witter has become one of the most successful ways to share your passion for a health cause or condition on the internet today. If you have a chronic illness or a particular interest in a health condition, Twitter can be one of the most exciting ways to spread the word on little or no budget. Here are 16 steps toward planning your health awareness campaign using Twitter.
Setting up a successful Twitter account from the beginning:
 First, decide if you want to use your Twitter account to share more personal information (and for example, set up your user name with your actual name) or if you’d prefer to have your Twitter account be more generalized for your specific health awareness campaign. Many times people who are involved in the campaign may not be as interested in tweets about what you did last night, but instead, how the can increase awareness about the health cause. To ensure a growing number of followers, and hence, increase your influence, it’s a good idea to design your Twitter account that accurately describes your causes and be sue to use your logo as your photo image icon.
 Make the effort to design a colorful graphic for the background of your Twitter account page and make sure your contact information, logo, hashtags and everything you write can be seen. Most people do not make the graphic the right size. the background image for twitter should be about 540 x 540 pixels and the part you want to have shown on the left should be 124 pixels wide.
 When planning an event or cause, come up with an effective hashtag and don’t be afraid to tell everyone to use it when referring to your specific event in their tweets. This way anyone can quickly search Twitter and find tweets specific to your cause. Remember, the shorter the better! In case you don’t know, hashtags are the # symbol you see in front of words like #illness. The hashtag for National Invisible Chronic Illness Awareness Week, for example, is #iiwk09. This is an annual event, so by adding the year onto the end of the tag, one can find information for any particular year.
 If you want people to retweet your tweets, take the time to write and research to find tweets that they will want to comment on or retweet. Experiment, as you may be surprised what people find worthy of action. Tweets can be statistics, quotes, proverbs, or facts. Link to blogs or articles, or even tweet lists For example, tweet one “step” or “how to” tip a day from your list.
 When preparing your Tweets keep them as short as possible so that people can retweet them without cutting anything off. You want people to be able to write RT(space)@YOURNAME. How many characters does that equal for you? Plus, leave room for a short link and a hashtag.
 When you post a link in your twitter post, be sure to utilize a link shortening service. I have followed another expert’s advice and usually put my link at the front of the tweet, so it’s not cut off when people retweet it and comment on it.
Twitter etiquette you should know:
 Start following fellow nonprofits that have Twitter accounts set up. Find others who have the illness of your cause and follow them. But remember to engage in conversation. Don’t just post and then ignore comments.
 Be generous in retweets if you find things that will be of interest to your audience. If you are following the right people it won’t be hard to get find quality information.
 Get involved in Friday Follows, by posting people you admire and respect as recommended experts on your topic. When people add you as a Friday Follow recommendation or retweet your messages, remember to say thanks! Depending on the number of people who are retweeting your posts, say thanks as much as possible and tweet their twitter names in your post.
 Through various Twitter applications you can set up a direct message to be sent to anyone who starts to follow you. Don’t use this to just say, “thanks for following me” but instead offer a link to an article the reade