18 Tweets Your Temple's Twitter Account Has Got to Try

Inside Leadership

18 Tweets Your Temple's Twitter Account Has Got to Try

Hand holding a smartphone displaying the home screen of the Twitter app

If your congregation has a Twitter account, you’re probably already using it to share out programmatic info – upcoming events, religious school closings, community seders, themed Kabbalat Shabbat services, etc. But this platform offers plenty of opportunity to engage on a broader level, using your account as more than just a megaphone to broadcast upcoming events.

Here are a few ideas for engaging your audience on Twitter, providing relevant information, and overall establishing a more robust Twitter presence – and don’t forget to follow the URJ and ReformJudaism.org for lots of great, retweetable content!

  1. Tweet your livestream. If a Shabbat service livestreams in the forest and no one knows it’s happening, did it really happen at all? (OK, you know what I mean...) In the lead-up to services and during, remind people where they can tune into your livestream to “join” you from home.
  2. Ask questions. The more interaction you generate with followers, the better. Ask what their Shabbat plans are, what their favorite Jewish holiday is, what they like best about your congregation – anything to get the conversation rolling.
  3. Answer questions. If a follower tweets at you – say they want to know what time services are or if non-members can attend a weekend event you’re hosting – be sure to respond in a timely and friendly manner. The better you become at this, the more interaction you’ll generate – and the happier your followers will be.
  4. Retweet others. Often, someone else says it better than you could. Retweet relevant tweets from Jewish news outlets, your Federation, local Jewish organizations, and, of course, the URJ and its affiliate organizations.
  5. Solicit feedback. Want to know how a temple event went, or what event congregants would like for you to host next? Tweet your questions and give folks an opportunity to provide feedback, weigh in on programming, and more.
  6. Share it on the big screen. If you’re hosting a technology-friendly event, consider projecting your congregation’s Twitter feed or relevant event hashtag before the live crowd. This can be an engaging way to ask for audience questions and see feedback and responses in real-time.  
  7. Use relevant hashtags. Take part in larger conversations with “Jewish Twitter” by hashtagging holiday names and other current events. This will get your tweets in front of a larger audience and position your congregation as engaged, knowledgable, and welcoming.
  8. Tweet Torah. Link to the weekly parashah, which you can find on ReformJudaism.org’s Torah study page, along with modern-day commentaries and more. You can also share simple, old-fashioned wisdom from the Torah, tweeting an inspirational or particularly relevant line from scripture or from your rabbi’s most recent sermon.
  9. Make cool graphics. Want to turn that aforementioned Jewish wisdom into sleek imagery? It’s not as difficult as you think! Check out sites like Pablo or Canva to create your own in minutes – then tweet them and watch the retweets roll in. (Tip: Horizontal images work best on Twitter.)
  10. Raise up your staff, clergy, and lay leaders. Are clergy bios posted on your congregational website? Tweet a brief intro and a link to this page to put real people behind your social media presence. Share a link to the president’s latest blog post, the rabbi’s latest sermon, or the cantor’s latest YouTube recording.   
  11. Share your newsletter. Do you have a congregational newsletter that non-members can sign up for to stay in the know? Let followers know where they can sign up for it – or link them directly to the online version. Rather than just tweeting, “Check out this week’s congregational newsletter!” craft a tweet that teases some of the content they’ll find inside.
  12. Cross-promote other accounts. If your congregation has an active Facebook page or Instagram account, don’t hesitate to cross-publicize by including a link to it – especially when event photos are available on one of the other platforms! Don’t overdo it, though; auto-tweeting updates from other social media platforms is a surefire way to annoy followers and ultimately push them away.
  13. Find some fun facts. Everyone loves a little bit of trivia. Share interesting facts about your congregation’s history, membership, or other appealing tidbits. Accounts like @JTAarchive and @JewishTweets often share “on this day in Jewish history”-style tweets you can retweet or adapt, too.  
  14. Peek behind the scenes. Setting up for a big event? Share a behind-the-scenes photo of volunteers hard at work creating mishloach manot, stuffing swag bags, or doing sound checks. Tease the event and thank your volunteers at the same time!
  15. Tweet live updates. Holding an event? Download the Twitter app to your smart phone and send out a few “live tweets” about the more exciting aspects of the program, including powerful quotes and interesting photos.  
  16. Share important updates. Maybe your parking lot is under construction or your outdoor service has been moved indoors. Tweet these updates so that folks can easily find relevant, real-time information without having to dig further than the top of your Twitter timeline.
  17. Run a contest. Give something away to the __th follower or reward followers in some other way. Prizes can be as simple as coffee with the rabbi or as big as discounted registration to a congregational event.
  18. Share holiday greetings. Don’t just invite people to your holiday programming; note the holiday itself as a stand-alone tweet, too. Share a photo of a Hanukkah menorah, offer up a Yom HaShoah prayer, or wish people a meaningful fast on Yom Kippur. These directed holiday tweets are likely to garner retweets – which is likely to put your account in front of fresh eyes and bring in potential new followers.

Go ahead: Be creative. Browse other congregations’ accounts for ideas and inspiration. And above all else, don’t be afraid to make your account unique, interactive and fun!

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Kate Bigam Kaput is the digital communications manager for the Union for Reform Judaism and, in this role, serves as a content manager and editor for ReformJudaism.org. A prolific essayist and lifestyle blogger, Kate's writing has been featured in The Washington PostEsquire, Woman's Day, Cleveland Magazine, HeyAlma.com, Jewish Women Archive, and more. Kate grew up at Temple Beth Shalom in Hudson, OH, holds a degree in magazine journalism from Kent State University, and currently lives in Cleveland with her husband, Mike.

Kate Bigam Kaput
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