Jul 05 2016

3 Twitter Best Practices for the Higher Ed Community

Faculty and staff can make the most out of social media by following these simple guidelines.

Twitter has left its mark on higher ed.

Institutions across the country turn to the platform to check out prospective students, engage current students and graduates, and broadcast safety messages across campus. Professors may even integrate Twitter and other social channels into their coursework to improve learning outcomes.

Beyond connecting faculty and staff with students, Twitter also promotes collaboration among peers — thousands of them. But Joshua Kim, the director of digital learning initiatives at the Dartmouth Center for the Advancement of Learning, says higher ed leaders shouldn’t put the focus on numbers.

“Good higher ed use of Twitter has nothing to do with how many followers that you have,” he writes in an Insider Higher Ed blog post. “What matters more than how many followers you have is how connected you are to your followers.”

He offers these three best practices for getting the most out of Twitter:

  • Make sure your tweets fit into larger conversations and don’t read like a monologue
  • Share information your professional network will find useful, including links, data and commentary
  • Write in a voice that followers will find authentic and well informed

Kim also recommends using hashtags to find and join education-focused conversations and follow live events. For instance, higher ed leaders attending August’s Campus Technology Conference in Boston can track the #campustech hashtag to catch all the action.

In response to Kim’s advice, Bryan Alexander — one of EdTech’s 2016 Must-Read Higher Ed IT bloggers — lists his own uses for Twitter: performing research, keeping up with his field and soliciting reactions to his ideas.

“I hurl thoughts and links at the Twitterverse, which (sometimes) yields feedback,” he writes. “That helps me work.”

Do you have additional uses for Twitter? Leave them in the comments below.


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