Twitter is a good tool to promote yourself and your work. Don’t screw it up from the get go.

Recently with the Guardian projects, Team Populism data releases and etc. I received quite a bit of twitter traffic. Maybe I shouldn’t do this but I am one of those people who wants to follow everyone back. So I do, except…

So, young scholars. If you want to use Twitter to promote your work or yourself, I have three small pieces of advice for you.

1. Fill out your twitter profile. Add your academic level (PhD Candidate, Post-Doc for example), your institution, maybe where you graduated from. Maybe link your website. Say what you are working on academically. And then add anything personal if you want. If it is not clear from this summary, like when it is empty, filled with BS or all personal stuff, that you are a fellow scholar, your academic peers will not follow you, or follow you back, and your ability to promote yourself and your work will be limited.

2. Pin a post that is representative of your work. Make it a tweet about your most recent achievement. You have a recent publication? I am sure you tweeted about it. (And if not, do it now.) Pin that tweet. You have multiple pieces to promote, put together one tweet about the multiple pieces. I actually have three. Here it is:

In 2019: w/@b_castanho @cmbosancianu Multilevel Structural Equation Modeling w/Hawkins Contemporary US Populism in Comparative Perspective & The Ideational Approach to Populism also Carlin & Rovira Kaltwasser

But don’t feel like you need to have several things published before you can pin something. This tweet doesn’t need to be so much. Maybe you are not there yet, maybe you haven’t published anything so far. But you wrote something for sure. Maybe something you did for a class? Maybe you have something under review or getting ready to send something. It is best if such a thing is related to your research topic you want to pursue. Tweet about it! (Link it if you are brave enough.) Offer a summary of the premise and the finding. (Good exercise summing these up w/ 280 characters.) And then pin it. And as your academic work evolves, pin new things as you go.

3. Write in English. (Full stop.) It is OK to have tweets of more personal nature (though some advise against these altogether) but if I can’t read your profile without machine translation (which is still annoying), I will not follow you. Unfortunately, because of this you also want to limit what you retweet as well. If it is not in English, you may retweet it, but it is best to do it with the function where you write about a tweet. Tell everyone, in English, what that retweet is about.

…so receiving this higher traffic I was quite amazed how many people simply don’t have their profile filled out. I could not tell if the person is an enthusiast who I will not care about, a bot, a troll, or a fellow scholar who is clueless. Needless to say, you know who wasn’t followed back despite my total openness policy for following everyone back on Twitter if I believe they may some something I may care about. Don’t be that person.