I have recently completed a course on social media marketing and throughout this have looked at the way social media is utilised by some of the academics at the University of Birmingham and other Higher Education Institutions.
What has come to light is that maybe social media isn’t something that academics routinely use and it isn’t always a big part of their publishing/marketing strategy. I’d be interested to hear, do you use social media to enhance your research impact? Does it work for you?
Research undertaken has proven that engaging people in meaningful conversations about your research via social media is a great way to generate impact. @HelenDixon10 points out that: according to Altmetric, a research output is mentioned online every 1.8 seconds and having a strong social presence and making your research information accessible and shareable are key strategies for ensuring that your work gets noticed and disseminated online.
It used to be that academic conversations took place at conferences and in journals/publications. With social media growing so steadily and given the ease of access to social media platforms via laptops/tablets/phones, these digital conversations are now happening more often and with an almost guaranteed immediate response.
The Conversation shared the graphic below, to highlight the impact of Twitter in Science Publication and Communication: –
In order for any social media strategy to work it needs to be relevant and appeal to the right audience, so before committing to a social media plan you need to make sure you have the time to invest in it and to make sure that you update information and regularly engage with any followers.
I have looked at various social media tools and it appears that the two most effective forms are tweeting and blogging. You can tweet about new publications, conferences or websites that you are involved in and measure feedback through Twitter Analytics https://analytics.twitter.com/about.
If you do write a blog, what do you use it for? Is it to generate impact for your research? You can use a blog to disseminate your findings and lead people to open access publications, thus potentially increasing citations, you can use it to give a lay person an explanation of your research, maybe you could use your twitter account to lead people to your blog.
Have you considered using Google Analytics to monitor the impact of your blog? If you haven’t you can sign up and find out a bit about it here Google Analytics.
I recommend the following books if you are thinking of starting a blog, twitter account or any form of social media marketing about your research Social Media for Academics and Research Impact. These are both easy to read books that cover how to get your research out there with social media and how to make sure your social media presence has the right “Impact”.
I’d be interested to hear whether social media has worked for you or if you are just starting out using social media as an impact tool. If you would prefer to contact us via twitter you can do so here Impact_UoB.
Elizabeth currently has two roles within the Research Planning Team, the first is to provide administrative support for the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account, which involves advising on budgets and providing support to the Management Committee. She also acts as Personal Assistant to Dr Elizabeth Westlake (Deputy Director, Research Planning), including diary management, administration of the teams social media sites and helping to co-ordinate team activities.