Twitter currently ranks as one of the world’s leading social media networks, with around 326 million users worldwide. Increasingly, academics and thought leaders around the world are loging in to Twitter in order to share new ideas, connect and establish collaborations; however, in the fast-paced world of social media, it can be hard for early career researchers to establish connections and grow their audience.
If you’re a PhD student (like me) Twitter can be a great networking platform and a way to make new friends. I started Tweeting in a professional capacity in around 2017; since then my network has grown, slowly but surely, and now I even offer workshops to other academics looking gain some social media influence. Over time I’ve tried and tested lots of different hashtags as a way of connecting with the PhD community, and with a little bit of experience I’ve definitely figured out what works best for me. In this post I’ve put together a top 5 list, comprising of the best hashtags to connect with other academics and grow your Twitter following.
#PhDChat is my No.1 favourite hashtag for anything relating to the PhD experience. Its a catch-all community where you can ask questions (academic or non-academic), share your experiences and perhaps a few humorous gifs. I use #PhDChat almost every time I Tweet; I use it to share my academic thoughts a well as my extra-curricular experiences.
#PhDLife is very similar to #PhDChat, but I thought I’d include it in the list regardless. Which one you prefer is up to you, but I tend to use them both interchangeably in order to keep ahead of the Twitter algorithm.
OK you see where this is going. Any of the ‘chatter’ or ‘chat’ hashtags are fairly generalist and #AcademicChatter this is probably one of the biggest (in terms of active users and followers). This one is a great one to use if you have a question (technical or otherwise) as you’ll reach post-docs, research leaders and other more experienced users who may be able to help you out.
There’s a hashtag for almost every minority group in academia these days, but this one’s a bit special; #BlackInTheIvory is a hashtag which has become a movement, exposing racism in academia. Although this hashtag is all about exposing racism and should not be used lightly or out of context, it is a fantastic way to find like-minded Black academics. If you’re a Black PhD student* and feel like you want to speak on this matter #BlackInTheIvory could be a really great way to get your voice heard.
*try not to use this hashtag if you’re not Black, otherwise real and relevant voices will not be heard – follow it though!
#SciComm is the hashtag that made me; it’s the hashtag that I use to share any of my science communication work and makes up one of the most friendly, supportive PhD communities on Twitter. Whether you’ve written an article, given a talk or run an outreach activity in your local community, this is the hashtag to celebrate with. Many of the #SciComm community are looking to follow other communicators, so this one should really help you grow your following.
Thanks for reading my Top 5 Hashtags for PhD Students Who Want to Grow Their Twitter Following, I hope you found the article useful. Feel free to Tweet me your thoughts @infrafredrum including some of your favourite hashtags, or drop them in the comments below!