Twitter for Superintendents – Pt. II – The WHAT and HOW

twitter_mac_icon_300_transparentLast week I shared a post outlining 6 reasons Superintendents should start using Twitter.

  • Engage with constituents
  • Engage with policymakers
  • Connect with professional organizations
  • Network with superintendents locally and nationally
  • Model being a lead learner
  • Build a personal and organizational brand

So you find the reasons compelling! Now what? In this post, I’ll share some resources and ideas for moving forward. Let’s start with the WHAT. What is Twitter? Depending on where you are in your Twitter learning path, you may want to watch this informative, short video or move on to the HOW.

How can I get started? Great question. Here are some ideas to get you on the road to being a connected Superintendent. Since learning is social, find a partner – maybe an Assistant Superintendent or Director – and learn together!

Before you begin, make sure that your school policies support the use of social media. You may want to consider creating guidelines for social media use in your district if they do not already exist.

  • Visit
  • Choose a Twitter handle (@). Use your name or some variation, if possible. Choose as few characters as possible.
  • Add an avatar. Ideally, include a photo of you or something relevant to your district.
  • Add a bio. Have an interesting bio that reflects who you are and what you do.
  • Follow people who are having conversations you want to listen to! For example, start by following PASA, AASA and PSBA. Find your state senator and representative. Follow them as well.
    • Visit this LIST of Superintendents and find a few to follow.
    • Search Twitter for people and organizations – How to search Twitter – and even educational hashtags if you are interested in general education topics.
    • Look at FOLLOWERS and FOLLOWING of the accounts of the people/organizations you have chosen to follow. Follow those that tweet interesting content that you can learn from or share out to your network.
  • Become familiar with the lingo or anatomy of the Tweet.
    • What’s a Twitter handle? (@)
    • What’s a hashtag? (#) Does your district have a hashtag? You may want to develop one, but first search Twitter to make sure that you will be the only user of that hashtag. Then share it out to your constituents! (For example, my district uses #stsdfalcons.)
  • Develop some interesting tweets (The T.W.E.E.T method – I found this somewhere but cannot locate the source to give credit. If anyone knows, please let me know!)


  • What is your goal? (Informational, personal, etc.) Ask yourself, “Is this useful? Would I click on the link or read the resource?”
  • Does the tweet reflect positively on your role as a Superintendent?

W – WRITE – Say something (in 140 characters)! Add commentary to shared resources. Retweet (RT) others and reply.

  • What is an effective tweet?
    • Shares links to resources or images.
    • Asks an important question or contains releveant information to engage others in conversation.
    • Contains relevant hashtags.


  • Talk to specific users by including his/her Twitter handle in the tweet.
  • Use a direct message (MESSAGES) to engage a specific user privately. (You must follow each other to use direct messages.)
  • Retweet (RT) relevant tweets to your followers. If you have to modify someone’s tweet, use MT. A RT/MT from others expands your reach!
  • Make a LIST as a way to group people you follow by interest. A list is a curated group of Twitter users and a great way to organize the accounts you follow. Here is a list of Superintendents you can follow.


  • Search for interests and influencers.
  • Check out WHO TO FOLLOW on the right (on HOME) for suggestions based on those you currently follow.
  • Check out the TRENDS on the left (on HOME) for suggestions based on your location and those you follow.


  • Track your Twitter stream by clicking on HOME in the upper left. The stream contains the tweets of all those you follow.
  • Approach Twitter differently from email. You can’t possible process all the tweets of everyone you follow. In this sense, Twitter is different than email where you want to process all communications.
  • Make Tweeting a daily part of your routine, if only for 5-10 minutes.

Things to try:

    • sending out tweets using your district hashtag and other hashtags as appropriate; engage in conversations on Twitter.
    • connecting with policymakers and engaging in conversations.
    • connecting with professional organizations and consuming information.
    • searching the #suptchat hashtag. Participate in the #suptchat twitter chat on the first Wednesday of the month at 8:00 PM Eastern.
    • Develop a PLN and learn through the connections.
    • Develop a brand for yourself and your district. Participate in #ASuperDay on the third Wednesday of each month.
    • Explore Twitter apps for easier tweet management, for example, TweetDeck and TweetBot.

Additional Resources

What additional resources or ideas can you add to the WHAT and HOW of Twitter for Superintendents?


2 comments on “Twitter for Superintendents – Pt. II – The WHAT and HOW

  1. Pingback: Season 1: Episode 17 – 6 Reasons Superintendents/School Leaders Should Use Twitter [Podcast] |

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