Next to Facebook, Twitter is the social network that gets the most press time. The beauty of Twitter is that it is largely public and allows other technologies and clients to connect into it to do interesting things. Twitter can be an excellent tool for customer service and quick messages to students. The learning curve on Twitter tends to be steeper relative to other social technologies, but once you understand it, the power it can unlock is tremendous.
Twitter also allows you to participate in social listening, which is the ability to look around you to find out what others are saying. Wondering what’s trending around your campus? Search for commonly used hashtags (search terms) that your students use. You can also search tweets within a certain geographic area. It’s an excellent way to get real time feedback.
Twitter also works exceptionally well for classes. Encourage your students to begin to use it to share resources and quick messages. There are a number of research studies, particularly by Reynol Junco, that have show benefits to student engagement.
Some great twitter clients you may want to check out for managing your tweets and social listening:
Another great tool for use with Twitter is Paper.li. Paper.li acts as a newsletter digest (daily or weekly) that pulls links to articles from tweets with certain hashtags to create email/web newsletters out of them. A solution like this is perfect if you’re using a specific hashtag when teaching a class.
A good video that gives you an overview of how Twitter works:
Twitter started the “hashtag” concept. Still unclear as to what a hashtag is? This video will help explain:
Tips for maximizing your “reach” (the number of people who will see your content):
This infographic from NJI Media gives some good quick tips: