Tips for academics on using social media

7 September 2012

Salma Patel at the LSE’s blog Impact of Social Sciences has put together a quick and practical list of tips for academics who want to have a stronger online presence, particularly for their research.

She first indicates that academics create a LinkedIn profile for themselves, and connect with all of their contacts who also have LinkedIn profiles. Creating an profile is also helpful. Then she moves on to Twitter, and suggests that if this social media proves to be too difficult or complicated to understand at first, individuals can attend Twitter workshops, or ask a friend to help them out. LSE also has a guide to Twitter.

It’s important to create a Twitter account under your real name, as you will be identified more easily. A profile can also be written.

Start following people on twitter. Again you can find followers using your email address. Another really good way to find followers is to find someone on twitter who has very similar academic interests to you. Now look through who that person is following, and follow those people.

Twitter chats are also addressed, and a small list on the 10 ways researchers can use Twitter, in case you’re stumped on what to tweet about, is also included.

Blogging is also a great way for academics to put their research out there. However, there are a couple of things to consider, such as the name of the blog, tricks on how to come up on search engines such as Google, which host to use (like WordPress or Blogspot, or university blog providers). A website name and hosting can also be purchased, and costs around  £10-£20 a year.

Other engagement tools mentioned are curation tools such as Delicious, SlidesShare, Pinterest, Bundlr, Storify, etc.

Finally, academics can contribute to existing blogs in their fields, like the  Impact of Social Sciences Blog or The Guardian Higher Education Network, as well as other platforms.