Welcome to “7 Days of Twitter” – our first day is all about making the most of Twitter’s profile features. You may be setting an account up for the first time or revisiting an existing one to check it’s in good working order. When logged into Twitter, you can access your profile by clicking on your photo (top right) for “Profile and Settings”.
When someone comes across you on Twitter, they will most likely take a look at your profile to find our more about you. There are several options on Twitter to promote your research / academic self:
- Your Twitter handle or username (e.g. @rscsam): your actual name will be displayed next to it so it can be something different; keep it as short and memorable as possible. It is possible to change your Twitter username if you wish.
- Your photo: leaving this as the default Twitter egg makes you look like a spammer so it is important to upload something different! Many Twitter users don’t have their face as their profile image but there is a networking advantage in being recognizable, also in using the same image across all online profiles. The photo will be used on a small scale next to your tweets as well as on your profile page.
- Basic profile information:
- Location: Twitter is a global community so it’s good to let people know where you are in the world!
- URL: a Swansea University profile page proves your academic credentials or you may wish to link to a blog or a landing page that lists all your online profiles. Or change the link regularly to your latest book or paper.
- Blurb: you have just 160 characters to sum yourself up – this isn’t easy! The “Online Academic” suggests ‘I want to know WHO they are, WHERE they are, and WHAT they are doing in their ACADEMIC FIELD’. In his book, Mark Carrigan suggests presenting your own “story”, depending on your primary reasons for being on Twitter.
- Header image: the banner behind your profile page can be used to promote a recent book or paper, or an aspect of your work e.g. Amy Brown has an image of her latest book. Or just keep it decorative if you prefer: lots of Swansea academics feature our beautiful coastline like @Benfelen.
- Pinned tweet: three little dots under a tweet link to “More” options which include “Pin to profile page”. This will then appear as the top tweet for your profile = useful for recent publications or achievements e.g. SU’s Lesley Hulonce has her latest book as a pinned Tweet.
Task for Day 1 (or the weekend…)
Give your Twitter profile a quick check to make sure it’s looking good, then send this tweet so we can find you:
“Joining in #SU7DoT with @benfelen and @rscsam”
Using our two Twitter names means we will get alerted to your tweet; using the hashtag #su7dot means we can all find your tweet by searching on that hashtag. You could also tweet:
- if you changed anything as a result of this Day’s post
- is there anything in particular you look for on a good Twitter profile?
Twitter help: Customizing your profile
The Online Academic on “The Talking Business Card”
Mark Carrigan, “Social Media for Academic” (book)