Researchers’ online presence is becoming increasingly important as the world goes digital. Today let’s talk about Twitter and how it can be used to promote your research and connect with people.
Why on Twitter?
Just as many other social media platforms, Twitter is a useful tool for communicating your research to a wider audience because it’s highly accessible and real-time. Twitter lets researchers search, identify, and grow a research network focused on shared interests without geographical barriers. Not only used by authors themselves, we also see more and more journal editors and publishers making use of this platform to showcase their publications.
Communication on Twitter is more than one-way. Its features such as hashtags (#) and mentions (@) are particularly useful for increasing engagement in online forums. For example, this week is the “Peer Review Week“, which is a community-led global event celebrating the essential role that peer review plays in maintaining research quality. The organizer encourages people to join and follow the discussion on Twitter using this year’s hashtag: #PeerReviewWeek22
In this post we highlight a few things to note when you set up account and publish your (first) post. We will share more pro-tips such as how to form your Twitter content strategy and amplify/measure your influence in our next one on Twitter for Academics.
So, let’s get started!
Create Your Account
When setting up Twitter account for the first time, note the following:
Username – Keep it simple yet recognizable
Although you can change your username at any time, it’s better to stick to one that won’t need frequent updating for the foreseeable future.
Profile photo – Make it visible
Besides having a visible profile photo, also consider using the same image used in your faculty profile as that will give you a consistent online presence.
Your bio – Who you are and what your care
Showcasing your title, affiliations and degrees is an excellent way to establish your credibility. A bonus thing to have is a link to your research website, where people can go find out more about your research and reach you for potential collaboration.
Engage with Others
Writing tweets takes practice. However, you can almost immediately start to build your presence and engage with others once your account is created. Try the following first.
Search and pick a few key accounts to follow. These can be accounts from journals, journal editors, labs, colleagues, organizations and professional associations. You don’t need to follow “everyone”. Be selective so that Twitter can be an asset for your work rather than a distraction.
Everyone appreciates being seen. Be generous and congratulate others on their achievements.
We retweet to share information (and, often to bookmark tweets). However, try to avoid retweeting loads in a row so that your own voice can be heard. The goal of academic tweeting should be to inspire conversations, so it’s in fact better to go one step further to quote retweet and add your opinions.
Publish Your First Tweet
To most Twitter users, the first tweet is probably the most difficult. Here are some ideas for your inspiration.
Say hi is a very safe way to inform your future followers that you are on Twitter.
Tweet your recent work
If you tweet about your recent work, make sure to provide a link to the publication. However, don’t just post the link. You should also highlight key findings in plain language and explain to your audience why it matters.
Still too shy?
Consider tweeting what you learned from a recent reading or conference, and tag the researcher/speaker if you know they use Twitter as well.
– By Jennifer Gu, Library
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published September 22, 2022