Twitter continues to be the leading platform for breaking news and timely information. For insight into the latest trending topics, you’ll find it on Twitter. While the microblogging platform allows users to share links, photos, videos and GIFs—it is critical to be clear and concise as you are limited to 280 characters or less. 



WashU Twitter Avatar
While your avatar is a fragment of your Twitter presence, it is the only consistent aspect that routinely appears in the newsfeed of your audience and potential audience, therefore it’s imperative to select one that best represents your brand.

Cover Image

WashU Twitter Cover Image
Think of your header image as a billboard, as it is the first thing users will see upon visiting your profile. Use your header image as a means to tell a story about your mission, vision, values or a current campaign. 


WashU Twitter Bio
Twitter bios are brief (160 characters to be exact), so crafting the perfect Twitter bio is a delicate balance of being succinct and effective. Use your bio as a space to include keywords that are relevant to your identity. This is also a space to leverage any relevant hashtags.


WashU Twitter URL
Twitter allows you to include a link in your bio, so utilize it.  Do you have a website, upcoming event or call-to-action to share? It belongs here.

Scheduling and frequency

Content has a lifespan and it is different for every platform. The life of a Tweet is usually 12-15 minutes. This means posts on Twitter have this amount of time to gain traction and reach in the timelines of your audience. This is due to the real-time/fast pace of content moving through the timeline. Every second, on average, around 6,000 tweets are tweeted on Twitter which translates to 500 million tweets per day. Because of this, the content cadence for Twitter is always more robust than any other social network.

We typically schedule 3-6 tweets a day (between the hours of 8:30AM-6PM). We schedule the tweets at different times each day to avoid monotony.

Features and tactics


Threads are a useful Twitter feature that allows you to connect a series of tweets centered on a specific topic. Threads afford you the opportunity to add context and details when 280 characters isn’t enough. 


Twitter moments are a beneficial storytelling tool to use because you can include a variety of visuals components. As always, make sure the structure of your content tells a story — a beginning, middle and end. 


Hashtags and tags can help establish brand identity, organize content and make your tweets easier to discover. They can also be used as a vehicle to brand crowdsourced content on a specific subject. Working hashtags into the lede or body of the tweet makes it more organic.

For aesthetic purposes, and in response to the Twitter character limit, when creating hashtags keep them short. In addition, less is more. Using too many hashtags can look spammy and it also can override the intent of the tweet. Should you decide to incorporate a hashtag, a maximum of two is recommended.

  • Some of our active hashtags are the class hashtags: #WashU22, #WashU25, #WashU and #InSTLForSTL. 
  • Pro tip: Before creating WashU branded hashtags, please connect with the social team within University Marketing and Communications. 

Live Tweets

Live tweets are a great way to document happenings within the university network in real time. Prior to live tweeting, determine that this is content your audience will find valuable and will want to consume. 


Tagging accounts can be gratuitous if used too often so we do this sparingly. Some questions to ask yourself before tagging another account are: 

  • Tags can appear as endorsements. Does this account’s digital presence reflect favorably on the university? 
  • Does this user have an active and robust account?
  • Am I adding value to the tweet and/or our audience by mentioning this account?
Types of Tweets

Twitter cards

Twitter cards are media-enriched tweets that boost visibility and engagement. There are four types of Twitter cards, each with a different function:

Summary Card: Title, description, and thumbnail.

Summary Card with Large Image: Similar to the Summary Card, but with a prominently-featured image.

App Card: A Card with a direct download to a mobile app.

Player Card: A Card that can display video/audio/media.


The maximum length a video can be is  2 minutes and 20 seconds, no longer. Posting video natively on Twitter (and other social platforms) always yields more views and engagement over video links. Videos that are posted natively benefit from autoplay and better aesthetics. 


Incorporating visuals is highly encouraged. Remember, at 6,000 tweets per second, Twitter is a highly competitive platform. Multimedia, whether photo, video or graphics will aid you in grabbing attention and fulfilling your mission on this platform. Be sure to stay up-to-date with image size guidelines.

Sharing links

For most articles from The Source, a photo will pull automatically. However, for some articles from third-party sources, you’ll have to check that an image pulls or add your own.


RTS = Endorsements so it’s key to be mindful of this before retweeting. Here are some considerations to keep in mind before RT: Does the person or account I’m RT have an account that aligns with our values? Is this useful? Does this support our mission? 

Know your analytics

Similar to Facebook, Twitter has robust analytics. Through Twitter analytics, you are able to access a quick monthly view of your performance as well as analytics on individual posts. 

Pro tips
  • Link shortening services are a great resource to ensure your feed looks cohesive. We recommend Bitly as not only a link shortener, but as a way to track performance. Knowing what topics and types of content interests your audience is necessary in order to develop a successful Twitter strategy.
  • Tweets cannot be edited once posted, so post with care and a watchful eye. Be sure to review your posts for grammar and context prior to sharing. 
  • Have fun with emojis and GIFs…when appropriate. Emojis are a fun way to sprinkle some creativity into your content. On a platform that limits you to 280 characters, emojis can also be used to communicate in ways that words don’t.  As always, it’s important to consider your brand identity, mission and contextual relevance when incorporating emojis and GIFs.