Civil service says it's normal to "follow people you've never met" in new government Twitter briefing

The Civil Service says it's "actively embracing social media", and as part of that it's released a briefing on using Twitter effectively.

Asides from a couple of clangers, it's quite a helpful document, and lists some particularly bad Tweeting faux pas. But at points, you have to wonder how much confidence the civil service has in its staff:

If you’re worried that your interest in retweeting cute cat pictures or what you had for lunch will detract from your authoritative voice, you might want to run two accounts – one for personal tweets and one for issues related to work. But be sure to use the right one for the right purpose.

And they also seem to overestimate how often people use hashtags (Tweets peppered with these are more likely to be annoying than engaging):

Always aim to have at least one hashtag – one of these: # and one @ in a tweet too - this requires a bit of research but will always improve your reach.

Here are some of the better tips:

@ mentions only show in your feed and in the feed of the person you ‘@-ed’. If you want your reply to be viewed by all of your followers, include a full stop before your @. So, for example: .@ukgovcomms Great work on that project!

If you have a lot of tweets to send out – say you are alerting followers to the publication of several news stories. Space them out over a period of time rather than sending a big block of tweets.

Don’t set up auto-tweeting of content from other accounts. Chances are your users already follow the organisation you are auto-tweeting.