Twitter for bell ringers

Twitter and "tweeting" is about broadcasting daily short burst messages to the world, with the hope that your messages are useful and interesting to someone.

Twitter's big appeal is how rapid and scan-friendly it is: you can track hundreds of interesting tweeters, and read their content with a glance. Twitter employs a message size restriction to keep things scan-friendly: every tweet is limited to 140 characters or less. This size cap promotes the focused and clever use of language, which makes tweets very easy to scan, and also very challenging to write well. This size restriction has really made Twitter a popular social tool.

Twitter is very simple to use as broadcaster or receiver. You join with a free account and Twitter name. Then you send broadcasts as often as you wish. Go to the 'What's Happening' box, type 140 characters or less, and click 'Tweet'. You will most likely include some kind of hyperlink to a web page.To receive Twitter feeds, you simply find someone interesting, and 'follow' them to subscribe to their tweets. Once a person becomes uninteresting to you, you simply 'unfollow' them.

You then choose to read your daily Twitter feeds through any of various Twitter readers.

Courtesy of Lifewire

Getting Started

Twitter requires you to register (free) which requires that you supply just your name and email address. Once verified, users may personalise their profiles with photos and a biog. You should use your real name and pictures so that people feel more comfortable interacting with you - they know they've got the right person.

Now you can look for people to follow using the search facility. You can follow your friends and people you know. If you are setting up a ringing Twitter account then you can follow other bands, ringing societies, ART, Central Council. Use the search box to find them.

» A simple step-by-step guide to setting up and using Twitter


Looking at the example tweets on the right, it may seem a bit complicated with all those strange characters. So let's start with some Twitter grammar and vocabulary.

Tweet – every message sent using Twitter is called a "tweet".

Hashtag – a simple way to organise content around a certain topic. Once you sign into Twitter you can do a search and all tweets which include a particular hastag (in this case #bellringing) will be listed.

Following and followers – subscribing to another user's content is called "following". If you are subscribed to someone, you are their "follower".

Retweet (RT) – forwarding something from another user to your own followers.

Trending topics – content made popular by number of tweets, usually delineated by a hashtag. For example, the ART Conference or National 12-bell could be trending topics, recognized by their hashtag: #ARTConf19 or #12bell. Users talking about this topic would attach that hashtag to their tweets in order to boost popularity and be included in the greater conversation.

Handle – your username (in this case @RingingTeachers).

Connecting with other ringers

  • Use the hashtag #bellringing.Twitter uses hashtags to enable people to share news on particular topics. Using this tag will alert ringers to your news.
  • Follow some bellringers and read and respond to their news. Then they are more likely to read and respond to your news. To tweet to a person, include their ID (including the @ symbol) in a tweet.
  • Tweet news and photos.
  • Aim to tweet once a week or so. Photos (of people, towers, important occasions) will make your tweets more eye-catching.

Embed your tweets in your website. This will keep the site fresh, and is the easiest way to share news onto your site FAST, including any photos you post.

Connecting further

Once you are confident using Twitter, you will probably be keen to connect with your church, local news-makers, and people who listen to your bells.

  • Visit your church’s website to see if they already tweet. If they don’t, you could offer. That’s a good way to build connections with the congregation. If they do, follow them and use their ID in your tweets. They will probably retweet them.
  • Use the hashtag your local Tweets use. A little bit of research should tell you what that is.
  • Follow your local news-makers … could be newspapers, a village or council website. Engage them in dialogue. Ask for their help.
  • Put your Twitter ID on all your posters and any leaflets or letters you produce.

Example bell ringing tweets

On Sat our tower hosted a @RingingTeachers ART training event. Folks loved building their #bellringing skills.Thanks @WPBells for arranging

Just spent 2 1/2 hrs on our new simulator learning Cambridge! HUGE THANKS to @CrondallBells & @WPBells ❤

Good to see so many at for our first Open Ringing on EIGHT bells today.

Got an innovative person you'd like to put forward for The ART Award for Effective Use of Technology in Teaching? It's not just about the old smart dog and bone any more. #bellringing @ccringing sponsored by @JohnTaylorBells

News update on CC website: CCCBR sponsors ART Award for technology @ccringing #bellringing

Mike Winterbourne Master of @WPBells and Anthony Cane Dean of Portsmouth @deanportsmouth greet The Lord Mayor of Portsmouth & Commander Chris S Roberts At @PortsmouthCath for the Commemorative Evensong #ringingremembers #ww1 #bellringing #portsmouth

What's next?

» Return to the recruitment and retention home page

» Return to read about ideas for recruiting ringers

» The social media thing

» Return to Survival and Recovery Toolbox – successful PR