Just a quick one from me today inspired by a Huffpost article written by a colleague of mine outlining the ways Twitter has changed the world, I thought I would throw in 5 ways I have used Twitter at work.
1. As well as allowing me to stay up to date with things that are happening on campus, Twitter has allowed me to network and connect with external companies to ask them to work with our students. This has included projects with Deloitte and ACCA. Companies having an almost round the clock team of people running their social media pages has meant that I have been able to reach them more easily than via email or phone.
2. It has allowed me to access information faster than before and share it with students. Having it as a main part in my social media dashboard also means I can have it ‘running in the background’ and dip in and out retweeting things I think our students should see.
3. Twitter has allowed me to help academics make their lectures more accessible to students. This has mainly come in the form of facilitating Q&A. I have also been able to use Twitter to access events I can’t attend or to raise a point I don’t feel brave enough to make in front of a large crowd of peers.
4. Twitter has allowed me to connect with the students I work with and see what is on their minds and the kind of things they are sharing. This also extends to prospective students who engage in hashtags set up by the University for our open days. This also allows me to do simple things like thank them for coming or saying how I am looking forward to meeting them when they arrive. Just acknowledging them before they come and visit a big institution can make them feel more welcome.
5. Twitter has helped me identify trends and current issues within Higher Education and has meant I have been able to read about points of view beyond the people that I work with. Often working at a university in a non-research or non-academic role means you can feel as though you work in a bubble. Not often getting out to conferences means I may not get the chance to chat with peers from other universities. Twitter lets me do this, even if in some cases I follow people I don’t necessarily agree with.
Before I came into this role I had little interest in Twitter but now I use it every day and have multiple accounts (for work, I’m not weird). I find it much faster to use than Facebook and despite the 140 character limit I actually find it helps me keep my thoughts concise. It also allows me to connect with people globally whereas with Facebook I am mainly restricted to my friendship group. I would encourage students and staff to stay up to date with things at their institutions and at others as you never know what opportunities it will surprise you with.