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To tweet or not to tweet, that is the question

23 March 2018 | by Guest

Below you'll find a guest blog from Jonathan Calder of the BPS Press Team, which lays out some of the reasons and rationale behind the use of the Society twitter account(s).

The meta-analysis of antidepressant effectiveness published in The Lancet last month showed what we aim to achieve with the Society Twitter account.

We tweeted the link to the full study and, over the next few days, tweeted links to a wide range of commentary on it.

Because, right from when we joined Twitter in 2011, we have been clear that our account exists to promote psychology, not just the Society.

So we try to reflect the breadth of the discipline AND the full range of opinions to be found among Society members by retweeting interesting and informative tweets by other people and organisations.

As we say in our profile:

“Retweets are not an endorsement of any view, organisation or event.”

But a better way of saying it is that, in line with the general understanding of how Twitter works, retweeting something is our way of suggesting that “this looks interesting” and not a way of saying “we agree with every word.”

So to answer a question sometimes posed by people who disagree with something we have retweeted… no, it has not become Society policy just because we retweeted it.

This looser approach to communication was one of the things that attracted us to Twitter in the first place. Membership organisations such as ours can appear remote and we hoped that Twitter would help to give the Society a more human face.

If you are one of our over 55,000 followers, you will know that the bread and butter of our account is the promotion of the Society’s day-to-day activities.

This mostly involves tweeting out links that will take you to information about our events, publications, awards, CPD workshops, committee vacancies, job vacancies, etc… although we are also attempting to point people more and more towards the growing collection to be found on the Society’s Youtube channel.

In its early years these tended to be videos of whole conference keynote lectures, but more recently we have been commissioning snappier and (we hope) more engaging content.

There are many other Twitter accounts within the Society and we often retweet them.

These include @BPSConferences and @BPSLearning and the many member network accounts – we maintain a list of those and you can subscribe to it.

When we started using Twitter we thought it would be a new way of communicating with individual members and answering their questions, and while we still try to do that, we also risk becoming victims of our own success as we now receive so many notifications each day that we cannot promise to spot every question or to have the time to deal with them all.

So if you want to ask the Society something you may be better off emailing us or ringing up – and you can find our contact details by clicking here.

I was going to end this post by urging you to follow us on Twitter – and that I do.

But in case someone who is not on Twitter and thinks all this talk of ‘tweets’ and ‘retweets’ sounds like a dispatch from a canary convention has got this far, I will instead recommend a good guide to Twitter.

It is The Twitter Guide Book published online by Mashable UK, and I'll leave it to Mashable’s Pete Cashmore to tell you what it contains:

"Twitter is a social network used by millions of people, and thousands more are signing up every day to send short messages to groups of friends.

But where's the user manual for Twitter? Where do new Twitter users go to learn about Tweeting, retweets, hashtags and customizing your Twitter profile?

Where do you go if you want to know all about building a community on Twitter, or using Twitter for business? How can you find advanced tools for using Twitter on your phone or your desktop?

To answer all these questions and more, we've assembled The Twitter Guide Book, a complete collection of resources for mastering Twitter."

We hope to see you on Twitter soon at @BPSOfficial.

Jonathan Calder - Press and Public Relations Officer

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