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Communicating Science Through Social Media: Tools and Techniques

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A talk that was delivered to the Society of Spanish Researchers in the United Kingdom. I talked about the potential of tweeting, and blogging, and tools such as Audiense, Social Elephants and finally DiscoverText which can facilitate academic research.

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Communicating Science Through Social Media: Tools and Techniques

  1. 1. Communicating Science Through Social Media: Tools and Techniques Wasim Ahmed (BA, MSc) Twitter (was3210) Email: wahmed1@Sheffield.ac.uk Saturday 13th of May 2017
  2. 2. About me • Third Year PhD student in the Health Informatics Research Group, Information School, University of Sheffield. (Faculty Scholarship). • Worked as a Teaching Assistant and Research Associate teaching and researching social media • Run an analytics blog with readership in over 136 countries. Read across media, government, and academia.
  3. 3. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 3 https://wasimahmed.org/about/ http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/impactofsocialsciences/?s=wasim+ahmed Published a number of research papers, and blogged widely.
  4. 4. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 4 • Delivered a number of talks related to my research such as to the government , media , and industry. • Featured in White Rose DTC Researchers in the News (2014/2015/2016) • Upcoming talk to delegates at the European Centre for Nuclear Research at CERN in Geneva. June, 2017. Recent and Upcoming talks
  5. 5. Aims • Provide an overview of how I utilised social media and blogging to reach new audiences. • Gain new insight on strategies you can adopt in order to potentially attract new readership • Develop knowledge on the tools to support dissemination as well as social media research 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 5
  6. 6. Initial thoughts on Twitter • Was sceptical of social media and Twitter – wasn’t aware of the potential • Fear of the unknown and having a public facing account • Joined in 2014 when I started my PhD and followed the #PhDChat and #NSMNSS hashtags 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 6
  7. 7. Starting out • Started off tweeting news articles and papers related to social media • Would use Twitter to tweet during conferences and network (I know you from Twitter…) • Found it useful for asking questions about research e.g., asking if people know about papers related to a specific topic 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 7
  8. 8. Account Would Grow Overtime 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 8
  9. 9. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 9 Twitter Analytics
  10. 10. Why I Started to Blog • Found that it can take a long time to publish journal and/or conference papers • Started a research blog which facilities instant publishing • Also acted as a way of linking publications and workshop slides in one place 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 10
  11. 11. Why I started to blog 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 11
  12. 12. Linked the blog to my Twitter 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 12 • If you like and/or retweet another user they may click on your account to see who you are. This may convert to blog readers which may also convert to people who click on your academic work
  13. 13. Twitter Visitors Convert to Blog Readers 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 13
  14. 14. Twitter Visitors Convert to Blog Readers 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 14 Retweet from journalist
  15. 15. Twitter and Blog Visitors Convert to Research Gate Readers 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 15 Academic work Twitter Blogging
  16. 16. Examples 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 16
  17. 17. Result 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 17
  18. 18. Other Social Media Platforms • Cross post to LinkedIn • Cross post to departmental blog • Occasionally cross post to Facebook • Not found a use for Instagram (yet) 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 18
  19. 19. Tips for starting out on Twitter • Start a Twitter account and Tweet interesting content • Find other researchers in your discipline and/or the community hashtag e.g., #NSMNSS • Start a hashtag and/or a community if one does not exist for your discipline 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 19
  20. 20. Avoid Sending Tweets Like This 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 20
  21. 21. Do send tweets like this 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 21
  22. 22. • Guest blog (LSE Impact) and/or create your own blog (WordPress/ Medium) • Make sure to adjust your writing to a non- academic audience • Connect your blog to your Twitter and make sure to forward to people who may be interested in reading it 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 22 Tips for blogging
  23. 23. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 23 “The LSE Impact Blog is a hub for researchers, administrative staff, librarians, students, think tanks, government, and anyone else interested in maximising the impact of academic work in the social sciences and other disciplines. We hope to encourage debate, share best practice and keep the impact community up to date with news, events and the latest research.”
  24. 24. Guest Blogging for the London School of Economics and Political Sciences Impact Blog 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 24 • My most popular post has over 20 thousand page views and cited in journals, conferences, and a PhD thesis • Led to event invitations, and increased visibility of my academic work as blog has a strong readership • Very friendly team and editors who are extremely supportive
  25. 25. Tools to Facilitate Communication 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 25
  26. 26. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 26 Social Media Analytics for Increasing Engagement (Audiense)
  27. 27. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 27 Social Media Analytics for Consumer Engagement (Audiense) • You can leverage the metadata provided by Twitter to build specific audiences. • You can use this information target users and monitor the performance of the message that you send.
  28. 28. DHL #AfricaAsOne • Wanted to increase awareness and target influencers – used Audiense • They were able to find over 65 thousand influencers across 45 Countries • Secured a reach of 1,200,750,000, with an advertising value equivalent of £12,112,8671 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 28
  29. 29. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 29 Filter and Target
  30. 30. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 30 Audiense Results
  31. 31. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 31 Social Elephants
  32. 32. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 32 Social Elephants
  33. 33. Social Elephants - Examine Reach 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 33
  34. 34. Trial for Social Elephants and Audiense • Social Elephants 2 Month Trial use code: SRUK and email support@socialelephants.com with code in subject. • Audiense Community Manager 14 days https://buy.audiense.com/trial/new 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 34
  35. 35. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 35 • Twitter has over 313 million monthly active users1 – consumers can use this channel to express their views. • Research on Twitter has the potential to cut across many disciplines • Questions arise over how to obtain and analyse social media data 1 https://about.twitter.com/company Twitter for academic research
  36. 36. DiscoverText 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 36 • This presentation will focus on the potential of DiscoverText for analysing Twitter data for academic research. • However, there are many more potential uses of DiscoverText
  37. 37. DiscoverText used in… • Consumer industries • Education • Human Resources • Legal • Medical & Pharma • Government • Military 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 37
  38. 38. DiscoverText as Data Science • DiscoverText has a number of very powerful text mining, human coding, and machine learning features • Access to the free Twitter Search API data • Access to premium Gnip PowerTrack 2.0 Twitter data 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 38
  39. 39. Fiver Pillars of Text Analytics • Search • Filtering • De-duplication and Clustering • Human Coding • Machine-Learning 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 39
  40. 40. For a topic overview you could • Retrieve Twitter data on a topic of interest search and filter out non-relevant data. • Generate duplicates and near-duplicate clusters. • This would allow you to more easily code the data. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 40
  41. 41. Finding influencers 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 41
  42. 42. DiscoverText has Active Learning • You can manually code a sub-set of data in DiscoverText then allow a machine to code the next iteration • You can check for quality (adjust coding parameters) and run the cycle again • So humans and machines work together 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 42
  43. 43. Twitter as a Consumer Panel • According to one statistic there are on average 6 thousand tweets a second! • So around 350,000 tweets are sent every minute • Which makes it around 500 million tweets per day 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 43
  44. 44. An example: Manchester Derby • During a football game users were tweeting about a buzzing sound, and some were not happy with Sky’s camera angles • You could use DiscoverText to filter the data 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 44
  45. 45. 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 45 Import Twitter data
  46. 46. Applying Text Analytics • Search for ‘buzzing’, ‘noise’, and ‘camera’ • Find positive instances (‘what’s that buzzing noise from Sky?) and also negative e.g., people ‘buzzing’ from the game, or which team is making the most ‘noise’ • Generating clusters and coding the data 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 46
  47. 47. Importance of generating clusters 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 47
  48. 48. DiscoverText • Request a 3 day trial • http://discovertext.com/start-a-free-trial/ 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 48
  49. 49. Conclusion • Provided an overview of how I utilised social media and blogging to reach new audiences. • Provided a list of strategies you can adopt in order to potentially attract new readership • Outlined tools to support scientific dissemination as well as social media research 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 49
  50. 50. Questions? 13/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield 50
  51. 51. To Discover And Understand.

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