Take control of your message
With social media you have control of the messages you send. This is different than traditional media, where you have little control over what's reported. It's also a great way to boost your profile as a thought leader in your area of research – on your own terms.
Network and Connect
Connect with a worldwide network of academic peers - it takes some time to establish your network, but it isn't as hard as you think.
Keep up with news
Social media may make it easier to find out about the key papers published in your area of research, and connect you with peers who are discussing them. It's also a great way to keep up on the latest research trends.
Increase your citations
Social media can spark interest in a paper that may otherwise go unnoticed.
Share what you know
You want your work to be relevant. You also want to make a difference, boost scientific understanding and inspire people. Social media gives you a chance to share what you know. It may also help boost public support for research, or inspire someone younger to follow in your footsteps.
Set the Record Straight
Social media is an effective forum for correcting misinformation in the media. In many cases, mistakes are not intentional - and reporters or bloggers may even thank you for your help. Social media also serves as a town square to discuss published research.
Share Interesting Things
If you've read something that your peers may benefit from, social media is an excellent place to share it. Sometimes simply sharing a link will spark a discussion - or a friendly debate. This is a good way to make new connections and build your network.
Enhance Your Research
Consider blogging or tweeting about your research. It may attract comment, feedback or challenges from your peers. It may also increase how frequently your research is cited. Social media channels can make these things happen.
It is easy
It may not be easy at first – but it gets easier with practice. If you're new to social media, start off as a spectator and follow people with common interests. Then, ease into sharing links to stories, papers and other things that interest you. Finally, start creating original content. This takes time, but once you see the results you'll be glad you did it.
It is… you're just going to have to trust us on this one!
- Science and Social Media: Some Academics Still Don't 'Get It' by Kirk Englehardt (@kirkenglehardt) Georgia Tech
- Ten Reasons for Academics to Use Social Media and Twitter by Josephine Scoble (@Paraphyso) University of Oxford