There are a lot of things you can do to be active and engage with different communities, as well as your own followers.
These are a few of my favorite tips to get you started:
- Twitter Chats: My favorite Twitter Chat in the higher education realm is #SAchat. For social media chats, I like #CMWorld and #ContentWritingChat. I use the TweetDeck app to follow my favorite hashtags, connect with other professionals, and join the conversations.
- Consciously build your followers and following: Pay attention to the lists of people you follow by looking out for influential people and organizations in the profession. If you’re not sure about following someone, look at their posts and make sure the types of things they’re posting line up with what you deem appropriate and worthwhile. This is just as important, if not more important, than the list of people who follow you.
- Be a participant, not a lurker: Engage in the conversations happening around you. When you arrive to a meeting, don’t immediately pull out your phone and start checking email (this one isn’t geared just towards social media, but good life advice in general). Notice the people sitting at the table, and be civil. Don’t forget that your PLN is not only virtual, but also the personal connections you make daily.
- Live tweet: While participating in events around campus, or conferences, use designated hashtags to connect with other people at the event, or people who are attending virtually. Many conferences not only have a general hashtag to follow, but often times they’ll have individual hashtags for each session to follow.
- Play the #hashtag game: Use common hashtags that others use in your line of work, but also mix in unique hashtags that are specific to your brand. Try not to use generic hashtags that everyone uses so that your posts don’t get lost in the traffic. Also look at your hashtags from all angles. Make sure the words make sense when smushed together and with different capitalizations. You don’t want your hashtag to be misinterpreted or read wrong because users didn’t capitalize the same letters as you (i.e. – #NowThatchersDead vs. #nowthatchersdead). Lastly, make sure your hashtag isn’t being used by other people or brands to promote a message that does not follow your vision or goals.