Dear Anna, I enjoy using social media personally but I’m nervous about using it for work. I’m now beginning to hear about the opportunities for CPD, support and well-being available on Twitter for SBMs. Should I join Twitter? Apprehensive SBM
Dear Apprehensive SBM, I know exactly how you feel because until 2017 I felt the same! I wasn’t sure how to use Twitter for work and I had loads of questions;
- Were there any other SBMs on there?
- Did they talk about work?
- Was it positive?
- Would they talk to me?
- Would I say the wrong thing?
I had decided that the isolation of an SBM was becoming a problem for me. I’d had a bad experience a few years previously and I wanted to ensure I was never there again, but I also wanted be a source of support for others if I could.
Also, my 2017 New Years resolution had been to try my hand at writing about my experiences as an SBM, as a way of stress management, and Twitter seemed like a suitable platform to ask if anyone would like to read my blogs.
So I searched #sbm to see who was talking and followed a few people to start me off.
It was a massive revelation.
There are SBMs on Twitter working at the highest level of School Business Leadership who go out of their way to support and encourage others. They are professional, friendly, informative and understanding. Even the simplest questions (and I’ve asked some dumb ones) receive a helpful response or a point in the right direction. In my experience the conversation is fun, respectful and businesslike. I have learned an enormous amount this year. My confidence at work has soared and there have been some very tangible and significant improvements I’ve made at work as a direct result of being part of Twitter.
So, I would advise you, absolutely, to join in, even if it is only to listen to begin with.
I follow a few rules
- If you’re completely new to Twitter, take it slowly. See what others are liking and retweeting. You will very quickly pick it up.
- Know that you are there in a professional capacity. I would advise that you have two feeds if you like to post lots of family photos. It isn’t difficult to swap between a personal and professional account.
- Avoid anything too political.
- Don’t try to be controversial.
- Write on Twitter as you would speak to work colleagues.
- Avoid sarcasm. It doesn’t come across well I find.
- Avoid negativity.
- Enjoy the hashtags but avoid using too many emojis.
Follow me on Twitter @WorkingSBM and I’ll put you in touch with loads of others. There are also links throughout this website.
I warn you that once you get the hang of it, you’ll be hooked. I try and restrict my time on it… but I’m still working on that!
So, in answer to your question, Should I join Twitter? Yes. Join in. You won’t regret it. You’ve got this.