This presentation was originally delivered on January 26, 2015 to a department colloquia at UC Santa Cruz about building social media to communicate academic research for the grad students and professors
How to Make Your Online Presence Social by Melissa De Witte
How to make your
online presence social
This presentation was originally delivered on January 26, 2015 by
Melissa De Witte to a department colloquia at UC Santa Cruz
about building social media to communicate academic research
for the grad students and professors
Where does your online
The ﬁrst thing you do
when you hear of
someone, you Google
The ﬁrst impression
If you are not active
with maintaining your
online identity, you are
letting Google piece
together your proﬁle -
the good, the bad and
maybe the ugly.
Exercise: Google yourself right now.
Who do you think you are?
Google yields an identity by
default. For most academics,
it is their campus directory
listing, a review on
ratemyprofessors.com or a
Google Scholar citation.
Show the world who you
think you are
3 out of the 4 search results
for my name are social.
Social media helps improve
your visibility in search
Why not harness social to
give your online presence a
Make search social
Use social media to leverage your search results.
Use social media to stay current, topical and relevant
to your academic peers, your students and the world.
Use social media to take control of your voice online.
But social media is more than search.
What do you think of when you hear the term?
Exercise: write a list of words that you think
deﬁne social media. What words or concepts do
you associate with it, and why?
Barriers for Academics
• Not recognized as legitimate scholarly
• Personal vs professional proﬁle
• Lack of support to get you started***
*** = please use me as a resource!
Academics are lagging behind on social media
adoption. Reasons cited:
Why Academics Should Use
• Stay informed in your ﬁeld
• Engage with your professional peers
• Share your research and ideas
• Connect with peers at conferences and events
• Position yourself as a thought leader
• Makes yourself accessible to a wider audience
• Gives your work a voice
Voices of Experience
Faculty Voices: “Upon blogging and tweeting, within 24
hours, there were on average seventy downloads of my
- Melissa Terras, Professor of Digital Humanities,University
Voices of Experience
Graduate Voices: “Social
media platforms can inform
every step of the research
process: helping faculty get a
pulse on movement in their
industry, providing feedback
during research and then
assisting in the promotion of
the published work.”
- Amanda Alampi, NYU's
Robert F. Wagner Graduate
School of Public Service
Getting started: Find your
Find a “handle” that you use everywhere: your Twitter,
LinkedIn, website URL, blog URL, etc. Be consistent!
Do you sometimes include a middle initial?
Do you sometimes go by Jon or Jonathan?
Exercise: Pick one! Take a moment to peruse Twitter
and see what is available.
Tip: Avoid underscores!
Getting started: write a stellar
About sentence/ summary
Do: use hashtags!
Do: link to your afﬁliations
Do: link to your website or
proﬁle page if you don’t
Do: show your personality
through an interest or hobby
Do: Have a user pic!
Write a slightly longer statement
for LinkedIn & elsewhere
Note: Using the same proﬁle picture.
This consistency allows for
• Keep your about statement to
3-4 short sentences (very short if
you are on Twitter
• Stick to layman terms
• Remember to be concise
Note: Like your proﬁle picture,
your about statement should be
consistent with your other social
Getting started: Find
Wondering who to follow and friend?
• Professional acquaintances
• Peers in the ﬁeld
• Academics, journalists, thought leaders you admire
• Your institution, your division and your department
• Follow students carefully. It’s OK to follow graduate
student or post graduate student who Tweet
Exercise: Can you explain your research in 140
Exercise: write your own About statement.
What is does your About statement say about you?
Tip: things to include are your afﬁliations, your
industry specialty and your research focus. What
makes you, YOU?
Exercise: Make connections! Search for your
favorite author, academic, journalist on Twitter. !
Or ﬁnd you alma mater - or better yet - ﬁnd if your
department at your alma mater is Tweeting. !
What do you like about what they do online?
What is there “persona” like on Twitter versus their
Appendix: Useful Reading
How to Maintain your Digital Identity as an Academic:
Is Blogging and Tweeting about research papers really worth it?
Social media is more than simply a marketing tool for academic
Appendix: Social Media