Imagine you have a paper that has just been published, or you are presenting at a scientific meeting and you want to share your successes… but how? Fear not, you can use social media to promote your scientific accomplishments! I have some tips for using different social media platforms to get the word out and help ensure that your work makes an impact.
Twitter: Twitter is growing in popularity with scientists, and is a great way to promote your work to both scientists and non-scientists. Twitter limits you to 140 characters per tweet, so it’s best to come up with a short sentence that can explain your new findings and the significance. The good news is you can include a picture or GIF with twitter, and since “a picture is worth a thousand words,” this can help you overcome the character limits. If you want to increase your impact consider including relevant and searchable hashtags (i.e. #vaccines or #cancer) to help you reach a more diverse audience. Tagging your institution, co-authors, and collaborators can also help cross-promote your work by increasing your visibility to include their followers.
- If you just published a paper, be sure to include a link to your article on the journal’s website and tag the journal (i.e. @MBoCJournal). If you need to reduce the character count, you can generate a shortened URL from sites like bit.ly. Alternatively, if you need to go over 140 characters you can divide your tweets into a series and number them accordingly, like (1/2) and (2/2).
- If you are promoting your talk or poster, be sure to tag the scientific society and include the meeting hashtag (i.e. @ASCBiology and #ASCB16). Don’t forget to include the relevant information about your presentation in your tweet so your followers can come share your science.
Facebook: Facebook is a great platform to reach an audience outside of your typical social network due to the News Feed feature. One benefit of Facebook over Twitter is that you can elaborate a little more on your findings. For example, you can post a short summary of your work (e.g., a few sentences) and add a relevant figure, image, or animation to enhance your message. You can post this to your personal Facebook page or share it with relevant groups. For increased visibility, include a link to your publication or presentation information and tag the journal or scientific society.
LinkedIn: Similar to Facebook, you can use LinkedIn to post a short summary of your work. However, LinkedIn is considered more professional than Facebook. With LinkedIn you can post a status update to your personal profile to share with your contacts, or share a post with relevant groups. When appropriate, you can include a link to your article and/or a visual. Be sure to tag your institution and the relevant journal or scientific society. And lastly, make sure to update your LinkedIn profile with your new publication!
Instagram: You can use Instagram to promote your work by sharing an important figure or image. Use relevant hashtags in your post for increased visibility. You can also tag co-authors, journals, or scientific societies and encourage them to “regram,” or re-post, your Instagram content.
Personal websites/blog: You can use your personal website or blog to promote your work without any character, word, or formatting limitations. In addition, you can use other social media platforms to share your blog post and further promote your work.
You can also use social media to promote and share important scientific accomplishments that are not your own. This is a great way to expand your scientific network, and can be beneficial when it comes time to promote your own work.
If your institution, a journal, or a scientific society promotes your work, be sure to share their post with your social-media followers. Most importantly, remember that sharing your work on social media will increase the impact. So don’t be shy! Get out there and use social media to amplify your signal and share your scientific successes with the world!
About the Author:
Ashley is a PhD candidate in the lab of Sandra Schmid at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas. She is investigating the mechanisms of focal adhesion turnover by clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter: @alakoduk