7 ways to raise your profile on Twitter

Research and innovation

Kirsten Thompson is a Learning Technologist and Webmaster in the Staff and Departmental Development Unit at the University of Leeds. You can follow Kirsten on Twitter @_KirstenT. Here she shares seven ways to help raise your academic profile on Twitter.

Close of a person using a phone to post to social media

Twitter can be a powerful and valuable tool in your professional toolkit, providing you use it thoughtfully and align its use with specific goals. Some of the benefits include:

  • Extending your professional network
  • Increasing engagement with your work
  • Managing your digital footprint and reputation.

How to raise your profile on Twitter

1.   Have a strong bio

Your Twitter bio (profile) should include a headshot of yourself, one that makes you recognisable when you meet people at conferences and events. Your bio should also make clear your interests; why should people connect with you and what can they expect from you when you tweet? Adding a link to your bio can also assist with verifying you are who you say you are eg link to your professional profile on a University website or your blog; this is only effective if the site you link to also links back to your Twitter account.

2.   Use hashtags

If there is a hashtag (keyword) associated with a project or event you are involved in (or attending) and you want to promote it, use that hashtag appropriately when you tweet. Other people interested in your project or event will be able to find you via that hashtag and equally, you will be able to find others who are also using the hashtag.

3.   Use Twitter Lists

You do not need to “follow” everyone on Twitter in order to alert them to your existence. Create Lists on Twitter to organise accounts that interest you into categories. Lists can be public (visible to other Twitter users) or private (visible only to you). When you create a public list and add a Twitter account to it, the account holder receives a notification. On receipt of that notification, they will likely take a look at your bio and may follow you, if your bio and tweets appeal to them.

Twitter Lists also help filter the noise on Twitter; when you view a list you will see a feed of the latest tweets from the accounts who are included in that list. Lists can also be created to add value to your community on Twitter eg a list of Twitter accounts representing people who are involved in your project or attended an event.

4.   Consider separating personal and professional

If your aim is to raise your profile on Twitter (professionally), people are likely going to want to connect with you because of your professional practice, not because of your personal interests. That's not to say that you should not be personable; it's called "social" media for a reason. Just keep your use aligned with what you promised in your bio.

5.   Share other people’s content

Social media is about community, not the individual, so carefully curate relevant content from other people that will add value to your connections. Setting up RSS feeds or subscribing via email to your favourite blogs, journals and news sites, will provide a rich source of valuable content that you can share. When you share someone else's content, check to see if they have a presence on Twitter too and if so, mention their Twitter username when you tweet a link to their content; they will notice you and no doubt appreciate it and may give you a mention, which their followers can see too.

6.   Interact with other users

It is perfectly acceptable for some Twitter accounts to choose a "broadcast only" strategy, whereby they only use Twitter as a feed to push out information. If you want to raise your profile though, most individuals need to interact with other users and there are various ways that you can achieve this. For example:

  • Re-tweet someone else's tweet
  • Add tweets that are valuable to your "Favourites"; this is a quick way of paying a compliment. Note, those Favourites are public on your profile, so only "Favourite" tweets that you want to be publicly associated with and never use Favourites to bookmark tweets containing links to articles you haven't yet read.
  • Join the conversation by replying to someone else's tweet
  • Join a scheduled Twitter chat. Twitter chats have a hashtag and can follow a set structure of Q&A. For inspiration, take a look at Tweet Reports Twitter Chat Schedule.

7.   Schedule posts

Scheduling your tweets can save you time as well as assist you with maintaining your visibility. I use Buffer and pay $10 USD per month for the Awesome plan (you can use it for free to schedule a maximum of 10 tweets at a time). It enables me to efficiently manage multiple social media accounts and that alone increases my following.

What are you doing right now to raise your profile on Twitter?

I would love to know what strategies you are finding successful or what you plan to experiment with if you are just getting started. Let me know in the comments below.

Contact us

If you would like to get in touch regarding any of these blog entries, or are interested in contributing to the blog, please contact:

Email: research.lubs@leeds.ac.uk
Phone: +44 (0)113 343 8754

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and may not reflect the views of Leeds University Business School or the University of Leeds.