How to build your academic personal brand with Twitter in 10 minutes a day

Academic Twitter

Social media is about connections and conversations. Having an account and just ‘watching’ won’t build your brand and will just suck up more of your precious time. So how do you build your brand but not waste your time? Limit yourself to a set number of minutes a day and be strategic about how you spend that time. I recommend 10 minutes a day, however, over time you will figure out how much time will work for you. Start with 10 minutes and increase/decrease based on your results.

Choose two times a day when you can set aside 5 minutes when you won’t be disturbed (e.g. with your morning coffee, after lunch, right before bed). Set a timer for 5 minutes (or 10 minutes if you only want to touch social media once a day). When that timer stops, you stop. Come back tomorrow and build. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will your personal brand or social media presence. Miss a day? Thats okay! Just start again tomorrow. A few missed days won’t be noticed and it is most likely better than your previous weeks/months/years of not interacting. Don’t get hooked on being perfect, let yourself grow.

Daily actions to build your brand on Twitter

Work through the list in the following order as they are listed from most to least impactful. You do not need to do all things every day, build over time.

1. Respond to mentions.

A mention is anytime someone has talked about you. If somebody has shared your work say thanks and provide some extra value by explaining a concept or adding a thought. This is your most important daily task as it is easier to connect with those people who are seeking you out. Nurture these relationships and you will see your brand strengthening.

Don’t have any mentions? No worries, these will come with time. Number 2 and 3 will help you develop new connections who will mention you in the months to come.

2. Start a conversation

Social media is about sharing, tell the world about your day. What you discuss will depend on the personal brand you are developing and your industry. Check out what others are tweeting about but ultimately go with whatever you want to share. After all, your brand should reflect you and you want to stand out no blend in.

Include relevant hashtags so that others can find your content. If you need hashtag ideas, check out my article on academic hashtags to enhance your career and expand your network with other professors. 

3. Join the conversation

Interact with tweets relevant to your personal brand. Replies will give you the most visibility as others will see your comments too. ‘Liking’ content will have a smaller impact so dedicate your time to writing meaningful responses. Focus on quality not quantity. You will get faster at responding the more you do it.

Not sure where to start? The catch all hashtag #AcademicTwitter has plenty of conversation you can join.

Weekly actions to build your brand on Twitter

Share your work

Schedule 1 piece of your own work. A blog post or a link to an article. If you have more than 1 for a week schedule it for a future week so as not to overload your stream with too much self promotion.

Share others work

Schedule 1-2 blogs/articles from your industry. Include your insights/thoughts to add value to the community. Don’t forget to include 1-2 relevant hashtags.

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