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Tips for Twitter IMPROVERS Becoming a Networked Researcher Ned Potter Academic Liaison
Above all, remember it’s not about broadcasting, it’s about conversation!
Above all, remember it’s not about broadcasting, it’s about conversation! This is Web 2.0. It’s interactive, participatory, and about positioning yourself as part of a dialogue. If you remember this rule, all the other rules in this guide can be broken.
(This guide is aimed at people in the academic environment who already use Twitter. If you’re brand new to the platform, read this introduction first.)
Content Part 1
Don’t just make statements, ask questions. Content
Content Tweet multimedia Pictures, videos, slideshows all appear within Twitter itself
Consider the 1 in 4 rule* *actually it’s more of a guideline… Content
Consider the 1 in 4 rule* 1 in 4 Tweets directly about you / your work *actually it’s more of a guideline… A ReTweet? A link to something useful? A reply? Content
Embrace the smartphone! (Soon there will only BE smartphones so you may as well get started now.) Content
Embrace the smartphone! (Soon there will only BE smartphones so you may as well get started now.) Imagine the people reading your Tweets are not just in your building, but on the train, in the supermarket queue, at conferences or events. Twitter doesn’t have to be something people MAKE TIME for. Content
Tone Part 2
Try not to think of it as purely personal or purely professional – it works better when it’s both. (Personally I think it works well when you major in professional and minor in personal…) Tone
Spell things correctly, don’t use text-speak, ensure proper grammar and syntax – but the tone is friendly and approachable. Tone
Ultimately the tone on Twitter is roughly akin to how you would address your peers face-to-face (as opposed to in print). Are you friendly, irreverent, sarcastic, enthusiastic, irascible? That’s probably how you should be on Twitter, too. Tone
Ultimately the tone on Twitter is roughly akin to how you would address your peers face-to-face (as opposed to in print). Are you friendly, irreverent, sarcastic, enthusiastic, irascible? That’s probably how you should be on Twitter, too. (Just don’t be unpleasant, as the written word can have a bigger and longer-lasting impact than what is spoken.) Tone
Your Account Part 3
Your profile is hugely important – it can both win and lose you opportunities. Use your bio to give people a reason to engage with you. Use the URL space to link your blog. And whatever you do, don’t leave the picture as the default ‘Twitter egg’ – people associate this with spam accounts and switch off instantly. Your Account
Bio, blog link Following back Don’t be spammy Check hashtags Your Account You don’t HAVE to follow back. Although reciprocity is an important part of building a social network, don’t feel like you have to follow everyone who follows you. Above all Twitter has to be manageable and work FOR you.
Your Account And if you DO have to follow back for political reasons… The mute button is your friend.
When creating hashtags for events, projects, conferences and discussions… …remember to check they’re not already in use before you make them public! Your Account
To lock or not to lock your account? Advantages: Complete control over who sees your tweets Free reign to be critical or otherwise controversial Protection from the undesirable side of the internet Numbers of followers are not an end in themselves – a larger network doesn’t always equate to a more valuable one
To lock or not to lock your account? Disadvantages: Will reduce the size of your network so you may miss out on interacting with useful or interesting people Prevents you from being ReTweeted, meaning you cannot reach additional audiences Your tweets cannot be seen by people who don’t follow you, even if addressed directly at them with an @ reply
Logistics Part 4
Logistics How often should you tweet? Targets can often backfire – tweet when you have something to say, and don’t when you don’t.
That said, the more people tweet, the bigger their network.* Often the bigger their network, the more they get out of Twitter. Logistics *Usually. But there’s no guarantee here!
Set up saved searches After any useful search, save it so it’s easily accessible next time you click the search box. Logistics
Set up saved searches As well as searches for relevant topics, set up a search on pertinent URLs (for example your project page or blog) so you can see whenever anyone tweets about your work. Logistics
Lists allow you to usefully ‘curate’ the people you follow For example, make lists of people who tweet about Your discipline Research in your area Impact factors Technology in HE Higher Education in general Local news Global news University news Whatever is relevant to you Logistics
Analyse your Tweets There are a million and one Twitter stats packages online – choose the ones which give you information you can ACT on. E.G. use http://tweetstats.com to check how often you’re replying and RTing, and WHEN you’re Tweeting… Logistics
Analyse your Tweets Then use www.tweriod.com to find out when your followers are actually online: Logistics
Consider a social media dashboard Twitter doesn’t have to be run from twitter.com – something like Hootsuite may be useful as it allows you to view your timeline, mentions, direct messages, lists, searches etc, in real time, from one screen, and you can also manage other social media accounts here Logistics
And finally… You need to actually tell people you’re there. @username on your business cards on your PowerPoint presentations on your name-badge at conferences in your email signature
Thanks for reading! More on ‘Becoming a Networked Researcher’ can be found at http://www.york.ac.uk/library/info-for/researchers/networked/ Follow the Library on Twitter: @UoYLibrary Picture credits are on the next two slides.
Photos via Flickr Creative Commons (1) Twitter birds on a wire by MKH Marketing, at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkhmarketing/8477893426/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Birds in the sky by ,T.R.G, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/therealgrudge/4065114735/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Twitter bird in a cage by MKH Marketing, edited by us, original at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/mkhmarketing/8481608368/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Graduation, by j.o.h.n walker, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/whatcouldgowrong/4608963722/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Smily fruit by *Light Painting*, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/helmuthess/9563262919/sizes/l/in/photostream/ Seminar room by Jonas_k, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jonask/2311309574/sizes/l/in/photostream/
Photos via Flickr Creative Commons (2) Egg by JeffPoskanzer, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jef/7550549938/sizes/c/ Reciprocal roof by The Year of Mud, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/smallape/2868726577/sizes/l Homemade hashtag by Alexander Hugo TarTari, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/byhoogle/6879766189/sizes/l Blue padlock by Aff, at: http://www.flickr.com/photos/affers/8298047871/sizes/c/in/photostream/ Question-mark cufflinks by Oberazzi, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/oberazzi/318947345/sizes/z/in/photostream/ Smartphone by Xrajis_, at: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xraijs/3474643866/sizes/l/in/photostream/ All Twitter icons, and the iPad icon, via www.iconfinder.com