TWITTER TIPS FOR ACADEMICS – How to Increase Engagement with Your Twitter Posts and Content

TWITTER TIPS FOR ACADEMICS – How to Increase Engagement with Your Twitter Posts and Content


– Are you a student,
faculty, or staff member who uses Twitter to connect with others in your field
and share your work? Are you interested in increasing the level of engagement
that your tweets receive so that the people who are
most likely to be interested in the content you’re sharing that they’ll come across your tweets and engage with them hopefully. Are you thinking about
upgrading the overall look and feel of your Twitter account? I’m currently in the process
of upgrading the look and feel of my Twitter account myself. And so this video is about
what I’ve done on that regard as well as tips that
I’ve learned over time that are helping me to
engage with the audience that I hope to engage on Twitter. If we’re meeting for the first time, hi. My name is Jacquie Beaulieu. I’m currently a PhD candidate
studying higher education at the University of Toronto. And I’ve received some positive
feedback about the ways that I use my Twitter
account to share information, both my own work but also
amplifying that of others. So if you’d like some tips and tricks on what you can do to
help folks further find the information you’re sharing on Twitter and hopefully engage with
it, well, keep on watching. My first tip is to optimize your bio. That is something that I was doing some more work on this morning so that when people are searching
for hashtags and keywords that relate to things
that I’m interested in that they’re also interested in that I’m possibly more likely
to come up in their search. The other thing is that
my Twitter bio description gives people a sense of
what I’ll be tweeting about so that they can make a good decision about whether or not to follow my account. For example, I am a figure skater and I’ve mentioned just
this one little piece about figure skating in
my bio so people know there’s going to be the odd
figure skating related tweet and hopefully they’re okay with that. I actually recommend including
maybe one to two things outside of academia that
you’re really interested in. I think it also helps to humanize you and for people to realize that
they might connect with you in another way. My second tip is to use
a nice headshot photo as your profile picture. Something that sets the
tone that you want to set, it sort of creates the environment that you’re hoping to create. I actually updated my photo this morning to reflect more of a fall theme because I kind of wanted to create a fall sort of cozy feel to my Twitter page. I also recommend using a program
like Adobe Spark or Canva to create a nice banner
for your Twitter account, that will again further
help to sort of create that feel that you want when
folks visit your Twitter page. You can also use it as
a secondary opportunity to include some words so that people have some
more opportunity to learn what is this Twitter account about. My third tip is to take
some to think about who you think your ideal
audience might include. And taking into consideration
the types of things you’re interested in sharing about and what types of things
you think those folks might be interested in learning
from you or engaging with. What content might they find helpful? What content might they find entertaining? What content might they enjoy? Twitter accounts can be many things. They can be an opportunity
for self expression. I think when you’re trying to, you know, hopefully increase some
engagement on your Twitter account it’s really though,
important to be thinking with the audience more in mind. When you post with your audience in mind they can really sense
that and they can sense that the information that you’re sharing was designed to be helpful to them in some way, shape or form. And so they tend to appreciate that and you don’t really
have worry as much about, oh, am I coming across potentially as overly self promotional? Something like that. So basically, what you’re
trying to do is to attract the community you hope to sort
of create on your own account and that you hope to be a part of. In doing so, your Twitter
account can easily become a important resource
of curated information that people come to value. So something about Twitter
that you might not know is that you are more likely
to come across tweets that Twitter’s algorithm thinks
that you’ll be interested in based on the ways in which
you engage with content on Twitter in the past. This is another way in
which knowing your audience and having a sense of what
they might be interested in can really help. My next tip is that if you
want folks to engage with you and engage with the
content you’re creating and putting out there, it’s really important to engage with them just as much, if not more. So in addition to reading and liking and replying to posts that others make, some things to look out for
are if someone poses a question and you have a really great answer to it, take the time to share that. When someone notices that you’ve posted a really helpful response,
they’re more likely to want to learn a little
bit more about you, if they don’t already know you. What happens over time is that you get to know each other more and a mutual interest develops
in each other’s content. And that makes you both
more likely to retweet and amplify each other’s work. Another thing is to
engage in Twitter chats. That’s where some questions
will be posed by a moderator and you have an opportunity to
reply and engage with others. And also engage in
hashtagged conversations. So this gets you an
opportunity on an ongoing basis to get to know some people who share common interests as you. When you have some content
to share on Twitter think about which
hashtag communities would actually appreciate this content the most. So let’s use this video as an example. This is a video about
Twitter for academic purposes and increasing your reach. And so, the communities
that come to mind right away are my colleagues at my university, are grad students that I know through a couple different communities. But more broadly, academic twitters. So people who regularly engage via the hashtags #AcademicChatter
and #AcademicTwitter. People in these online communities are the most likely to use the tips that I’m passing along through this video. So, I’m already designing
this video with you in mind. I also highly recommend
using your Twitter account to amplify the ideas and work of others. Not only are you helping them out and I think that will
probably make you feel good but there’s a good
chance that energy could somehow cycle its way back to
you at some point in time too. My fifth tip is to ask people
to engage with the tweet where you’d really like
for that to happen. So, if you need help and you’d
like them to retweet a tweet, please ask them to do so. They’ll be more likely to retweet it. So really if you’d like
them to reply to a question or participate in in a poll,
just make that really clear. If you have some work coming out you might put a tweet out there to say, hey, I’ve got this paper, this video, this whatever it is, blog post on the way. If you’re interested in
seeing it when it’s ready please like this tweet or reply
to this tweet to let me know and I’ll make sure you receive
a copy of it once it’s ready. My next tip is to recognize
that people are on Twitter at different points throughout the day and a accommodate for that. Think about your audience and when you think they
might be on Twitter the most. My experience has been that academics tend to be on Twitter most
first thing in the morning or at work for a quick check
of what’s the latest news. Maybe at lunch time or during a coffee break in the afternoon. But more likely towards sort
of the mid to late evening. I’ve also noticed a lot
of activity on weekends. Particularly, in afternoons
and Sunday evenings. Things to also keep in mind. Time zones. The fact that work week
happens on different days depending on what part of the
world an individual is in. And here’s a really
important fact to know. Within the span of about half an hour your tweet can become buried to the point that it’s much less likely that people are going to
come across the content that you shared. So what do you do? You tweet the same thing multiple times. To avoid coming across as repetitive, or overly attention seeking, what you can do is you can
retweet your original tweet and include a comment to say this is for the
evening Twitter crew if you posted it earlier in the day. Or similarly you could create a whole new tweet. If you’re doing that try
to change some language in the tweet a little bit so it doesn’t feel repetitive to the people who’ve seen it before. But again, indicate that you’re doing this for the purpose that
others will come across it. In case you missed it. By including the language I described, there’s less of a likelihood of someone possibly seeing both tweets and
becoming frustrated by that. They’ll see what your intention
is and they’ll understand. Another thing that you might do is take a look at your Twitter analytics. You can go to the Twitter
analytics website and it will have all kinds of
interesting information for you about which tweets of yours
were engaged with the most. And you can take a look at
what time of day that was and just get a better sense of when people might be
on the platform the most and ready to engage. My next tip is whenever
possible use an image, a GIF, or GIF depending on how
you like to say that. I know there’s some debate. Or a video with your tweet. Because when you do that
it’s much more likely that your tweet will be engaged with because the media attached
to it eye-catching. Something that you might not know is that videos that are
uploaded directly to Twitter perform much better than when
you say, link a YouTube video, and you just sort of see the
link to the video in the tweet. You’ll get a lot more engagement if you upload a video directly to Twitter. And that Twitter video
can only be so long, just one or two minutes max. Say you have a YouTube
account like myself. What I tend to do is do
a little bit of a teaser or share one point from the video. So people can get a sense of the video and if it’s something they
might want to watch more of before they take that extra
step of clicking on the link and giving the video a try. Now, the only thing is if
you’re uploading Twitter videos is that you’ll need
some additional software to close caption those videos. Which is really important from an accessibility point of view. The thing is, that software
can cost a fair bit of money. And for someone who is
a grad student like me, I haven’t managed to
get my hands on it yet. But I’m going to and I look forward to
being able to do that. The work-around that I’m using right now, which isn’t the most ideal,
but at least it’s something, is I’m able to manually close
caption my YouTube videos and I always let people in the tweet containing the Twitter video know that there’s full
closed captioning available via the full video on YouTube. So that’s the work-around
I’m using right now. And I know that people understand. I really do hope to get my
hands on that software soon. And the one thing I also share is that there’s a secondary benefit of posting that closed
captioning on Twitter. It’s because not everyone
can listen to the video while they’re watching it. They might be in a public environment. Which that wouldn’t be appropriate. So, the closed captioning
can also allow them to engage with your video as well. So, it’s a good thing to do in many ways. My next tip is to let people
know that you have Twitter. Include it in your email signature. If you’re at a conference, participate in a conference hashtag and people will come across
your Twitter that way. Let people who engage with your
other social media accounts, maybe it’s Facebook, maybe it’s LinkedIn. Maybe it’s something like Research Gate. Academia.edu. YouTube. Let them know that you use Twitter and encourage them to follow you. I always mention my Twitter account at the end of every presentation
I give at a conference. And I always frame it as a
way for us to stay connected until next time. And so you can do that on your last slide and encourage people
to get out their phones right then and there so
they don’t forget to do that if they’d like to stay connected. I hope you found these tips helpful. If you’d like to follow my Twitter account and see how I continue
to incorporate these tips in the coming weeks, please do. You can find me @JACQUIEBEAULIEU. In addition to Twitter, we can also stay connected via Instagram. My handle is @PHDESSENTIALS. Thank you so much to
everyone who has subscribed and clicked the notifications
bell to receive updates from my channel. Your support of this
project means so much to me. It wouldn’t be possible without you. So until next time, wishing you a beautiful
and productive week. Bye friends.

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  • What questions do you have about using Twitter as a higher education researcher or professional? Please me me know! Myself or another member of our community will do our best to answer these. Thanks for watching!