Building your followers

Building up your followers

Whether you’re using Twitter as an individual or for a group project, tweeting regularly will ensure that you attract new followers.

  • Collective accounts are the easiest to keep active because there is a constant stream of news and information to tweet about. It is legitimate to repeat tweets in a rephrased form throughout the day, as not all of your followers will be paying attention all the time.
  • Individuals might want to decide how often they want to tweet and try to stick to that, once a day is a good start. Tweeting will soon become a part of your routine. Try to send out tweets at popular times of day, usually 10-11am, or 2-3pm for UK readers, but international readers will access at different times. Individuals rarely repeat tweets, but some respond to comments in ways that help direct attention to the original tweet. Also learn lessons from which style of tweet works best for your audience. Which get retweeted or bring in most readers for your blog or research papers?
  • Updates from special events can be interesting for your followers. Departments, projects and professional bodies can use also conferences and events to tweet more often. Aim to provide those who could not attend with details of what is going on, commentary or gossip, links to podcasts or webcasts of the conference, details of where to download papers, and so on. Many conferences now assign a Twitter hashtag (#) to their event. Using the main search bar you could do a search for the relevant hashtag, then scroll through the results to see who else is attending and is worth trying to talk to at the end. Others will be flattered that you’ve seen their tweets, and will no doubt have tips to exchange.
  • Following other users is an important reciprocal means of growing your followers. If you consider following someone, look through their tweets first to make sure, because being a follower is a kind of endorsement. If you follow them, they are likely to follow you.
  • Promote your Twitter profile through your email signature, business card, blog posts and presentations, and encourage others to contact you this way if it is appropriate.
  • Being careful with Twitter It is important to manage your online reputation. Academics and researchers need to bear in mind the importance of not broadcasting views that could backfire with their employers, colleagues, students and others. Remember, all tweets are public unless you change your settings. It is best not to tweet if you’re feeling ratty late at night and never when drunk! If you do happen to tweet anything you regret, you can find the delete button if you run your mouse over the offending tweet.

Creative Commons License
PILOT - Communication, using Twitter in university research and teaching by LSE Public Policy Group and Marion Kelt, GCU is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Based on a work at http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/files/2011/11/Published-Twitter_Guide_Sept_2011.pdf