A Checklist for Researchers Using Twitter

A Checklist for Researchers Using Twitter

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Six tips to improve your twitter game. Guaranteed or your money back 😊.

  1. Check it. Okay, not a ground-breaking idea here. However, all too often people say, “it does not work” when all they did was create an account, spent a day or two doing “stuff” then stopped. Now their views are “it does not work”. That’s like registering for a conference, never attending a session, and telling people research conferences are no good. Instead, check twitter daily. Scroll your feed. If you feed has poor content CHANGE THE ACCOUNTS YOU FOLLOW. You control your feed. Set it up to have content you like. 
  1. Follow interesting accounts. Like I said above, you control the content you see. So, if what you’re seeing is rubbish, change it. Stop following the accounts you don’t like. Use search to find content you’re interested in. Follow those accounts. Spending time curating the accounts you follow will be time well spent. 
  1. Like stuff. If checking content is like turning up to the conference, liking is the equivalent of applauding at the end of the talk. So, if you read the tweet and enjoyed it – show some love. Hit the heart emoji! The (added) benefit of this will be more content that you like appearing in your feed. 


  1. Share stuff. Sharing on twitter has two options, share; and share with quote. Either is fine. Sharing is like saying to someone, “Did you see [name] talk at the conference?”. Sharing with a quote is like saying, “[Name] said [something] at conference, and here’s what I think”. Or perhaps it is like standing up at the end of the talk and asking a question or making a comment. Either way, you’re providing commentary on other people’s work. Keeping it positive is a good rule of thumb. 
  1. Create content. Most people, most of the time, say they don’t know what to post. So, here are some ideas:
      1. Articles – You’ve read or written. What you liked about them. The process of reading or writing.
      2. Research – Collecting data. Approaches you use. Tips on their use. What you’ve had a tweak to make things work or work better for you.
      3. Questions – Twitter has a dedicated poll function. So, you can limit responses. But you could also just ask a question. Especially good if you are troubleshooting an experiment or analysis. 
  1. Help people. Head to the search area and type in something you are good at or know about. Then look through the list of recent and popular tweets. Read them. If there’s a question you can answer – answer it. If there’s a problem someone has posted about – provide advice. If there’s an experience someone has regaled – regal them with your similar experience. If people say #sendcatvideos do it.

Dr Richard Huysmans is the author of Connect the Docs: A Guide to getting industry partners for academics. He, in collaboration with Jane Anderson, has built the only LinkedIn program for research translation. He has taken that approach and delivers high quality practical advice to the education, research and government sectors in the use of social media for academic and career progress. He is driven by the challenge of helping researchers make use of practical tools for greater impact. He knows social media and how make it work for research.

To find out more, call 0412 606 178, email (Richard.huysmans@drrichardhuysmans.com) or subscribe to the newsletter. He's on LinkedIn (Dr Richard Huysmans), Twitter (@richardhuysmans), Instagram (@drrichardhuysmans), and Facebook (Beyond Your PhD with Dr Richard Huysmans).

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