Twitter was a popular theme for April’s e-coffee@SGH, with a great turnout to hear Penny Lee from Medicine’s Marketing team share lots of tips for top Tweeting. Penny gave a brilliant presentation ‘Twitter for Scientists’, explaining what might be the benefits of engaging with Twitter, sharing advice about how to get the most out of it and suggesting some useful accounts to follow.
Penny helped us over the hurdle of knowing our handles from our hashtags (@handle: a user’s account, that has to be set up in advance and content is determined by that user; #hashtag: included in a tweet as a means of finding that Tweet and grouping it with related content – no need to set it up, Tweeting it brings it into being). A hashtag needs to help direct users to relevant posts, so should be identifiable for searchers. Over-generic terms won’t lead searchers to meaningful content.
Some users prefer to keep personal and professional accounts separate, but it can help to have a balance between the two – it’s important to come across as human! An 80:20 balance between professional and personal content is recommended. Don’t just retweet – including your own contributions will give you a stronger presence.
Keeping Tweets concise improves engagement, as does accompanying a Tweet with a photo. Twitter now also has a live video feature, which we experimented with during the session. Shortening URLs for Tweets is no longer required, as Twitter takes care of this and it helps users to see the real URL so they know where they are heading.
To get involved, say something – if you are just reading, no-one will know you are there! Cautious Tweeters were encouraged not to be shy about contributing. Conversations move on quickly, and Twitter can be a great tool for networking, finding out new information and sharing ideas.
The full presentation is available to Medicine users on Sharepoint here: https://intranet.soton.ac.uk/sites/medicine/research/Pages/Public-Engagement-with-Research.aspx
Join us on Wednesday 24th May, 10-11am in LF9 for our next session, when Scott Border will be talking about creating and using videos for learning.