Personal branding strategies in online hashtag communities: the case of #AcademicTwitter

  • Lina Gomez-Vasquez Department of Communication, The University of Tampa, Tampa, United States
  • Laila Forstmane Department of Education, The University of Tampa, Tampa, United States
  • Carolina Ozi Dias Da Silva Department of Communication, The University of Tampa, Tampa, United States
  • Enilda Romero-Hall Theory & Practice in Teacher Education Department, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, United States
Keywords: personal brand communication, personal branding strategies, social media hashtag communities, online professional communities, AcademicTwitter


Several studies have explored the uses and benefits of social media hashtag communities in higher education… Yet, more research is needed to examine communication structures and strategies for personal branding in educational social media hashtag communities. In otherwords, to understand the dynamics, characteristics, and strategies for faculty, university staff, and graduate students need to brand themselves professionally in social media hashtag communities. This research aims to explore social network structures, dynamics, influencer characteristics, and personal branding strategies of the #AcademicTwitter online community. X (formerly known as Twitter) data on #AcademicTwitter from 2021 were retrieved and analysed using social network and quantitative content analysis. Our study found that most of the recurrent users in the community were scholars (faculty and researchers) predominantly from the STEM field. However, the most influential users were media/fan pages (a profile account created for different purposes such as sharing tips in academia, publishers, etc.) and other professionals (freelancers or university staff). Our research sheds light on the current practice of disclosing specific teaching and research interests or expertise in social media bio profiles for personal branding, especially among scholars. Unique communication contexts such as social media hashtag communities still bring challenges to the dissemination of information, relationship building, and personal branding strategies. Our results also provide recommendations for scholars (faculty and researchers), graduate students, university staff, and practitioners to improve communication practices and personal branding strategies on social media hashtag communities.


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How to Cite
Gomez-Vasquez L., Forstmane L., Dias Da Silva C. O., & Romero-Hall E. (2024). Personal branding strategies in online hashtag communities: the case of #AcademicTwitter. Research in Learning Technology, 32.
Original Research Articles