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Social Media for Research and Scholarly Communication: Tips


Manage Your Professional Identity

Who might search for you:
  • Colleagues, current employers, future employers, students, peers

How are you seen by:
  • Your colleagues, your peers, the general public

Gauged by:
  • Your conduct, what you say, what others say about you, what you write and how you write it, face to face, peer-review, academic papers

Choosing a social media channel

Features to look for when choosing social media services:

  • Easy-to-Use:  Look for drag-and-drop uploading for files and links; make sure it works well on mobile devices and has a simple interface
  • Adding & Organizing Resources:  Besides simplifying adding and organizing discoveries (topics, titles, descriptions, tags, etc.), it should have a search feature and it should intelligently suggest resources related to the topic.
  • Connecting & Collaborating:  It should enable easy connection and collaboration with others on topics, interests or issues, and it should be easy to repost resources from others (giving automated recognitions to original curators).
  • Visually Stimulating & Intuitive: It should be stimulating to the eyes and intuitive to the mind, and obviously be light enough to avoid slow responses on mobile devices or for those with slow connections.

Social Media Best Practices

1. Post regularly

2. Don't ignore people: respond to posts, tweets, etc. in a timely manner.

3.  Use your real name if you can, if you can't choose a user name that is easy to spell and remember.

4. Change the default image for new accounts, post a nice picture.

5. Show your personality but remain professional.

6. Engage and build relationships; don't update and dash.  Post regularly, and try to post a mix of your own content and reposted content of others.  Remember to ask questions or otherwise challenge followers to encourage conversation.

7. Learn the hashtags for your subject field or topics of interest.

Things to Think About

Use an aggregator : Given the differences in the numerous social media sites, many people use more than one. And, if you decide to have both personal and professional accounts on these sites you can double the number you are managing.  Using a program like HootSuite or TweetDeck to combine all your accounts in one place can make managing multiple sites much easier!

Available aggregators