The numbers don't lie. There are roughly 1 billion registered Twitter users out there and 47% of people who follow a brand on Twitter are more likely to visit that company’s website. Some more juicy Twitter stats can be found here.
But enough of the numbers, let's get you started:
STEP 1 // Sign up for Twitter
You can sign up for free here. Choose a sensible and professional Twitter username as people will see it and associate with you.
STEP 2 // Create your bio
Start by creating a profile bio, do not leave this space empty. Let people know who you are and what you’re interested in. Keep it short and concise with keywords in mind, remember you only have 160 characters. And don’t forget to include a nice photo.
STEP 3 // Build your network
Go on the hunt for other L&D professionals on Twitter. Using the search function you can search for people, keywords or hashtags. This is a great opportunity for you to connect with potential collaborators, develop new business relationships and even find curriculum developers or instructional designers.
Use the tool to track both those you are personally interested in and those who may be the most influential within the L&D community. See what they share, retweet, and always keep in mind what your followers will find interesting.
Remember, following and connecting with other Learning professionals can reinforce your L&D network and help you discover new learning blogs, websites and other learning trends. It is also a great way to exchange ideas, concerns, as well as tips and tricks, so don’t hesitate to jump in as often as possible.
STEP 4 // Engage in tweet chats
Albeit small, the online L&D community is global. Engaging in online conversations with people in the L&D community across the world is a great way to discover new learning trends.
Ask and answer questions or simply favourite or retweet Twitter exchanges that interest you.
You can also create your own L&D hashtags, such as a tag relating to your learning program or event. Some fine examples of regular and on point tweet chats are #LrnChat, #ASTD, #VocEd, #eLearnChat, #LDinsight, #ozlearn.
STEP 5 // Create links to valuable articles
Twitter may have a limited character count (140), but that makes it ideal for linking to valuable resources and articles that may sit on your website or other social platforms.
Simply ask followers to read an article or watch a video and prompt them to post their thoughts about it, or encourage them to even post a question. The Disney Institute use a great example of this by asking you to comment on their blog articles on Twitter using the hashtag #DThinkBlog.
STEP 6 // Be consistent
As with all digital practices, to reap the benefits of an effective social media presence, you need not only to be present, but consistent. Log in, tweet, favourite and retweet at least once a day. This will help you keep track without losing valuable Twitter updates, and remind your followers that you are there because you have something of value to say. Don’t just tweet just for the sake of tweeting!