Tweeting styles

There are three main tweeting styles.

  • Substantive tweets are written in complete sentences, and are always intelligible on their own. They can appear formal or corporate so are often used by large organisations or news outlets, such as @guardiannews. The final part may be a shortened URL taking you to the full item or site. This style is suitable for teaching-based use and for accounts linked to blogs, as well as official department accounts. For individual academics this style may seem too formal, but is more suitable for senior academics already known for their research intensive careers.
  • The conversational style is more fragmented and relaxed, with users sharing stories from a variety of sources, engaging in conversation, and making more use of abbreviations. The content is eclectic and covers professional and personal interests, so is popular with individual tweeters from all backgrounds. This style will suit younger academics, and the personalized element can help students to empathize with tutors. The style can work well for blogs which thrive on comments and interaction, although is problematic for department accounts.
  • middle ground or compromise style is feasible and is widely used in academia. Many thinktanks, blogs, magazines, and companies also adopt this style of tweeting, as it takes the best of both other styles. Again, this tweet ends with a shortened URL. This style conveys personality well without being too informal, and suits a smaller academic department. However, ‘control anxieties’ or internal rivalries can complicate its use in large departments, and it is not really suitable for whole-university level.

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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