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Developing a Professional Social Media Presence on Twitter – Tips and Strategies for Researchers and Academics


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When used to support and promote professional activities, social media can be a powerful tool for faculty, researchers, and clinicians. Platforms like Twitter make it easy and convenient to disseminate research, expand professional networks, and interact with new audiences. Given all the potential benefits, it is important to develop an intentional social media strategy that will enhance one’s career.
This webinar provides social media guidance for researchers and academics who are looking to build a professional, digital presence. Social media case studies, step-by-step instructions for conducting a “digital audit” and recommended tips for social media use are presented.

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Developing a Professional Social Media Presence on Twitter – Tips and Strategies for Researchers and Academics

  1. 1. Developing a professional social media presence on Twitter – Tips and strategies for researchers and academics by Sarah M. Mojarad University of Southern California | @Sarah_Mojarad
  2. 2. Education & Professional Experience Boston University, BA Psychology Northeastern University, MS Corporate & Organizational Communication, specialization in Social Media and Online Communities @Sarah_Mojarad
  3. 3. Topics for Today’s Presentation Motivations and opportunities Issues and common concerns Tips and strategy Digital audit Q&A @Sarah_Mojarad
  4. 4. Why Use Social Media? Digital Landscape 7.6 billion people in the world 5.1 billion unique mobile users 4 billion internet users 3.2 billion active social media users 3 billion active mobile social media users @Sarah_Mojarad
  5. 5. Increase in Internet Usage
  6. 6. Social Media Opportunities Professional Use of Social Media: Increase research impact and audience reach Conduct inreach Improve communication skills Control your own message Combat misinformation Become a trusted source of scientific information for the public @Sarah_Mojarad
  7. 7. Increase Impact and Reach @Sarah_Mojarad
  8. 8. Social Media Increases Article Views The more social media mentions an article receives the more visitors it attracts from social media referrals.1 1Wang, X.; Cui, Y.; Qingchun, L.; and X. Guo. (2017). Social Media Attention Increases Article Visits: An Investigation on Article-Level Referral Data of PeerJ. Front. Res. Metr. Anal. 2(11): 1-7. DOI: @Sarah_Mojarad
  9. 9. Social Media and Alternative Metrics @Sarah_Mojarad
  10. 10. Improve Communication Skills @Sarah_Mojarad
  11. 11. Improve Communication Skills @Sarah_Mojarad
  12. 12. Improve Communication Skills @Sarah_Mojarad
  13. 13. Control Your Message @Sarah_Mojarad
  14. 14. Control Your Message @Sarah_Mojarad
  15. 15. Control Your Message Combat Misinformation @Sarah_Mojarad
  16. 16. Online Role of STEMM Professionals A source of credible information Fosters trust and understanding with patients and the public Serves as an ambassador to one’s profession, peers, societies, and organizations Avoids activities that can decrease the public’s trust in STEMM communities @Sarah_Mojarad
  17. 17. Be Authentic and Honest @Sarah_Mojarad
  18. 18. Be Authentic and Honest “…every deal I do, I never include my Instagram…it’s off limits. It’s my personal world. I love just posting when something is really authentic. I can smell a mile away when something is not authentic.” June 24, 2015 July 19, 2015 @Sarah_Mojarad
  19. 19. Trusted Sources are Needed @Sarah_Mojarad
  20. 20. Trusted Sources are Needed @Sarah_Mojarad
  21. 21. Use Social Media to Increase Trust @Sarah_Mojarad
  22. 22. Trusted Sources are Needed @Sarah_Mojarad We need you on social media!
  23. 23. Tips and Strategy Improve your Twitter posts @Sarah_Mojarad
  24. 24. High Quality Posts: Focus on Your Message @Sarah_Mojarad Article title Key point Link to publication Figure Authors are tagged Specialized hashtags
  25. 25. Online Engagement JCR. Licklider and Robert W. Taylor, The Computer as a Communication Device, 1968
  26. 26. Engage Posts @Sarah_Mojarad #MedTwitter #SciComm
  27. 27. Twitter Like @Sarah_Mojarad
  28. 28. Retweet @Sarah_Mojarad Shows up in your account feed Shows up on your follower’s feed
  29. 29. Retweet with Comment Retweeted content @Sarah_Mojarad
  30. 30. Highly Engaging Post Hashtags improve reach Video is appealing and builds a positive association between USC and Twitter audience @Sarah_Mojarad
  31. 31. Add Photos and Video More context Visual Evokes emotion @Sarah_Mojarad
  32. 32. Think about how to reuse content for different audiences Inreach perspective @Sarah_Mojarad
  33. 33. Common Concerns @Sarah_Mojarad
  34. 34. Concern: Lack of Time/Distraction Average number of push notifications per day: 46* 90% of text messages are read within 3 minutes** * **
  35. 35. Suggested Solutions Strategic Use @Sarah_Mojarad Adjust notifications Follow accounts that are related to professional activity Tweet with purpose
  36. 36. Adjust notifications @Sarah_Mojarad
  37. 37. Accounts related to discipline: Adjust alerts @Sarah_Mojarad
  38. 38. Tweet with purpose Strategic Use @Sarah_Mojarad Provide updates on field or latest research Follow accounts that are relevant to your discipline Use account at professional events Add general and discipline specific hashtags #MedTwitter #AcademicTwitter
  39. 39. Common Concern Misinformation @Sarah_Mojarad Information online is not always accurate Fake information can lead to ill-informed decisions that have consequences Combatting misinformation can lead to trolling and negative consequences
  40. 40. Professionally Packaged Misinformation @Sarah_Mojarad
  41. 41. Professionally Packaged Misinformation @Sarah_Mojarad
  42. 42. Why Misinformation Spreads Echo chamber World views Familiarity Oversimplification Complex truths and reality @Sarah_Mojarad
  43. 43. Tips: Combatting Misinformation Find commonalities For public engagement, aim to influence those on the fence—not people who have already formed a strong opinion Engage others with the “lurkers” in mind Know when to exit the conversation Listen to the other person’s perspective—don’t interrupt Always take the high road @Sarah_Mojarad
  44. 44. Common Concern Fake Experts Online @Sarah_Mojarad No peer-review or gate keepers online It is difficult to determine which sources are truthful or are using science for unethical personal gain
  45. 45. Fake Experts @Sarah_Mojarad
  46. 46. Fake Experts @Sarah_Mojarad
  47. 47. Fake Experts @Sarah_Mojarad
  48. 48. Social media needs credible sources @Sarah_Mojarad
  49. 49. Credible Sources @Sarah_Mojarad
  50. 50. Trusted Sources @Sarah_Mojarad
  51. 51. Social Media and Credible Sources Social Media Accounts Authority, expertise, reputation, affiliation, and source Who follows and engages with the account? Does the person have the background to be speaking on the topic? Content Quality (spammy?), tone, bias, clarity, spelling and grammar @Sarah_Mojarad
  52. 52. Common Concern No Guidelines or Rules @Sarah_Mojarad It’s important to know what can/should be communicated and what should remain offline (copyrights, papers, patents, or privileged information that should remain private)
  53. 53. Create your own rules Congratulate others on successes Constructively highlight issues in STEM and academia Share information through “tweetorials” #SoMe #MedTwitter #SciTwitter #SciComm Keep content varied on each platform @Sarah_Mojarad
  54. 54. Social Media Tips Tips for Social Media Use Build a professional network on Twitter Quality posts over quantity Hashtags can help your posts reach wider audiences Don’t be afraid to engage others online with comments, likes and retweets! @Sarah_Mojarad
  55. 55. Rethink a Digital Presence @Sarah_Mojarad
  56. 56. Conduct a Digital Audit Confirm information is up-to-date and accurate Determine if your content aligns with your overall personal brand and objectivesUse disclosures on public facing profiles @Sarah_Mojarad
  57. 57. Review Google Search Results Look beyond the first page Delete old profiles to remove outdated photos If you’re unhappy with content and can’t remove it, adjust settings to manipulate search results @Sarah_Mojarad
  58. 58. Review Existing Profiles Link branded content together Make adjustments when needed (add a disclosure statement) Be consistent with public facing profile images, titles and bios @Sarah_Mojarad
  59. 59. Digital Audit Review in “public mode” Don’t overlook comments or posts Use bio sections strategically @Sarah_Mojarad
  60. 60. Implement Changes Recently updated images and biography @Sarah_Mojarad
  61. 61. Implement Changes @Sarah_Mojarad
  62. 62. Monitor, Manage, Update This process is ongoing and will require periodic checking. Google Alerts is a free tool you can use to monitor updates to your search results. To set it up, designate keywords (your name and area of study). Specify how often you’d like to receive an email alert for updates. @Sarah_Mojarad
  63. 63. Thank you! Contact Information: Twitter: @Sarah_Mojarad Instagram: @Sarah_Mojarad YouTube: SarahMojarad1 LinkedIn: