Thing 11: Twitter

Learn about Twitter and how it can be used to support your practice, your organisation and your learning and development.

Open Badge information

Open Badge: SSSC 23 Things Digital – Thing 11: Twitter.

Counts towards: SSSC 23 Things Digital – Social Media Champion.


Twitter is a microblogging platform that allows you to share images, videos, sound and links, along with a maximum of 140 text characters. Despite, or because of, the tight restriction on text it’s an effective way to build a peer network, track news and events, and share information and research updates.

Why use Twitter?

  • Twitter can be a go-to place for expertise and advice – this can benefit you when looking for information and help demonstrate your own expertise.
  • It can provide you with access to a vast range of people and organisations that you might otherwise be unable to reach, allowing you to build a great network.
  • Developing these networks can lead to collaboration, employment, knowledge sharing and other opportunities.


Choose one of the following Beginner, Intermediate, or ‘Don’t want to set up a Twitter account’ activities below and complete the associated tasks.


a) Visit Mashable’s Twitter Guidebook and learn about the basics of Twitter.

b) Set up an account at to explore how you might use it.

  • Post a tweet about completing this thing using the hashtag #SSSC23things.
  • Look for accounts of people you’d like to follow. Of course, we recommend you follow @SSSCLearnTech and @SSSCnews but here are some others that you might find interesting:

Scottish Government: @scotgov

Care Inspectorate: @careinspect

Social Services Knowledge Scotland: @SSKS_online

IRISS: @irissorg

Digital Scotland: @digitalscots

Skills for Care: @skillsforcare

Social Work Scotland: @socworkscot

British Association of Social Workers: @BASW_UK

Social Work Tutor: @socialworktutor

Social Care Elf: @SocialCareElf

c) Blog.

Write a blog post of at least 100 words reflecting on your exploration of Twitter, your organisation’s Twitter handle (if it has one), and explain what the following terms are:

Tweet Follow Feed Direct Message

Retweet Hashtag Handle Mention

You should also mention any Twitter accounts you think other social service workers in Scotland might be interested in following.


For people who are already experienced Twitter users, there are a variety of functions and management tools available which can streamline your experience and help you to collect and analyse data.

a) Lists.

As you start to follow more and more accounts, your feed can become overwhelming and you may miss posts that you’re interested in. Lists are a great way to manage the number and type of tweets you see. To complete this thing, you should create a list for your professional and learning network.

To add an account to your list:

  • go to the Twitter profile page of the account you’d like to add to the list and click on the cogwheel/settings icon
  • select ‘Add or remove from Lists’
  • you can then choose to create a new list or add them to an existing list by selecting the box for your list of choice
  • repeat for other users.

To view the feed from one your list:

  • go to your Twitter profile page and click the cogwheel/settings icon
  • select ‘Lists’
  • choose the list you created
  • a feed which only displays tweets from accounts on your list will appear.

b) Twitter analytics.

Twitter offers an analytic service to help you understand the impact and reach of your tweets.

To enable Analytics, go to and log in with your Twitter account.

To view your analytics, go to your Twitter homepage, click on your profile image in the top right corner, then on Analytics from the dropdown menu.

Use the tabs Home/Tweets/Audiences/Events/More at the top of the screen to explore the different analytics Twitter collects for you.

c) Management tools.

Using a management tool such as Tweetdeck allows you to schedule tweets at specific times, save #hashtag searches, and monitor and take part in realtime chats using #hashtags.

Tweetdeck is a great management tool to start with. A useful guide is Getting started with Tweetdeck.

Other tools such as Buffer and Hootsuite are also available and popular. Mashable’s Guidebook to Twitter is also an excellent resource with tips and tricks to improve your use of Twitter.

d) Blog.

Write a blog entry of at least 100 words reflecting on your current use of Twitter, the process involved in creating your list and exploring analytics and management tools. Did your analytics produce any interesting information? If you want, make your list publicly available and share the address URL in your blog entry. You should also mention any Twitter accounts you think other social service workers in Scotland might be interested in following.

Post a link to a tweet about completing this thing using the hashtag #SSSC23things.

Don’t want to set up a Twitter account.

You don’t need to be signed up to Twitter in order to use it for information gathering.

a) Go to the Twitter homepage and click on the search bar. Type in some keywords from the field you work in to the search bar and see what types of accounts and tweets you find.

b) Explore the site, find Twitter users with interesting content and view their public feeds. Try using a #hashtag to find content and news from your field of work.

c) Blog.

Write a blog post of at least 100 words reflecting on why you have chosen not to create a Twitter account. Have you had one in the past? If so, why don’t you use it anymore? If you’ve never had one, what is it that puts you off?

You should discuss the information you were able to find without creating an account and how this might be useful for information gathering and/or networking.

You should also mention any Twitter accounts you think other social service workers in Scotland might be interested in following.


Image credit: Twitter.

Twitter, tweet, retweet and the Twitter logo are trademarks of Twitter, Inc. or its affiliates.


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