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Twitter 101


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A quick guide to using Twitter, mainly aimed at researchers and future researchers

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Twitter 101

  1. 1. Twitter 101: 10 Steps to Get You Started Adapted from So you’ve decided it’s time to tweet as a health care research professional. Congratulations, and welcome to the world of Twitter! While everyone approaches the Twitterverse differently, there are a few important steps that, when taken, will make your overall experience far richer. 1. Pick a short but memorable handle (Twitter ID) and use your own name for your account. Keep in mind that the handle (sometimes called a username) is the way that you’ll be identified throughout Twitter. It should take up as few characters as possible. 2. Choose a strong profile image. It’s important that you do this before you start to tweet. If you’re tweeting on behalf of a unit, use your logo. If this is a personal account, use a clear and professional headshot. You can also choose a cover photo. 3. Write a bio. You have 160 characters to explain who you are and what you do. Adding Twitter handles of units you’re affiliated with, and popular hashtags relevant to your expertise. For personal accounts, add “Opinions mine.” or something similar at the end to make it clear you’re not tweeting on behalf of your institution. In the link area, put a link to your professional profile/site or your LinkedIn page. 4. Send your first tweet. This serves as an introduction to the Twitter community, so make it simple and cordial, as well as reflective of the personality you want to project! 5. Connect with people, institutions and organizations you know. Chances are that you already know people on Twitter, and that organizations in your field, or news outlets you pay attention to, are already on Twitter. Following them is a simple way to grow your network – and it helps Twitter suggest other accounts you might want to follow based on their algorithms. Use Twitter’s search engine to find them by name or handle. 6. Explore even further to find accounts to follow. Check out Twitter’s suggestions for who else you should follow, and look at which accounts your favorite Twitter users are following. Use the Twitter search function, you’ll be able to find users who mention certain keywords in their profiles, or who work at your institution. 7. Let your network know you’re on Twitter. If you send a tweet and no one reads it, what’s the point? Put the word out to your network, include your Twitter handle in your email signature and business card, and post a link to your Twitter profile ( on your website. 8. Join the conversation. Jump into Twitter chats and the Twitter activity around conferences. Remember, one of the biggest benefits to Twitter is the two-way conversation that can happen! 9. When you read an article on the web that interests you, tweet it – with a comment! Use the ‘sharing’ button on the page, or copy the URL. Even adding “Interesting” or “Fascinating” before the headline and link adds your voice to the tweet. 10.Tweet, tweet, tweet. Whether you’re sharing news items or helpful links, or reacting to others’ tweets, make use of this medium and its power to reach and be reached by people worldwide, instantly and for free. Oh, and don’t forget to have a little fun!