Ah, summertime. Beaches….vacations…camping…twitter. What?
Yes, there’s room in your schedule (I hope) for a lot of fun things this summer. But summer’s also a great time to do some professional learning. And what better way to do that than via a vast and knowledgeable Personal Learning Network (PLN). And what better way to build your PLN than through twitter.
Today we’ll focus on building a following. Here are our five tips for going from a small group of followers to a massive throng of folks who can barely stand to wait between tweets to hear from you.
They sound like something illicit, but they’re not. They’re the little tags (preceded by the # sign) that you see in people’s tweets. If you put the right ones in yours, your tweets will get seen by more people, and you’ll get more followers. Be sure to use appropriate ones, though. If you’re tweeting about the flipped classroom, don’t sneak in a #GoLakers or something like that so that more people read it. Need a list of tags? @Cybraryman1 has a good one.
2. Twitter Chats
If you’re a regular reader, you know I love a twitter chat. Not only are they great ways to learn. They also help you find great folks to follow, and help others discover you. You can read my earlier posts about twitter chats here and here. Need a list of chats? @cybraryman1 has that for you, too.
If you’re only following a small number of people, a great way to build your PLN is by simply following more. Lots of educators on twitter will follow you back after you follow them. (Just make sure you have a good bio that clearly states that you’re an educator and a profile pic. That egg icon just isn’t cool.) Following 100 educators on twitter is helpful. But in our experience, following 1,000 is infinitely MORE helpful. Don’t worry about not being able to keep up with your stream–you’ll be fine.
Once you’ve followed a large quantity of people, you’ll see some really good tweets coming in. Be sure to retweet, so those tweets are seen by even more people. You can pick up a lot of followers this way because people appreciate someone helping to spread their tweets to a larger audience.
That great article you just read…that great project you heard about…that TED Talk you watched…share them with your PLN by tweeting about them. When people discover that you tweet great stuff, you’ll get new followers by the dozens. Just make sure to share responsibly…always cite your sources. For example, if you love this blog post and tweet a link to it, slap a “via @engaginged” on the end of your tweet so folks know where you found it.
These tips will hopefully help you get some quality learning done this summer. If you need more help with twitter, be sure to check out our twitter handout. Also, be sure to subscribe to our blog for more posts about summer learning. AND be sure to tune in to Engaging Ed Radio Monday, June 11. The entire episode will be devoted to summer learning. Details on that are here.