The How to Tweet Cheat Sheet

Bird teaches other birds how to use Twitter

Ready to try Twitter? Here are some tips to get your account set up:

  • Research potential account handles. (Note: The character limit for a handle is 15.)
  • Create your handle, choose a photo or logo/graphic for your profile image and header image, and write a brief bio.
  • Then start looking for and following people you know. They’ll follow you back! Priority folks may include:
    • Your departmental team members, faculty and postdocs
    • Accounts of colleagues and frequent collaborators or research groups
    • Academic and lay publications covering your field
    • Professional organizations related to your field
  • Plan to post multiple times a week. Twitter is such a fast-moving medium that it can accommodate multiple posts a day – but that’s not necessary.
  • Great, sharable content includes publications, faculty and student awards, reports/images from the field, grant or funding opportunities, and more.
  • Consider not only sharing news from your department or unit, but also including a post every week or so that gives credit to others – something you’re reading and that influenced your thinking or really knocked you out.
  • Including graphics, images or Twitter cards greatly increases the engagement with your posts.
    • To ensure you can get picked up by other accounts – and because it’s the right thing to do – make sure to add “alt text” to images so that they’re accessible to people using screen readers.
  • For Trinity social media: Get the Twitter handle and icon added to the footer of your website by emailing They can also help you integrate a scrolling feed in your homepage.
  • Get your account added to Duke’s social media directory via this form.
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