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Why, What & How: Twitter
Transcript of Why, What & How: Twitter
Be on your way
Username is the 'twitter handle' that people see. CD= @UoS_Careers
University of Southampton Student Services
Easy to be updated quickly, regularly & have info on areas of interest
Danger of 'info overload' & missing useful tweets
What is Twitter?
The amount of time spent on Twitter
Interacting with People
Twitter can be likened to a "giant, endless pub conversation"*. Like all pubs, there will be those content with their closed social circle, those actively seeking new people to converse with & those who just want to listen to others without speaking themselves.
The first question that needs to be asked with Social Media is 'Why?'
What is the purpose?
What do you want to achieve?
It's essential those who are using Twitter know the answer to these questions.
All operations on Twitter should relate to these aims.
To help answer these questions we need to look at Student Services' goals, what Twitter is good for and how these two can be connected.
It's a constantly updating sharing and interaction platform
In 140 characters or fewer, users 'tweet' status updates, pics, video & urls
Users follow people whose tweets they want to read. Twitter's population is diverse & includes celebrities, companies & media outlets
A user's tweets are accessed by their followers. A tweet can be seen by a much larger audience if a tweet is 'retweeted'
Because Twitter is updated so quickly, the shelf life of a tweet (the amount of time it can be seen) is under an hour
The help pages on Twitter are very useful and well worth reading. Here is an alternative intro, tailored for a Student Services perspective and using examples from Career Destinations
The people you follow should reflect your interests. CD follows Southampton University accounts, Grad Recruiters & a few students too
Since Twitter updates so quickly, it's crucial to check the feed at least every day. Don't worry-a scan of 'Interactions' will suffice
Career Destinations, 2013
At CD, we want to maintain a combination of listening, conversing & engaging with new people.
Listening: In any social situation, be it on or non-line, listening is the best place to start. On Twitter, listening to your target demographics help gain insights into how to address audiences and target output to best engage. Thus CD follows a mix of students, grad recruiters & other UoS accounts.
Conversing: If someone replies to one of your tweets or includes your handle in one of theirs, this is a 'mention'. This can be initiating or continuing a conversation. Use your judgement on whether to reply and, if so, don't leave it longer than 24 hours.
Attracting: Whilst attracting new followers can seem impressive, growth for it's own sake is meaningless. We are lucky at CD to have two specific audiences; students/alumni and recruiters that wish to engage them. A student who follows us is of more value than 5 random bloggers in Brazil. We need to remember who we serve and fish that pool rather than the countless others on Twitter.
N.B 'Interactions' include 'mentions' plus records of new followers, retweets and favourited tweets. This is the tab to check for a scan of account engagement. An 'interaction' is less likely to need a response than a 'mention' but do trust your own judgement.
I've no idea what Social Media is or how to use it
I've heard Social Media is damaging to professionals & companies
We haven't the time or resources to spend on Social Media
Management won't find any positive results of Social Media operations
In-depth familiarity training on Social Media including learning about analytic tools
A problem...and response
A structure which clearly defines who's responsible for what and plans ahead
Social Media is talking with people If you can use a computer & hold a conversation, you can use Social Media.
Remember that whatever you post could be seen by anyone. Even your mother. Don't forget this and you can then trust your judgement.
Twitter claim you can get set up in 60 seconds. I suggest taking a little longer
A few words to describe yourself. Include your connection to CD by having @UoS_Careers somewhere along with the now ubiquitous disclaimer 'views my own' (or words to that effect).
Follow feeds which reflect your interests. Whether you're into Kierkegaardian philosophy (@S_Kierkegaard) or William Shatner (@William Shatner) there's something for everyone.
Whilst Twitter can be very fulfilling just listening to others, there can be great fun in replying to others, retweeting things you find interesting or giving updates on yourself. Don't be afraid to find your voice!
Acceptable to post multiple times a day, as opposed to facebook or email
Huge potential for engaging new audiences
Very easy to reply quickly & interact with others
Twitter is perceived to be both about personal and employment lives- facebook is more personal
Poorly judged tweets can spread extremely quickly
It can be difficult to gauge levels of engagement
Limited to 140 characters, max 1 photo per post
On personal accounts, it is rare to set-up some sort of measuring tool. However in a business where = $$$ there has to be some sort of recording.
This recording can be used to justify the time spent on official social media use, alter the strategy or tactics of a campaign or both.
I would recommend a combination of measurement instruments: HootSuite & Google Analytics. Because of the slightly more technical nature of this, measuring for personal use is non-essential, I have included info on this in a supplementary hand-out.
# (Hashtag): Putting # in front of a word or phrase with no spaces ensures that word or phrase stands out and becomes the theme of the tweet. Other users who click on this hashtag are sent to all other tweets with that hashtag e.g. "This has to be the best episode of #HIGNFY ever!"
@: This in front of a username in a tweet connects that account with your tweet. Is used to reply or mention another twitter profile. e.g. "@WilliamShatner Loved you chairing 'Have I Got News for You' #HIGNFY"
Bio: A 160 character or fewer description of yourself/ your company on Twitter. If you're representing a dept of the University, it is helpful to include @unisouthampton somewhere e.g. "Philanthropist, Actor, Producer, Father, Husband, and Grandfather" for @WilliamShatner
Blocking: The act of preventing someone from following you, mentioning you or adding you to lists.
Connect: A Tab near the top of the page that shows all interactions with your account. Records new followers, retweets, replies, mentions & favourited tweets.
Direct Message or DM: A private tweet between yourself and another user. You can only receive DMS from those you follow & you can only DM those who follow you.