Yesterday we reached a Twitter milestone of 20,000 followers.
Our @Jisc Twitter account began life at 11:33 on 12 January 2009 as a relatively automated service that fired out the latest news and event information from Jisc as and when it was uploaded to the website. There was little in the way of actual interaction and it wasn’t used to its full potential as an engagement tool.
Over the last couple of years we’ve tried to give @Jisc a bit more personality. We continue to use Twitter as the hot-off-the-press tool to share our news, blogs and events as soon as they are published, but also look to engage with our stakeholders in a less formal way. We provide quick responses to queries and share latest news, ideas and examples of best practice from around the world of #edtech.
I'm constantly scouring the web for interesting stories from education providers across the globe. My aim is to provide a stream that will keep our followers totally up to date with advances in educational technology and the projects or ideas that have an impact on it.
My top tweeting tips
We've come a long way from our first ever tweet:
JISC 'Orphan works' focus of new initiative: The Collections Trust and the Strategic Content Alliance have a.. http://tinyurl.com/7nfpse— Jisc (@Jisc) January 12, 2009
Here are some of my top recommendations to ensure you're using Twitter in the most effective way.
1. Perfect your mention technique
Starting a tweet with a @mention means that only those that follow both you and the mentioned account will see the tweet in their stream.
This is because it is treated as part of a conversation that would only be of interest to followers of both parties.
For example, the @Jisc tweet below will only be seen by people following both @Jisc AND @bufvc:
While putting punctuation at the beginning of the tweet, as this second example shows, will ensure it is seen by all @Jisc followers:
But most preferable is the following, which incorporates the @bufvc mention into the tweet without the need for a prefix:
2. Follow others
Follow relevant organisations, individuals, and key brand advocates.
Not following anyone makes it look like you just want to shout and not engage, which - as you can probably imagine - is not the most effective way of using Twitter.
3. Don't just talk about yourself
Don’t use Twitter to just shout about your own products and services. Share news, best practice and articles of potential interest to your followers from other relevant sources.
After all, if you don’t share anyone else’s stuff, why should they share yours?
4. Tag, tag, tag
If referring to a company or individual, and they happen to be on Twitter, tag them using their @username to ensure maximum visibility. Use any relevant hashtags – these might be event/time specific (such as #digifest14) or more general (such as #edtech).
But don’t overload your tweet with them; one is plenty and two should be the maximum.
5. Don't be a robot
Don’t use automated services that will post the same thing to all of your social media channels. Facebook and Twitter are fundamentally different platforms and your message should be tailored to each one.
If you don’t already follow @Jisc on Twitter, please do.