Twitter is more than a tweeting social media platform and can do wonders in researchers’ careers. This article is for researchers from any domain to know how and why to use Twitter in their professional careers.
Our article “A guide to Twitter for researchers” focuses on detailed and tested ways researchers can apply on their Twitter accounts for a robust professional online presence.
Is Twitter good for Researchers?
Yes, Twitter holds a lot of significance for researchers.
- Along with sharing research papers, they can discuss with intellectuals from their field without waiting to meet in person.
- Researchers can discover and share study resources.
- Researchers can stay up-to-date on new findings and publications.
- Increase their work visibility among their followers, colleagues, science journalists, senior scientists, etc.
- Make a network outside their working area and construct prestige as a subject matter specialist.
I’m a Researcher. How is using Twitter going to benefit me?
Over thousands of researchers are using Twitter successfully in their academic research for various reasons.
- To build a community of professionals from your niche – You can follow your colleagues, friends, or other famous researchers to stay updated with new inventions in your field. You can build your community of followers interested in reading your articles.
- To promote published research articles: You can share your articles and blog post links, invite people to read your research works and increase downloads of your pdfs. Your hard work can impact and reach people from different countries.
A guide to Twitter for Researchers
Just creating a Twitter account and posting a tweet is not enough. You will have to understand how Twitter works and what features you use. Follow these simple tips to get started.
How to sign up to Twitter and create your profile
If you are new to Twitter, Open Its website or download the app. Please open it, click Sign up, and follow the on-screen instructions to create a new account. It will hardly take 5 minutes.
To Set up your profile, add your profile picture, write a bio describing your profession and add links to your website or blogs. Prefer to use your real name in your username so other users can easily find your profile. Personalize your Twitter experience by-
- Add topics and interests.
- Use Explore settings under the “Content you see” section to see content based on your location.
Who should I follow on Twitter?
Find your friends, colleagues, or professors who are already on Twitter. Once you select interests and topics, Twitter suggests accounts based on your activity. You can import your contacts, and Twitter will show those accounts.
Use the search bar to find research organizations, scholars, scientists, media channels, etc. Everyone has pre-decided names in their mind to follow that can provide more information. You will expand your network with time.
Steps to let other Twitter users find you.
Click on the three dots “More” option from the left corner. Click on “Settings & Privacy” and then the “Privacy and Safety” tab. Under the “your Twitter activity” section, select “Discoverability and contacts.”
This option allows people with your email address and phone number to find you on Twitter.
Tips for tweeting about your research
These steps will help you know how to use Twitter with tested working strategies.
Announce your published work along with a link to your article.
Post tweets along with the published work link. The link will redirect people toward the site. You can tag other co-authors, institutions, funders, investors, and guides that helped your work.
Use the Twitter thread and Moments feature when you need more than 180 characters to describe your work.
Ensure your post describes the article or topic accurately.
You have little words; write headlines that best describe your topic.
Engage your followers by asking them to comment and share their thoughts and feedback on your research work.
Don’t forget to add a call-to-action text to direct them to read the detailed version by opening the added link. Avoid using technical jargon.
This step can confuse the non-experts and stop them from further taking any action on your tweet. Translate into easy-to-understand words.
Hashtags are your biggest asset on Twitter. Spend some time researching and finding hashtags relevant to your posts. Also, observe which hashtags are trending in your niche under the #Explore tab.
Your potential audience can find your tweets if they search for the same hashtags used in your posts. That’s how other users discover your profile.
Create a hashtag to initiate conversations if you attend any event or conference. Twitter allows using only 1-2 hashtags in a tweet. Avoid overusing in the hope of gaining more reach.
Consider including a relevant and engaging image, gif, or video.
Adding images, gifs, or video makes your posts more attractive, motivating users to read your content. Make sure to resize images as per home feed size.
Use copyright-free images and give credits to the owner of the particular image.
You can add videos showing your journey from the planning phase to finally publishing the final article. Share your challenges and solutions used to overcome those phases.
All this motivates and strengthens your audience’s trust in your works. Limit your video duration to 2 minutes and 20 seconds.
Engage in Twitter conversations
Retweet content of other accounts you find helpful for your followers. Give them additional information and add your views while retweeting.
Comment on tweets of other accounts giving your thoughts on their content. Add username while commenting.
Twitter chats are public discussions based on a particular matter. Conduct your live chat by tweeting a hashtag so other participants can
Generally, there are pre-written questions that act as prompts. These are tweeted using a hashtag so participants can pursue and participate in the discussion.
Ten simple rules for getting started on Twitter as a scientist
These are tested strategies that have worked for other Scientists.
Rule 1: Start somewhere, but show up
We don’t learn everything in a day. Start by creating an account and add any first post. Implement ideas in your mind first and learn by observing the accounts you follow.
Develop a daily schedule of posting at least one piece of content. Here are some ideas for tweets.
- Write posts on Impressive articles you read.
- Share Book reviews.
- Write about your recently published articles.
- Share Beneficial resources for your students and researchers in your specialization.
- Share your experience of teaching Classes.
- Write about Conferences or events attending.
- Ask Questions about solutions from your community.
- Share Funding opportunities for interested newbies.
- Initiate and Take part in the Twitter discussions.
Rule 2: Discover opportunities in academia
Researchers in their early career stages should definitely be on Twitter as it’s a mine of the latest information on recently opened roles, research projects, grant calls, and new trends in the educational employment market.
Follow accounts of funds granting agencies, research labs, and trustworthy job columns in famous journals, local research groups, etc.
Observe senior researchers, as many have developed new research projects from online interactions on Twitter. Online discussions lead to new visions and concepts, forming the way to create national and international research projects.
Follow other successful senior scientists who share their experiences, struggles, rejections, and frustrations to motivate young researchers.
Twitter is a mentoring system that can profoundly impact young scholars’ self-confidence. Forms groups with other local researchers that can become a support and content distributing community.
Rule 3: Tweet stuff
Twitter works best when you interact with your community in different ways. Start by retweeting someone else’s posts with your followers. Start Quote-tweeting and add a unique taste to your tweets. Increase interaction by starting polls and commenting on other scientists. Learn How to quote a tweet.
Rule 4: Learn the rules
Twitter has some community guidelines for every user to maintain a polite environment. Avoid posting abusive, threatening, spreading hate, or violence-type content. Treat your audience with respect.
Give credits to others for their ideas. Avoid this kind of behavior called “sealioning,” where an individual repeatedly tweets at someone uninterested. This creates a negative image.
Use relevant hashtags. Avoid reacting impulsively when someone criticizes your research. Diplomacy is a critical element in creating scientific prestige. Check social media policies provided by your institute and stick to them.
Rule 5: Take care of yourself
Protect yourself from trolling and offensive discussions. Twitter has blocking/muting accounts and advanced muting settings. Block people who make a negative impact on your experience.
You can mute accounts of people whose tweets you want to avoid seeing in your timeline.
Don’t waste your day by spending all your time on Twitter. Overuse can have effects on your mental health. Social media can be addictive.
Set a schedule to post and interact. Log out in the remaining hours to avoid notifications from disturbing you.
Rule 6: Build your own community
It’s not necessary to follow everyone back. Follow people or accounts whose tweets you find helpful for your academic work. The kind of content you will share plays a role in forming a community of people with similar interests.
Rule 7: Interface with real life
Twitter is a fabulous way to network with people you meet in real life. Suppose you attend a conference and meet senior scientists whose ideas you get impressed with. You can follow them on Twitter for more helpful information in the future.
You can mention the conference hashtags in your tweets to announce your presence in advance to your followers.
Another way is to do live tweets and briefly outline the lectures you are attending. You can communicate content with people who are not part of the event.
Rule 8: Spread your message
Share your scientific accomplishments with your audience. For more exposure, outline the content with an image and hashtag.
Tag and mention the usernames of people who admire your work. Retweeting can put scientists or colleagues whom you think to deserve recognition.
Try to add humor to your content. Post at times relevant to your local audience can view your tweets at the top of their timelines.
Rule 9: Be a real person
Show your side along with posting professional content. Share your failures about a rejected research paper, job application, or more. This can provide moral support to other scientists.
Share small everyday details like a new book you read, an event or concert you visited, or things you do in your leisure time.
Rule 10: Great power & great responsibility
As your followers increase, carefully post tweets. Many individuals have landed in problems for things shared on Twitter. Make sure not to upset anyone.
Create a balance between sharing personal and professional stuff. Lift deserving up and give credits to mentors, students, and collaborators.
Using Twitter for Academic Research
Here are some recommendations on how to use Twitter for Academic Research.
Acquiring live data
Twitter is perfect for fetching data from an online survey. You can get answers from lots of participants. Twitter stores the automatic copy of your information in its archive. It is a tool for forthcoming historical study and disciplines such as sociology, geography, politics, psychology, and economics.
Twitter can help you find secondary sources and conduct a literature review. You can use TweetStats, to measure the numerous keywords of individuals you know as experts on particular matters.
Use Tweet-o-meter for crowdsourcing to help get mine of data. You can observe appropriate educational libraries, museums, research institutes, and academics.
Use Twitter to announce and show your published reports. Add relevant links, more information, and key milestones, and highlight new discoveries made by you.
A good presence on Twitter can help you get funders for your next projects. Use hashtags to increase your visibility in other searches.
We have written a detailed guide for researchers with new and old Twitter accounts. Sometimes, you may not like other behavior and not get the desired response.
Despite these probable downsides, We strongly recommend Twitter for researchers who need to mold themselves in their domain and tighten relationships with researchers.