Invitation to join us on Twitter!

Chris Routh, who is a member of Reading CBG and of the national executive committee, would like to invite all book groups to join Twitter:

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Twitter is one of a range of social media options available for Children’s Books Groups and their members to exchange news, information and ideas.

I have been tweeting on behalf of FCBG for the last year or so and have really enjoyed promoting the activities and events we’ve all been organising and running, both locally and nationally. Most recently, National Share a Story Month and the associated series of blogs involved a very busy few weeks of tweeting. FCBG now has over 2500 followers on Twitter ranging from parents, teachers, librarians and all manner of children’s book enthusiasts and bloggers – to authors, illustrators, publishers, booksellers, organisations and specialist centres. This fantastic network of people share an interest in and love of books and reading and are as passionate about getting children and books together as the Federation is.
Twitter also provides a great way for Children’s Book Groups to publicise, report on and  celebrate their own meetings and events. My group, for example, has found it useful to link up with our public libraries, independent book shop and the teachers’ training department at Reading University. Together, we’re promoting and facilitating the development of a local community of readers. 
Furthermore, by selecting the right people to follow, Twitter can become a mine of information, ideas and inspiration. Wearing my other Twitter hat as a school librarian, I have come across some great links to work related articles, blogs and websites. Twitter is very much what you choose to make it! 
Please keep us up to date with what you’re doing @FCBGNews so that we can share your ideas and spread the news about the fantastic work of the Federation. You never know, you might be instrumental in inspiring someone else to start up a Children’s Book Group! If your group doesn’t already have a Twitter account or a designated member tweeting on your behalf, please consider joining us! Here are a few tips for getting started: 

1. You only need an email address and access to the Internet to get started.
2. The addition of photographs and/or links (websites, online articles, blogs etc.) can make your tweets stand out or more interesting.
3. Invite comments or ask questions to engage your followers in conversation.
4. Include the address of anyone you want to read and/or retweet your tweet (e.g. add @FCBGNews and we will respond and/or retweet).
5. Use a hashtag to identify a subject of common interest, to encourage conversation or to help searches (e.g. we use #FedTed in tweets about our mascot bear).
6. When choosing who to follow, be selective! Review previous tweets, photos and links on their profile. 
7. Take a bit of time to edit your profile (click on the cogwheel to do this) – have a look at how other tweeters have used images and words to suggest what they are interested in.
8. Include a link to your group’s Facebook page, website or blog in your profile.
9. Click on the envelope to send a Direct Message (DM). This only works if the other person is following you.
10. Shorten links – this happens automatically when copying and pasting on an iPad, for example, otherwise use a URL shortener such as Google or Bit.ly .
11. Use recognised abbreviations to help keep your tweets within 140 characters – RT (retweet), MT (modified tweet), TY (thank you) etc. 
12. Keep tweeting! The more you tweet the more you’ll be seen, followed and responded to!

Enjoy, and don’t forget to follow @fcbgnews! 

Chris Routh

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