Certainly, you can use Twitter to goof off or tell everyone you’ll meet them in the media center at 2:15 and see who shows up. You can also risk the ire of campus police who may think that you’re initiating a mob attack!
There are some excellent and highly useful ways for you to make Twitter work for you this academic year including the following:
1. Find a reference — People tweet about anything which means that someone, somewhere may be discussing Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution. Plug in select key words and see what pops up. Chances are you’ll find a link to an article or view someone’s profile who is also an expert in what you want to know.
2. Keep in touch — Tech savvy professors love Twitter and some encourage their students to stay in touch by tweeting. This can be a good option if you need an appointment with your prof and haven’t heard back from him by email. PM your prof and see how quickly he responds to your request.
3. Learn about cancellations — If class is canceled, how will you know about it? Ask your prof to keep everyone informed if a weather delay, sickness or a cancelation changes plans. Avoid the trek to school by being notified instantly.
4. Share stuff — Use a URL shortener to share links with people in your circle. This can be helpful if you’re working on a group project and need everyone’s input. Drop in a link, leave a note and check back for responses. Your prof might allow you to do this in class too as a way to share ideas.
5. Track deliveries — A Twitter tool, TrackThis (usetrackthis.com), makes it easy for you to track the delivery of the books you rented this semester. Follow your package as it makes its way from the warehouse to your house or dorm, knowing precisely when it is was left at your front door.
6. Update your profile — Your profile gives you 160 characters to tell everyone about you. Put in college related data to find your class mates as well as others who attend your college.
7. Create a list — One way to certainly follow the people you want is to create a list and put in everyone from your class who tweets. Your prof may already be doing this — are you following everyone you need to follow?
8. Follow the pros — Particularly helpful for upper classmen is to follow professionals including those people you would like to work for some day. Chances are they have too many followers to pay you scant notice, but one of their operatives may find out about you and your interest in the company. Update your profile to professionally reflect who you are. Provide a link to your LinkedIn resume.
9. Block spammers — Twitter can get crowded out by spammers which means you must find ways to keep your account under your control. Simply block spammers and update your account regularly to avoid such relentless bilge.
10. Schedule tweets — Tweeting on the go is what most people do, but scheduling your tweets can be helpful too. For example, if you’re planning to watch the big game on a Saturday afternoon at 3, then tweet “I’m watching my school take on Big U. right now,” and set the tweet to appear at the appointed hour. You’ll be sent a notice to your email and other accounts reminding you to drop everything and watch the game.
Twitter’s usefulness and reach seems without limits which means you can reach up and reach out to people around the world. Use Twitter to communicate with students across the globe, making a difference one tweet at a time.