There’s a lot of talk about how we use Twitter as a marketing tool…or if should we use it as a marketing tool…or what companies are using it well as a marketing tool…or if we have time to start integrating it as a marketing tool. Blah blah blah. For me, the jury is still out on whether or not Twitter can be truly effective as a marketing tool. I’m not convinced that the demographics are there for most institutions, or that the time required to do Twitter well is going to garner a return on investment.
With that said, here’s the one thing I’m sure of: Twitter is one of the best professional development tools out there.
When I spoke at the CASE: Communications, Marketing and Technology conference in April, there were a lot of self-professed “Twitter skeptics” in the crowd. I tried to make the case for Twitter to the audience like this: One of the benefits of going to a conference is that you’re surrounded by smart people who want to be better at what they do and the best learning opportunities don’t come from the presentations - they come from the opportunity to talk to each other and brainstorm about what they’re doing and what is possible.
I don’t have to go to a conference to have that. Every day on Twitter, I’m surrounded by some of the brightest minds in my field. They’re accessible, and I learn something new (almost) every day. They post everything from blog posts they’ve written, to interesting things they’ve read to random musings about life. Over time, you start to build not only professional, but personal relationships. When you finally meet your Twitter friends in person, at a tweet-up or a conference, it’s just hanging out with an old friend.
Plus, now that I have a bunch of followers, if I have a question about almost any topic, I can tweet about it and get half a dozen answers back within minutes. Recently, I asked my followers about higher education consultants, and it turned into a conversation with 40 participants. When you’re in a bind, it can really come in handy.
Now that’s not to say that this will happen the minute you join Twitter. But over time, if you contribute valuable information to the community, it will. Don’t give up on it because you don’t see the benefits right away - give it time and get involved with the higher ed community. It’s a great group of people
Have you just joined twitter and are looking for higher ed people to follow? Start with the .eduGurus!
- Karlyn Morissette (me!) - @karlynm
- Kyle James - @kylejames
- Rachel Reuben - @rachelreuben
- Nick DeNardis - @nickdenardis
- Michael Fienen - @fienen
- Nikki Massaro Kauffman - @nikkimk
- .eduGuru blog feed - @eduguru