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I started a department Twitter account in April 2009. At the time and until recently I imagined I would be tweeting until Twitter was no longer an essential communication tool for me. However I am now faced with the challenge of deciding what to do with that department Twitter account because I am leaving my position.

Do I close it? Do I leave it open and hope my replacement carries on? Do I escalate its importance and significance and insist they try to find someone who can effectively use Twitter for department marketing and communications?

A) it does not seem likely that they will post the job and acquire applicants soon enough that I could be involved in the interview process

B) unfortunately, my bosses don't really 'get' what it is I do. All they know is that things run smoothly, we have an increasing number of program applicants each year, and our department website ranks fairly high in search engine results. Therefore, they are not likely to know what questions to ask in an interview re social media marketing strategies.

C) I started the dept Twitter account on a whim, to see what would happen. Interest in Twitter among hospitals, medical schools and medical professional organizations has grown rapidly since then and we have a solid following. My opinion is that we are a responsible and respectable Twitter presence but not crucial to medical education or health care. If 'we' stopped tweeting, I doubt anyone would mourn. However the Twitter presence does push us up in search results and we do get a fair amount of web traffic via Twitter and my Ow.ly links (according to WebTrends reports).

What would you do?

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That is a tough one. I'd document or link how to login and disable the account. That way the new hire would have the option of continuing it with the followers or shutting down the account themselves should they not wish to continue with it.
Nice. That is something I hadn't considered.

I do have a Twitter feed on our dept web page. I guess I would remove that so it doesn't zero-out after a few weeks of no activity.
I started drafting a list of my web 2.0 innovations and outlined the my routine to keep everything going.
I am detailing daily, weekly and bi-monthly tasks (web calendars, Twitter Linkedin, Facebook, Delicious, public forums, intranet blog, etc) and detailing quarterly and annual reviews (faculty lists, faculty pages, web trends, etc). All together it reads like a job description in and of itself.

Amazingly, I just picked up all these tasks over the last 4 years and integrated them into my routine. Writing everything down and sketching out my routine really shows how much time and effort it takes to manage it. It has been an interesting exercise!

It sounds like you started twitter as a pilot "on a whim" and it has worked out successfully. So your supervisor didn't ask you and it wasn't formally a project expecting certain outcomes.

How about a short report to your supervisor explaining what you did, what the outcomes were, and a recommendation whether to continue it. They can then get some buy-in which will help motivate the new person to keep tweeting.

 

Thanks, Rich. I added backupmytweets this week. I will do as you suggested as well as download the backup to show what I have tweeted over the last 18 months. I have data from WebTrends and HootSuite showing efficacy as well.

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