Tweet to FRAC
@fractweets @TeamNutrition re: the memo ( SP_29 - 201) dated 4/14, this includes all child nutrition programs such as CACFP? please confirm

FRACs Response Tweet
@Child_Care_Info - Are you asking about SP_29-2011, Nutrition Requirements about Fluid Milk? If so, it is only about school b'fast and lunch


How Do I Sign Up?
Signing up for Twitter

  • Go to http://twitter.com/
  • click "Sign-Up"
  • Fill out the information that Twitter prompts you to fill out
  • Verify your registration with the email that was sent to your email acount
  • Follow the guidance Twitter provides for setting up your profile and seeing if any of your email contacts are on Twitter

Tools To Manage
Extra Twitter Tools

  • Hootsuite: You can manage your Twitter, Facebook and Linked In account from one place,         
  • Paper.li:  You can create a daily digest of your favorite people to follow or hashtags(#);
  • Tweetdeck:  This helps you manage your tweets, see who is tweeting directly to you and you can pick favorite feeds and more.

The Twitter help section also has some great tips for using Twitter to its fullest potential! 

Must Follows for ALL

@USDA
@USDAFoodSafety
@foodsafetygov
@TeamNutrition
@SNAP_Ed
@NatlHeadStart
@HSBS_Play
@SBAgov
@OnSafety
@kidseatright
@NutritionbyJill
@Child_Care_Info

Must Follows for Providers
@AskTomCopeland 
@TeachStrategies
@ChildrenNature
@preschoolers
@readingrockets
@NAEYC
@parentsmagazine
@PreschoolCA
@Teach_Preschool
@ThrivebyFiveWA

Must Follows for Sponsors and Associations
@idealware
@fractweets
@nonprofitorgs
@PACE1955
@naccrra
@usedgov
@CHAOhio
@ChildCareAnswer
@nonprofitguide
@foundationnews

Comment

Samantha Marshall, M.A.

Samantha is, just like you, excited to make a difference in our community and our world. With a Master of Arts degree in English Literature, you might ask how she found herself building and writing for a website focused on child care. From 1995 through 2001, Samantha started her career working for Child and Adult Care Food Program (CACFP) sponsors which introduced her to the importance of non-profits, community and quality child care. Her experience with Sponsors, State Officials, and Family Child Care Providers left a great and lasting impression. Later in her career and her most recent position at SAGE Publications, an academic publisher, was as a product manager for a new online resource! During this time many of Samantha's passions collided. A love for the written word, children and the proliferation of knowledge as well as a fascination with the resources the internet gives us, building a community for child care on ChildCareInfo.com is the perfect way to make the difference she wanted to. Needless to say, she is very excited to be an active part of creating and building ChildCareInfo.com.