How Social Media for Researchers and Academics can reap rewards
If you’re a university academic or a researcher, or supporting someone else who undertakes research, you may well wonder whether there’s any value in having a social media presence.
Given how busy you are, your biggest stumbling block will, no doubt, be finding the time to do social media – and do it well.
But with support through Mosaic’s Social Media Training for Researchers and Academics, you will very quickly be able to forge new connections that could reap big rewards for your establishment, as well as for yourself.
Why should researchers use social media?
#1. Explain how your research grant is being spent
If you’ve received a research grant, your funder might like some recognition for the money they’ve given you – and the outcomes it’s produced.
#2. Show impact
Universities, in particular, need to show the measurable impact of their research. But social media creates its own impact, such as increasing your citation index, and engaging with thousands of people every year. It’s a really quick way to reach others who are influential,
#3. Share your highlights
What’s the point of doing research if nobody knows about it? Unless it’s top secret, spread the word and you might find others wanting to contribute such as survey participants or research collaborators.
#4. Raise your own profile
People who have a high profile on social media are often the ones called on to give the keynote speech at conferences. It might give you the opportunity to pick and choose the speaking events that are the most suitable for you.
#5. Create new opportunities
We’ve worked with many academics and researchers who say their social media interactions have helped open doors. This includes new job opportunities, contacts (including international connections or through groups), media coverage and finding PhD students. Plus there are many more benefits, such as reaching politicians and thought leaders where you want to be part of the conversation or to influence others.
Which social media channels should researchers use?
There is a plethora of social media channels for researchers and academics and your choice will depend on how much time you’ve got and who your target audience is. If your research is customer facing, you may prefer to use Facebook, while those targeting a business audience would fare better on LinkedIn. Many researchers and academics can be found on Twitter too, which is a great platform for sharing your views and your ideas.
In many cases, it requires a strategic, multi-channel approach, with your own dedicated website promoting videos (hosted on YouTube) and blogs, driving traffic from Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. This is in addition to promoting your work on ResearchGate, Academia.edu, ORCID, Google Scholar etc.
So set aside some time to create your profile properly and do some research into connecting with the right people. Find ways to create great content using tools such as Canva. And spend time retweeting and reposting other people’s content.
Share your activities such as when you’ve won an award or appeared at a conference, had a media mention or appeared on a podcast. Promote your events, seminars, webinars and project workshops. Host a poll, write how-to posts and comment on relevant sector news. Keep people regularly updated about your research.
Think about your time as an investment, not a chore!
Social Media Training for Researchers and Academics
Mosaic’s Social Media Training for Researchers and Academics will give you an excellent insight into the dos and don’ts for promoting your work. Here are a few of our top tips, gleaned from working with university researchers and academics:
#1. Set up a linking page
#2. Incorporate human interest stories
Everyone loves a good story. It’s just human nature. We’re far more likely to take on board a story that’s got emotion and empathy, one that we can connect with and relate to. Seek out views and opinions, case studies and testimonials. And on our course, learn from our trainers, who are former journalists, all about the best questions to ask when you’re interviewing someone.
#3. Write for your audience
With Mosaic’s unique ACES training, we explore how to write specifically for your audience – using key messages that are reinforced at every opportunity, along with key words that can boost your search engine optimisation in the process.
#4. Be visual
There are countless surveys that show that video generates more engagement than photos, which generate more engagement than just text. If you’ve got a decent mobile phone, you’ve probably got a decent video camera. Use a tripod, add a lapel microphone, make sure you’re well lit and off you go. You can even download a teleprompter app if you can’t remember your words!
#5. Measure your results
It’s not about the ‘vanity’ metrics – i.e. how many likes, shares and comments you’ve got. It’s about the end result of all your posts and activity. Did you share your research? If so, what happened next? Has it changed people’s lives? Has it impacted our health or our environment? What difference has it made to our world? Has it helped you in your career?
If you’d like to find out more about Mosaic’s Social Media Training for Researchers and Academics, please contact us. Call 01206 841933 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.