The Greatness of Twitter for Educators
[dropcap]I[/dropcap]’ve been going Twitter crazy now for the past month or so. It was on and off for a while, but never really intense. Now I’m going full speed ahead and meeting amazing people in the process. Especially in the education world!
There are so many incredible people that care enough to create a dialogue outside of school. They talk about values, problems they’re having, start thought-provoking discussions, answer your questions, and give each other support FOR FREE! It’s incredible!
Great “Tweeple” (I know. I hate it too.) give tons of value to gain influence on Twitter. Influence is measured by the number of followers you have reading your tweets and engagement on Tweets (favorites and retweets – the equivalent of likes and shares on Facebook).
In order to get discovered on Twitter you have to engage regularly. Here are just a few ways to get started!
Here are four things you can do to jump in, especially if you’re new.
1. Observe and Show Gratitude
First thing’s first- Hop on Twitter and find a conversation.
For example, every Tuesday evening around 7pm EST, I get on Twitter and check out #edchat to see what the latest topics are. (If you don’t know how to check out a hashtag, just sign on to Twitter and search the hashtag phrase, with the symbol in front, and under “Results for #example” click “all”. There you will see a live stream of conversation).
I find a topic that people are tweeting on, and begin favoriting (hitting the star button on a tweet) things I like. This sends a notification to the author and basically says “Thank you for what you’ve shared”. This is what the author is looking for; that his message is falling on appreciative ears.
If you see something so compelling that you’d like to share it on your Twitter feed, hit the retweet button (the little cycle of arrows under the tweet). This is more powerful than a “favorite”, because now not only is this tweet being shared with the author’s followers, but yours as well! You want re-tweets! This is the goal!
Think of a favorite as a pat on the back, and a retweet as a personal endorsement. Make sure any retweet speaks to your personal brand. For example, if you follow @sextalk and probably don’t want to retweet anything as an educator! (I’m here to help…)
Jump in the conversation!
Hit the reply button and add your two cents. Critical: Be sure to add the hashtag to each tweet you write if it pertains to that conversation!
Keep it positive! Social Media is NOT the place for negativity. If I want to be upset, I’ll turn on the news.
Keep using the reply button to keep the conversation going!
You may get new followers from this. Follow back, by hitting the plus button on the notification!
PRO TIP: If you reply, it will start the tweet with the @username of the person you’re tweeting to. This tweet will only appear in the feed of people who follow you both. If you want ALL of your followers to see this reply tweet, start it with a period and a space (. ). For example: “@ryanmguth I totally agree!” is now “. @ryanmguth I totally agree!”
3. Share your own content
Maybe you wrote a blog post, created an infographic, took a beautiful picture, or have an observation or inspirational quote!
Go to your feed and compose a tweet!
If it pertains to a hashtag, add it! If you’re not sure what to add, search some hashtags to see if there’s any activity on them! If so, add it to your tweet!
Remember, only those who follow you will see your tweet! So get to building that audience by jumping into the conversation!
4. Share other people’s content
Sharing articles that you find helpful is a great way to provide value to your list! (You could even share this one, if you find it helpful… wink, wink)
Let’s practice! Simply click on the social share button contained on this page that corresponds to Twitter! That’s the one with the birdie, if you didn’t know already! Once you sign in, it will generate a tweet and tag me at the author. Tagging the author by mentioning their @username will notify the author that you’re sharing their content and make them VERY happy! You may even get a follow from them!