I promised #UKRIFLF folk a thread on how to use Twitter. From my experiences of using it for work and aimed at newbies who’ve not used the platform before. I’ll have missed loads so please add but here we go….

A thread🧵
I’ll start with saying don’t feel you have to engage with Twitter. Social media is not for everyone. THAT. IS. OKAY.
You might still have an account and be a silent Twitter user - someone who has an account to benefit from the information/discussions on here but without taking part (no tweets, no followers). Waves hello to several colleagues and friends! 👋
You'll need to consider your Twitter handle (the bit after the @). I’m either an early adopter or old and was able to claim my name. You might have to add _ or numbers or something related to your work e.g. professional title or subject short hand.
Some people use nicknames for their Twitter handle. This can work well (memorable) but can make it difficult for people to find you/tag you. If you are using Twitter for work do you want to be known by your nickname. Does @SmellyCaptainSparkle align with your professional aims?
You can edit your profile to include your name and bio and photo etc… I often use people’s bios to remind myself why I know someone so informative bios are extremely beneficial. Key research/innovation info can help people searching twitter to find you/people who work on..,
If you are a UKRI Future Leaders Fellow *please* put that or #UKRIFLF in your bio if you’d like your work retweeted or picked up e.g. by the FLF team or UKRI comms. We can’t always do this but we definitely can’t if we don’t have that prompt that you’re a #UKRIFLF!
Once set up, try searching for things you are interested in and follow some people. Hashtags are a useful way of finding people on Twitter that you share interests with. The #UKRIFLF brings together all things FLF. If your tweet is related to your fellowship use the hashtag!
Following people (or accounts) is simple. Once you’re following someone their tweets appear in your feed (home). As with any social media platform you might want to play with the settings e.g. do you want the latest tweets first or the most popular tweets etc..
There are lists of relevant hashtags for different specialities and interests (lots of online articles about this). Or click on hashtags within a tweet that intrigue you and Twitter will give you the other tweets with that hashtag. They are a good way of finding folk to follow.
If you are using hashtags or creating them, be mindful of accessibility. Capitalise the first letter in all words used in a hashtag to make it more accessible for those with screen readers and to make it easier to decipher what the words are. ThisIsMyHashtag not thisismyhashtag
You can collate different groups of people into Twitter Lists if you want an easy place to access a particular theme e.g. when I go on holiday I often create a locked Twitter List of all the local attractions/weather/emergency services. It’s like a curated Twitter feed.
There are Twitter Lists for each round of the FLFs:

R1 twitter.com/i/lists/112550…

R2 twitter.com/i/lists/117363…

R3 twitter.com/i/lists/125300…

If you want adding to a list please tweet me!
Engaging with people on twitter is also simple – you can like a tweet, or retweet it, or retweet it with a comment on it, you can reply to someone’s tweet, follow someone, or you can create your own tweets. All of these actions are public and might appear in someone else’s feed.
You can see who is interacting with your tweets or tagging you in tweets by looking at your notifications. If a Tweet catches your attention and you want to come back to it (but not search for it in vain) bookmark it. An option at the bottom of a tweet is to save to bookmarks
I mainly tweet about FLFs, UKRI, and some other interests e.g. equality. In eves and w/ends (my own dividing lines) I may stray into non-work stuff. But most of my tweets are around FLFs as it is one way of engaging with one part of the community (mindful that not everyone here).
I’ve found it really useful and I’ve met some brilliant people via Twitter. I’m not sure I have tips on what to tweet other than to make it true to you. What are you interested in, what kind of tweets do you like? Try responding to tweets you find interesting...
… but don’t worry if people don’t reply. You’ll slowly find a group of people that you are regularly ‘chatting’ with on (and then maybe off) Twitter. But it can take time.
My general rule is to think of Twitter as the coffee room at work, you’re informal, but you also know that other professional colleagues (that you don’t know) are there as well. It’s worth checking your work’s Social Media Policy.
I’d also add: Be kind. You never know what someone else is going through at any time. Ask questions and be curious. Don’t accuse or throw insults. Be a purveyor of kindness not hate.
If you are not comfortable with something then block or unfollow or mute. Blocking stops someone following you (and you them), unfollowing removes an account’s tweets from your feed, and muting stops certain words or accounts appearing in your feed.
These are great features and let you stay in control of what is in your feed and who you are engaging with. Some other great features are the accessibility features that Twitter have (HT Future Leaders Fellow @slewth who specialises in Pedagogy of Accessibility).
If you’re adding an image or GIF to a tweet make it accessible by clicking the Add Description button below the GIF or Image, and then describe the image or GIF so everyone knows what it is.
If you’re posting videos add captions. This has to be done outside of Twitter but both YouTube and Zoom have auto-caption options. For more Twitter accessibility follow #a11y @TwitterA11y FLFs wanting a more accessible Twitter experience might want to try easychirp.com
Finally, it’s easy to create Twitter bubbles - only following people like you. Twitter follow suggestions are algorithm based which can exacerbate this. Do an audit of who you are following and notice how diverse that group is. Notice gaps and find different people to follow.
If anyone has anything to add to this thread for new twitter users please add! What have I forgotten (other than to get someone to proof read this… all mistakes and inconsistencies my own)? What are your top tips for new Twitter users?

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More from @kirstygrainger

11 Jan
1/10 Many @UKRI_News Future Leaders Fellowship applicants are currently preparing for their interview at the end of the month. I’ve tried to put some basic #ukriflf interview advice in this thread. What would you add?

TIA & good luck to all interviewees.
2/10 first, know the interview. What have you been ask to do/prepare? For the UKRIFLF interview there is a seven minute presentation
“The Vision for my Future Leaders Fellowship” followed by questions from panel members.

Presentation covers goals and establishing leadership.
3/10 read & understand the info you’ve been sent. What does it say in the invitation to interview letter? Are there things you still need to know/raise? We have a phone number and email address - please raise/ask. Lots of candidates do.
Read 10 tweets

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