Group Texting with Twitter
“How do I use Twitter for group texting?”
At some point in time you may find yourself wanting to build a list of people who need info from you in the form of a quick text. When this need arrises, here is a simple and cost-effective solution that will also increase awareness of your brand or organization: use Twitter for group texting.
Twitter, which even today, some have not quite figured out, is a short form (140 character) blogging platform. People share all sorts of information, some of it actually pertinent, and others can read it online. If they really care about what someone is sharing, they can choose to follow that person, so they do not miss a post. And if they really, really care about what someone is sharing, they can choose to receive a text on their phone of what that person is sharing. And this is how we use Twitter for group texting.
How to set up your phone
Set up is pretty easy. First you must have a Twitter account. I would recommend setting up a new Twitter account just for this group text purpose. You may not want all your personal tweets going to the group. The username that you create for this group will be the one you sign in with on Twitter for group texting.
- From your phone, text START to 40404. This is Twitter’s number and does not cost anything to use, except of course any fees your carrier might charge you. (If you are in a country other than the US, check with Twitter for your country’s shortcode.)
- Twitter will reply and ask you to text your full name to sign up. I recommend texting in something similar to what you want your username to be, as Twitter will generate a username based on what you submit. If you do not like the username Twitter assigns, you can always text back SET USERNAME to change it.
- You are all set! Now when you send a text to 40404 from your phone, it will be a tweet to that account.
How your group members sign up to receive your messages
- From your mobile phone, text FOLLOW [username] to 40404. ([username] is the name of the account you just created.)
- Twitter will send a reply asking you if you are sure you would like to start following that user.
- Once you verify, you will now receive the messages sent by that user.
- To quit receiving messages at any time, text STOP to 40404.
Twitter for group texting is simple to use and maintain. You do not have to share your personal telephone number with people, and people will not have to theirs with you. There is no app to install, no third party service to pay, and remember what I said about increasing awareness of your brand or organization? The group’s messages are on Twitter, so you may get new followers who are interested in what you do. How’s that for added benefits?
Of course that means that no personal info should be shared in the group messages. What you send has the potential to be seen by the public. Think of this as an accountability measure. Another thing to be aware of is that this group message is One Way. Your members cannot reply to the message or group. Let your members know that if they hit reply to the message they get from you, you will not receive it.
So, Twitter for group texting can be a very valuable tool to reaching a large group of people on their phones. How do you think you will use this method? If you have used it, please share how it worked out for you in the comments below.