Twitter: A Guide for Academics

Twitter is what you make of it, says Michelle Edelstein.Michelle Edelstein

Edelstein, who is manager of planning, communication and marketing at Rutgers School of Public Health, led a Twitter workshop for Rutgers faculty on Oct. 6.

Twitter can be an extraordinary tool. Twitter can help a faculty member become a thought leader and connect with researchers and other faculty members worldwide. Yet often faculty members aren’t sure how best to make use of the social media platform. Twitter, with its own language and pace of communication, can seem daunting. 

In the workshop, Edelstein offered a number of practical Twitter tips, including how often to Tweet (consistency is key), how best to share content and attract followers, and how to establish an appropriate voice.

Edelstein offered these tips:

  • Don’t use Twitter only to promote your work. Engagement is bi-directional; have a conversation.
  • Do show some personality; that puppy video will humanize you.
  • Don’t use Twitter sporadically; Twitter should become a daily habit.
  • Beware typos. You don’t want to get noticed for the wrong things.

To help build your Twitter community, ask questions of your followers. And track your analytics, noting which Tweets get attention. As for Twitter trolls, Edelstein shared this advice: Don’t engage.

Edelstein, who also addressed a number of individual questions during the faculty Q&A, will offer her Twitter workshop again in Spring 2021.