CHAIN LINK: What a decent Twitter thread looks like

“Don’t hate the player,” I tell people “hate the game.”

I tend to do this during training when I’m running through the Twitter algorithm.

You see, Twitter has been run by an algorithm for several years and it’s an algorithm that wants you to stick around as long as possible. So, as a result it hates links. It’ll mark you down for using them.

This is the point when I deliver the line.

The next question after a 10-second pause is what the hell are we supposed to do then?

This is the point when I talk about a thread.

Tell the story you want to tell on Twitter using a thread and tyou’ll be rewarded.



You’ll spend more time reading and scrolling through the thread so you’ll spend more time on Twitter. The more time you spend on Twitter the more attractive your audience is. That’s why you’ll be rewarded.

Here are some example of what threads look like and what they can achieve.

A thread of threads

Thread: Digby the amazing lifesaving dog

Digby the dog helped stop a woman from jumping to her death.

So, Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue told the story with a thread.

The results were off the scale.

Thread: What the council did in the floods

When flooding hit Doncaster the council built a thread of realtime coverage to spell out what it was doing in response.

The pictures were shaky, the staff looked sodden. Good.

Thread: What a reporter saw on a tour of a recycling plant

“What are you thinking, St Paul?” remarked reporter Frederick Melo as he walked around the recycling centre looking at the crap some people tried to recycle.

Live chickens? Check.

Propane tanks? Ditto.

Thread: Stop dumping sofas, Glasgow

Exasperated, Glasgow City Council built a thread of a dumped sofa and linked places where it could be recycled or donated.

Thread: Why do pirates wear stripey shirts?

This thread I love because it tells a story any age can relate to.

Pirates, it seems, have been pigeonholed in history as stripey shirt wearers.

Historian and knitter draws upon pictures, text and historical resource to show how all this came about. It’s lovely.

Museum staff, are ye watching?

Thread: Traffic chaos around Edinburgh

As much as we can tell stories we can also be informative.

In this thread, Traffic Scotland show the disruption in a thread of pictures and traffic warnings like an eye-in-the-sky traffic helicopter.

Thread: A court story with a successful conviction

Northants Police tell the story of a night that turned dark for a domestic violence victim.

The woman jumped out of a window rather than face her tormenter.

The content comes from a court story and it’s powerful.

Thread: The view from an NHS chief executive

In this thread Chris sets out the hardships and problems the NHS faces.

There’s multiple audiences for this from government to staff and the public.

Things are hard and here’s exactly how he spells out.

If you want to know more the ESSENTIAL COMMS SKILLS BOOSTER workshop is delivered in public sessions and in-house for teams.

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