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How to make yourself more visible in science



How to utilize social media for increasing your own visibility as a scientist as well as reaching out to the public. Organized by the Sahlgrenska Network & Career Development Platform. Speaker: Stina Börchers

In case you found this helpful I would be very happy if you invite me to a coffee:

How to make yourself more visible in science

  1. 1. How to make yourself more visible in science SAHLGRENSKA ACADEMY CAREER AND NETWORK DEVELOPMENT PLATFORM Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista
  2. 2. About me PhD Student in Neuroscience @GU Research: Neuroscience of eating behaviour, obesity, & anxiety • 2016: Instagram • 2017: Blog, Twitter • 2020: experimenting with TikTok Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista
  3. 3. My personal motivation Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista 1. Sharing my passion with family and friends 2. Being the guidance I would have liked to have as a first generation academic 3. Show how science works 4. Science for everyone! 5. Help end the stigma around mental- and eating disorders by educating 6. Networking
  4. 4. Things I probably wouldn’t have experienced without social media • supportive network with valuable contacts • interviews • invited talks • guest blogs • moderation of youtube videos by the German tv channel MDR • currently blogging for Tidningen Curie from the Swedish research council Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista
  5. 5. Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista “SciComm is remaining trial and error with a pinch of intuition for me.”
  6. 6. Why should scientists be on social media? Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista 3.6 billion people worldwide have used social media in 2020 • Fighting misinformation with information • If you want to reach the public: be where they spend their time! • Science is hidden behind paywalls and inaccessible language • Scientists are the experts in their fields and can get in direct contact with public
  7. 7. Why should scientists be on social media? Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista What people think a scientist looks like What scientists actually look like Ballerina
  8. 8. Benefits of being on social media as a scientist Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista
  9. 9. Benefits of being on social media as a scientist Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista  Increased visibility for journalists, potential collaborators, future employers, …
  10. 10. Where do I start? Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista Do you want to stay between scientists? … or do you also want to communicate to the lay audience?
  11. 11. The right platform Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista Linkedin, Researchgate Blog/Website, Twitter Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Youtube
  12. 12. Define your target audience and main media formats Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista LinkedIn Twitter Facebook Instagram TikTok Media formats Text, Images, Videos, Links, Stories Text, images, videos, gifs, fleets Text, images, videos, stories Images, videos (15 sec – 15 min), stories Not good for sharing links Video (15- 60sec) Required effort Low Low Low- Intermediate Intermediate- High Intermediate- high
  13. 13. Branding Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista • starts with a strong bio and username • can include logo, font, or color palette • can be specific kind of content • can be a certain way of writing • helps other people to recognize and remember you and your content easier (especially when you are consistent across platforms) ThePHYSiCiSt
  14. 14. Website and blog Website: • About • CV • Publications • Research and teaching • Outreach, Talks, Interviews • Links to other platforms, contact Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista Blog: • Texts for scientists or lay audience • Learn search engine optimization • Include tags in posts • Use a catchy title + image • Share on social media • Follow other science bloggers and engage • Newsletter e.g. Mailchimp,,,, blogger, …
  15. 15. Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista Twitter requires low effort. Twitter Networking 101 • Have a strong bio • Check out relevant hashtags • Speakers often include twitter handle • Engage with tweets (reply, retweet, like)
  16. 16. Share your research, talk about your experiences • Share useful tips • Links to interesting papers (summary?) • The same with own papers • Exchange your experiences with other researchers • Follow accounts that tweet papers in your field Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista
  17. 17. Example: Instagram post Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista • Appears in the feed • Allows up to 10 images or videos which can help tell your story • Tag location, include up to 30 hashtags, tag up to 20 people • Allows a caption of up to 2200 characters • Can be tricked by continuing with the text in the comments  • First phrase should be catchy or show what the audience can expect from the post
  18. 18. Examples: Instagram Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista
  19. 19. Example: Stories / Fleets Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista • Images or 15 sec videos, disappear after 24h
  20. 20. Example: Vertical video format Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista •15-60 seconds on TikTok •15-30 seconds on Instagram Reels •1 min to 15 min on IGtv •Leave a lot of room for creativity •Professional vs. entertaining Video: @martaoverchuk on instagram
  21. 21. “But I have no time” Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista
  22. 22. Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista Finding time for social media • For low effort: twitter and linkedin • Time on public transport, incubation times, waiting at the doctors office, … • Schedule a fixed time-frame every week to catch up on social media (or to plan own content!) • Don’t force yourself to post! Quality > quantity • Use planning tools like Tweetdeck or Facebook creator studio • Create content that you can share on several platforms
  23. 23. General tips Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista • Keep it short and concise, but don’t dumb it down • Bring in a little bit of your personality, be yourself • Be open to criticism • Be accessible • Post regularly and at times your followers are most active • Don’t be afraid of using emojis and gifs! • Only tag people if the post is relevant for them – don’t spam! • The more useful your content the more likely it is being shared
  24. 24. • Using relevant hashtags in your posts helps people find and interact with you • Instagram: combination of up to 30 “bigger” and “smaller” hashtags • Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, Linkedin: less is more, be specific with the hashtags Using #Hashtags efficiently Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista #RStats #OpenAccess #Neuroscience #PhDChat #PhDlife #academictwitter #sciencetwitter #ScienceTikTok #WomeninSTEM #biochat #scicomm #forskom #lifescience #epigenetics #neuroscience
  25. 25. Statistics help you find out what works Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista likes comments saves how often profile was visited reach interactions website clicks profileclicks new followers How often post has been viewed
  26. 26. Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista Follow the unspoken ‘code of honour’ • state your references (on social media, too!) • state the limitations of the studies and facts you are sharing • when sharing your own opinion, make sure it is clearly identifiable as such Be transparent.
  27. 27. Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista Helpful resources Twitter for scientists #Sciencefluencer – Communicating science at eye level How to utilize social media for science communication Which role should scientists play in science communication? Increasing your online visibility Tool to create Infographics, over, numerous other apps Source for license free images pixabay Tool for creating science figures (easy) Tool for sharing several links in one Linktree, linkinbio Link shortener websites
  28. 28. Use your platform wisely. Stina Börchers, M.Sc. | @stinabiologista @stina.biologista … and have fun 
  29. 29. Connect with me: @stinabiologista Stina Börchers @stina.biologista Stina Börchers PhD Student and Science communicator Sahlgrenska Academy, University of Gothenburg Time for questions!