EPA Twitter Guidance

Want to edit and use for your own organization?  Please delete all EPA-specific information.


Other EPA social media guidance


Note: EPA’s official use of Twitter is still evolving. As of July 2011, we are no longer approving Twitter accounts for specific programs or projects.  Instead, please share through EPA's main Twitter account (http://twitter.com/epagov).  This approach provides a single EPA face to the world, gets your info seen by tens of thousands of people on Twitter, and takes the burden off of you to post so frequently.  We are, however, looking for geographically-specific accounts intended to interact with specific communities.  In some cases, regional office-based accounts are the best we can do.  But we especially encourage you to think at a more local level.


Note: Remember that your official activities on-line are subject to the ethics regulations as well as other federal and agency laws, policies and regulations.  In addition, existing policies and guidance for accessibility, privacy, external site links, cookies and writing style apply to social media tools as well. References to these are included at the end of this document.


What and Why?

Twitter is an easy-to-use platform that allows EPA to engage the public in a quickly digestible format.  It’s free except for staff time.  We should use Twitter because:



Requests for Twitter accounts should be reviewed and approved by the Office of Web Communications (OWC) before you begin posting content. Read this entire document before you begin - you will need to complete the items in Appendix 1 to secure approvals.

Get approval from:

  1. Your manager; and
  2. Your content coordinator (see http://www.epa.gov/webgovernance/leadership.html to find your content coordinator); and
  3. OWC (your content coordinator will get this for you).

If approved, set up your account as follows:


Best Practices


Rules of engagement





Following other accounts






Live tweeting


Promoting and monitoring



EPA Accounts:




EPA Policy:




Additional resources:


Appendix 1: Account Request
(see guidance for help determining these items)

Proposed account name (who will be listed under “Name” in the profile?):

Proposed account username/URL:

Proposed account bio:

Proposed Web site:

Contact name/email/phone:

Planned post frequency (should be at least once/day):

Content (will it be automated?):

Criteria for following others (there are different approaches; please justify why you’re taking the approach you’ve chosen):

How will you promote your account beyond Twitter (URLs of Web pages you’ll link from, other places you’ll promote it, etc.):