It’s time to get serious about Twitter!

Today I am going to discuss getting started with Twitter. Why Twitter? Well, it is most applicable to the arenas I’m in (e.g., I-O psychology, evaluation, data visualization), but that doesn’t mean it is right for you. Depending on what sandboxes you’re playing in, you might need to consider multiple platforms (almost a guarantee) and Twitter might not be one of them. But, for now, let’s get Twitter savvy!

  1. Create a Twitter account. This seems simple enough, right? Yes, but I realize that this might still be on your to-do list. Make it happen! You will improve as you go along – not by planning forever and never actually doing it.
  2. Add a picture – seriously. Avoid using a logo or the default silhouette (it’s lame and doesn’t allow people to get to know YOU).Deven Wisner Twitter Bio
  3. Bio! I used to have what I would consider a lame bio, and I’m so glad I changed it. The day after I updated mine to something more unique, I was mentioned in an interview done by Dr. Stephanie Evergreen. They included a screen shot of my Twitter photo and bio. You better believe I was rejoicing that I changed my drab bio into something a little more hip. So, what do you put there?! This is a spot to market yourself in a few words, hashtags, and emojis. I’ve included mine as an example.
  4. Follow some awesome people. This is industry specific, of course, but my suggestion is checking out a few prominent players in your field. Check out who they’re following for other big names, and look at who is following them for up-and-coming connections. Click here for my profile.
  5. Set a schedule…I can’t stress this enough. I check twitter at least three times a day…once with my coffee, during lunch, and again after my evening workout. My posts are also on a schedule. Of course, I post sporadically as something interests me, but I always have a couple posts set to go out – no matter what! Note: People get discouraged because they don’t have many followers. Stop that. This takes time and effort.  The people you’re trying connect with as a professional aren’t your friends (at least not yet), so don’t expect an obligatory follow like you’d get from family on Facebook (kidding, of course). You’ll get there…it just takes time and effort!
  6. A schedule is great, but you need to set make goals. For example, you might make a goal of Tweeting three times and following two new people per day. After a couple weeks, you can reassess whether you can do more (MORE is better with Twitter but consistency is MOST important.

    Deven Wisner Twitter Goals
    This is an example from when I first started on Twitter.

If you want a personalized plan, or to discuss a different social media platform, contact me. I would be happy to develop a social media strategy based on your goals.

P.S. If you’re into I-O, Evaluation, and/or data visualization, you will find some awesome people under Nifty Resources.

Got an applied project? You can build the capacity for data-driven decision making.

During graduate school, students are usually offered applied opportunities. What I love about applied psychology (e.g., evaluation, I-O psychology…) is that graduate students have the chance to bring their knowledge to a variety of industries — and built the value of data driven decision making. To me, that is priceless. Exposing the field of applied psych is great…and so is making others aware of all the great things can be done when something other than anecdotes are the decision making tool of choice.

So what’s my experience with this? I also had these great applied opportunities, and I started to realize that I was an advocate for my field. I had a new perspective about the entire experience — if my client walked away feeling like they wasted their time, I didn’t do a very good job.

My second to last semester I completed a needs assessment and process evaluation for a company in another state. This company is phenomenal — great idea that’s meeting a need, lean bottom line, and an office full of great people. Where’s the but? Well, it’s that data wasn’t driving their strategic planning. Needs assessment? What’s that? There I had it — an opportunity to BUILD the capacity of evaluation in this organization.

In short, the project went well — everyone learned a lot, services were revised, future planning was focused on data. But that’s all while you’re still there, right? In the back of your obsessive applied psych mind…you know this was one project, and the long lived method of luck and “educated” guessing (oxymoron’s make for good blog topics) could be revived and become the preferred decision making tool — again.

Data driven decision making. What does the data tell us? How do the statistics relate to what we are seeing financially? Your clients said they wanted this service…but was it a representative sample?? I felt like a broken record…because I hoped that between demonstration, dialogue, and bringing my client along for the experience would lead to an appreciation and PREFERENCE for data to inform their decisions.

Created by Chris Lysy

Well, two months later I was in a follow up meeting…sitting in on an unrelated project…and I heard it:

“We need to make decisions based on what the data tells us. It can’t be what I like, or what makes sense to me. Let’s use the tools we have to make changes using data.”

…you know that moment when someone says their idea of an awesome day is binge watching Frasier and eating pizza rolls, and you’re like “…that’s hot.” Bam. There it was. The sexy side of being an advocate for our field.

You see, change is hard. Pushing for a better method (that isn’t always easier) can be a challenge. And hey, being a grad student is a special level of hell at times. Sometimes you want to drop the results and peace. You don’t always want to screw with Excel for hours to get something other than a canned report (but seriously, talk to me if it’s taking you hours to craft good viz). But at the end of it, you have an opportunity to see the results put into action. Your very presence is a disruption — a potential catalyst for change. The credibility of our field? It’s on ALL of our shoulders. So, the next time you’re burnt out, remember the potential to impact decision makers and the responsibility to your colleagues (oh, and call on them when you need help!).

Created by Chris Lysy