Dr Falkner Goes to Canberra Day 1 “How to Tweet Like a Pro” (#smp2014 #AdelED @thesiswhisperer)

This is going to be somewhat odd as I’m blogging about someone telling me how to tweet and then this blog will get tweeted.

You might want to read that again. I think I’m bleeting.

Seriously, though, I’ve been looking forward to this as social media is not something I’m very good at. I’m certainly very verbose and my exploding stream of text is a familiar sign at the conferences I’m attending but I don’t think I’m very effective. Let’s throw over to Dr Inger Mewburn, Director of Research Training, The Australian National University (@thesiswhisperer) who has a lot more to say about it. (At 13,000 followers, she’s got good credentials, but it took over 40,000 tweets over 4 years to make this happen.)

In 30 minutes, Dr Mewburn is going to cover some Twitter basics (which I won’t share) and some tactics for growing your network (which I will.) (She thinks one of the reasons she’s grown on Twitter is that Twitter is an allied channel in conjunction with her blog and Facebook.)(I seem to like parenthetical comments.)

Twitter can feel like a firehose in the face but you can channel it to read it at your own pace. (I still find it like a firehose, but I really liked the analogy of FaceBook as a street of dinner parties and Twitter as a noisy pub full of people.)

Is Twitter a good way to drive up download and citation of your papers? Downloads appear to go up and citations do, too, (sadly, this is only two data points but it looks interesting). You’re giving stuff away, in effect, but like a DJ rather than Robin Hood.

If you want to focus your blog then pick one main topic and aim 70% of your tweets at that with two other topics that take up the rest. All of these topics should be something that you know about!

Thick and thin tweets (David SIlver): your tweet should send more value than just text.

Seven primary tactics for growing your network (I’m not showing up anywhere so I’m guessing I need to work on this):

  1. Tell us what’s happening, but use thick tweets – use handles, tags, URLs, link in other people.
  2. Meet people before you get there (introduce yourself before you show up!)
  3. Show us something cool (and tell us why). Share cool URLs in a thick way. (“Crafting your links as academic click bait” is the name of my new band. Forward announce and then back announce in the same tweet!
  4. Please – have an opinion!
  5. Tweets with pictures get more clicks but they have to be the right pictures. Videos show a boost in tweets about music but not in other topics.
  6. When someone talks to you, talk back.
  7. Social media management with a light touch. How do you fit this into your brief time? Use a desktop client (Tweetdeck and Tweetbot) and schedule them for peak hours, morning commute and 8pm, to hit the major periods of reading. Other applications include FlipBoard, Pocket, Zyte (sp?) and Buffer. (Nick note: I must be honest and note that a four application workflow is not what I would call a light touch.)

Lots of great information and really useful – time to start putting it into practice.



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