Twitter for Higher Education
Information Dissemination and Networking
Shape your professional profile using platforms like Twitter ( Azu, et al., 2012) and bring awareness to your field of research. Anyone searching the internet might find you!
- Choose a hashtag or hashtags that you can use when you Tweet about research of interest. Using the hashtags will help make the tweets discoverable.
- Have your research team create Twitter profiles to tweet their and others' research.
- Keep a departmental list of Twitter users so that you can easily tag each other.
- Consider holding a Twitter-based Journal Club or Virtual Chat.
Live Tweeting the Meeting
Live-tweeting events and conferences can allow for engagement beyond the attendees and enable a thoughtful conversation to continue past the event ( Barnes, et al., 2018).
- Choose a hashtag for the event and tell participants about it in registration materials, on the website, and at the event.
- Mark all tweets about the event with the chosen hashtag.
- Ask the conference team to create or share their Twitter handles. Tag them in the Tweets when appropriate (on authored papers, on events where they are presenting, etc.).
- Put together a master list of event-related Twitter users for the event that participants can follow and tag.
- Download the Twitter app to your smartphone or use the Twitter website or both.
- Register for an account.
- Add a professional photo and write a brief bio about your areas of interest. You can use hashtags in your bio to be more easily discoverable.
- Follow users and accounts in your areas of interest.
- Check your Twitter feed once or twice a day to like and retweet content of interest, or respond to others' tweets to start a respectful discussion.
- When you feel comfortable, you can begin tweeting on your own.
Becoming a Twitter Pro
- Keep a separate professional account and refrain from engaging in sensitive topics, like politics, from your professional account.
- Use a professional photo so that you are recognizable to your peers.
- Retain personal boundaries and be mindful of giving out too much identifying information since all the information is public.
- Don’t tweet anything you wouldn’t say out loud in public.
- Photos, GIFs, graphics, and links receive more engagements than just text.
- You can incorporate polls into your tweets to get feedback from key stakeholder groups.
Ethics in the Twitterverse
- DO ask permission to share photos of colleagues and peers before posting.
- DO cite your sources.
- DO stick to professional and collegial discourse.
- DON’T share patient information or photographs without explicit consent.
- DON’T diagnose or give medical medical advice.
- DON’T share speaker slides if they ask you not to.
- DON’T share unpublished data.
Reference: Barnes, S. S., Kaul, V., & Kudchadkar, S. R. (2019). Social media engagement and the critical care medicine community. Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, 34(3), 175-182. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0885066618769599
- Impressions – the number of times a tweet shows up in a uers’s timeline
- Engagements – the number of times a user interacts with a tweet
- Retweet – sharing someone else’s tweet on your timeline
- Like – liking someone else’s tweet by pressing the heart
- Reply – leaving a comment on someone else’s tweet
- Hashtag – content marked with a # to make tweets discoverable
- Mentions – tagging another user with their handle
- Followers – users who are viewing your content
- Following – users whose content appears in your timeline
A Selected Bibliography about Twitter in Medicine
- Azu, M.C., Lilley, E.J., & Kolli, A.H. (2012). Social media, surgeons, and the Internet: an era or an error? The American Surgeon, 78(5), 555-558. https://doi.org/10.1177/000313481207800537
- Barnes, S. S., Kaul, V., & Kudchadkar, S. R. (2019). Social media engagement and the critical care medicine community. Journal of Intensive Care Medicine, 34(3), 175-182. https://doi.org/10.1177%2F0885066618769599
- Daneshjou, R., & Adamson, A. S. (2020). Twitter Journal Clubs: Medical Education in the Era of Social Media. JAMA Dermatology. [https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2762875] (https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamadermatology/article-abstract/2762875)
- Eysenbach, G. (2011). Can tweets predict citations? Metrics of social impact based on Twitter and correlation with traditional metrics of scientific impact. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 13(4), e123. https://doi.org/10.2196/jmir.2012
- Kress, D., Godack, C. A., Berwanger, T. L., & Davidson, P. M. (2018). The new script of nursing: using social media and advances in communication to create a contemporary image of nursing. Contemporary Nurse, 54(4-5), 388–394. https://doi.org/10.1080/10376178.2018.1537720
- Pemmaraju, N., Mesa, R. A., Majhail, N. S., & Thompson, M. A. (2017). The use and impact of Twitter at medical conferences: best practices and Twitter etiquette. Seminars in Hematology, 54(4), 184-188. https://doi.org/10.1053/j.seminhematol.2017.08.003
- Van Noorden, R. (2014). Online collaboration: Scientists and the social network. Nature news, 512(7513), 126. https://www.nature.com/news/online-collaboration-scientists-and-the-social-network-1.15711
- Ventola C. L. (2014). Social media and health care professionals: benefits, risks, and best practices. P & T: a peer-reviewed Journal for Formulary Management, 39(7), 491–520. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4103576/
The content of this guide was originally created by me for the Welch Medical Library Research Guides at Johns Hopkins University.