By Kate Wetterstrand, CFICE Secretariat Research Assistant
In an age where social media is one of the most prominent and efficient ways of sharing information, it is important that, as researchers, we “recognize our social and digital media efforts as part of the research process.”
In a project like CFICE, we aim to be community first. This includes making sure the research and work of our community and academic partners is shared widely. Social media is the perfect way to do this!
Here are five ways to use social media to share your research.
1. Optimize content with visuals
The amount of content on social media is easily overwhelming. People scroll through their feeds quickly, hardly giving each post a second glance. A visual that is attention grabbing can often make people stop in their tracks. According to some, visuals can increase retweets by up to 150%!
The best visuals are high definition (i.e. good quality) and pop with color. A bright and crisp visual is guaranteed to grab attention!
Use the force of visuals and post away!
2. Post on multiple social media platforms
You’re much more likely to reach a wider and more diverse audience when you post on several different platforms, especially since different audiences use different sites. For example, Twitter is popular for customer to company interactions; Facebook is better for developing deeper relationships with users, particularly those aged 50+; and Instagram and Snapchat are best for reaching younger audiences.
Use these different audience-specific platforms to your advantage and post for the audience you want. Many social media sites even give you the option to post simultaneously to multiple platforms making this easier and more effective than ever!
3. Reframe research content to suit the audience you are targeting
According to Amy Mollett, a Social Media Manager at the London School of Economics, research is best consumed when reframed for target audiences. She elaborates in the article, 10 Ways to Use Social Media to Get Your Research Noticed: “Very rarely does pitching your research to “the general public” ever lead to clear messages and engagement. Think carefully about who you are trying to reach [and] what your take-home message to this group is.”
Since people have grown used to customized ads and content curated specifically for them, if you want to engage them, you need to do the same. By defining your audience and customizing your social media posts to suit your target audience, your social media efforts will be more likely to attract attention.
4. Summarize research to grab attention, but provide links to more in-depth research
Use visuals, short sentences and statements, and keep your original post short, sweet and attention grabbing to leave the readers wanting more. Then, hook them in further by including links to the more detailed research.
To get readers to click on the link, use a catchy phrase or statement like “you won’t believe this…click to find out more” or “find out why these results shocked the researchers…” to make the link more alluring.
As Cindy King put it in her article, 10 Social Media Marketing Tips from the Pros, “Visual content — as well as concise statements and words — can act as a “gateway” to more valuable content.” So make sure to craft your original post as an enticing summary that encourages the audience to find out more by clicking on your embedded links.
5. Post more than once!
Social media is extremely content rich and it is no anomaly for a post to be missed due to the constant inundation of content being published. Don’t be afraid to post multiple times during the day, week, month and even year to ensure that you are reaching people at different intervals. Additionally, the more often people view the post, the more likely it is for the post to be committed to the audience’s memory!
These five tips are a great way to start promoting your research using social media! However, they are just the beginning. Post away using this advice and discover your own ways for the most effective social media practices!