How To Get More Out Of Social Media? Tips That Give Researchers A Competitive Edge!

By , UniversityHerald Reporter

The digital era is identified by technology which extends the span of knowledge turnover within the society and economy, and with the advancement of technology, social media has emerged as a quintessential communication tool for academics.

Whether its about engaging students, promoting a research, or accumulating media coverage for a specific department, adopting social media not only gives user a competitive edge, but also boosts chances of achieving an academic goal.

To further demonstrate this point, check out the case study reported by Harvard Business Review.

University of Toronto's civil engineering professor Marianne Hatzopoulou was looking for a way to promote her study on cyclists, and she singled out Twitter for the task. Hatzopoulou took to her Twitter handle to post a few tweets, engage people and urge them to fill out a survey connected to her research that centred on influence of air pollution on the behaviour of cyclists. However, with less than 100 followers, it looked like this plan flopped right in the beginning, but she continued tweeting anyway and urged her team to continue posting tweets.

It didn't take too long for her efforts to pay off as a cycling magazine took notice of her activity and even published a blog post about her study. The lady luck continued to smile at her as a reporter with Metro Toronto, a local paper noticed the blog post and contacted her for more information. Their phone conversation continued for about an hour and as a result, the next day it appeared as a front-page story touching on the danger of air pollution. The media coverage grabbed attention of a leading network, Global TV, as well as a radio show with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), which, with Earth Day drawing near, were looking for environment related stories. Hatzopoulou received an overwhelming response in terms of media requests, but more importantly, the publicity her work received was a dream come true for any researcher.

That said, there are certain guidelines that need to be followed to maximise your chances of receiving the desired response on social media.

Here's How To Get More Out Of Social Media

Building a targeted profile: Not knowing who you are trying to talk on social media is like shooting in the dark.

Who is your target audience on social media and what message do you want to convey to your targeted audience on social media?

Knowing answers to the aforementioned questions will help you identify your content, tone and audience. Producing targeted content facilitates in engaging targeted audience. Its crucial to ensure that your profile bio on LinkedIn, Twitter and other social media platforms justify the value you offer.

Engaging targeted audience in relevant discussion: Discussing issues that interest you as well as your audience will help place yourself as a leader in your domain. Its equally important for you to be fully aware of what exactly you want to be known for. There is a cut-throat competition in the personal branding space so its not adequate to opt for something as general as "human resources" or "marketing." Its advisable to evolve yourself in a particular niche; this will give you more opportunities to show you know what you're talking about on social media, even if your audience is slightly smaller, BufferApp reported.

Include social media into your daily routine: This will help you keep a tab on what others are talking about. Spending a few minutes to check-in on Twitter daily, is more productive as compared to spending an hour every two weeks. Engaging your audience consistently in discussions that matter to them and responding to others is the key.

Stop to consider what you're posting: Social media, without question is an effective tool for grabbing media attention and boosting one's profile, however if not handled with care, it may produce an opposite effect. Basically, before pushing 'send,' consider how your tweet would look like on the front page of USA Today.

Although you may not have too many followers initially, by being a smart user of social media, you can transform your research into impact.

Do you have any more tips to add to the above list of how to get more out of social media? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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