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Authors & Editors - Journal Authors - Helpdesk | Online Tools and Social Media

Online Tools and Social Media

Learn more about a number of tools that will help you establish your online profile and credentials. Each of these can be very effective as stand-alone activities, but are most effective when they are linked together and content is replicated across multiple vehicles to reach the largest possible audience.

Facebook 

Facebook
Facebook is the leading social network worldwide and can be a very effective tool for creating an online profile, locating others with mutual interests and communicating with potential readers.

Some suggestions to get started:

Create your facebook account with your real name
  • Search for Colleagues and peers and invite them to become your ‘friend’. As you build up your profile others will invite you to become their friends and your community will quickly develop.
  • Populate your facebook page with your activities, links to your blog, your publications on Springer.com and SpringerLink, other items of interest, etc. Your friends will be notified as updates to these activities occur.
Set up a facebook fan page for your book including cover picture and the link to the book’s page on springer.com or springerlink.com where readers can view a preview
  • Invite your friends to become a fan and send comments about your book
  • Also Include any reviews or news items related your book as they occur

Google+ 

Google Plus
What is Google+?
Google+ was launched in 2011, as Google’s way to establish a vibrant social network of their own. It offers a mixture of features that one might be familiar with from Facebook and Twitter. It is growing very quickly, but many are still unsure if it will become a stable network, or go the way of Google Buzz, which was recently shuttered by Google.
List of Google+ features
Google+ offers a unique range of features intended to connect you with others, and provide channels for interaction, not just “following.” These include:
  • Circles: help you manage those you are connected with.
  • Streams: these are akin to newsfeeds from those you have added to circles.
  • Status updates can be longer and include images and videos. You also have the option to share your updates with only specific circles or make them public.
  • Hangouts: a video chat service where multiple people can join a conversation.
There are many other features within Google+, and more being added on a regular basis. Those listed above will help you get comfortable with the most basic uses of the platform.
How do I get started with Google+?
You can join by logging in with your existing Google account or by creating a new one. Once you join, complete your profile, and begin connecting with friends, colleagues, and acquaintances by adding them to circles. Google starts you off with some generic circles, but you can create custom circles that suit your social life.
You can also choose to follow thought-leaders or others that you want to hear from, but may not know personally.
Finally, read the streams of content that others are sharing, and consider posting your own updates. Like many social networks, you learn best by doing.

LinkedIn 

LinkedIn
Often called facebook for business, LinkedIn is very similar in design and application to facebook, but with a distinctly business slant. Thousands of highly specialized groups have formed within LinkedIn, providing users with avenues for discussion and sharing information.

Some suggestions to get started:

Create your account under your real name so that others will recognize you.
  • Complete your resume and history with all of your credentials and accomplishments.
  • Be sure to include links to your book page on Springer.com and SpringerLink, your blog, Twitter account, etc. LinkedIn provides a number of fields for professionals to include all manner of information such as patents, certifications, published materials, etc.
  • You may also want to add a link to your LinkedIn profile in your email signature.
LinkedIn Groups are a very effective tool for quickly locating and becoming a part of the online discussion in your specific subject area.
  • Groups can be located through LinkedIn’s search tools
  • Once you have been accepted into the group, you can post discussion items, updates and links to other items such as your blog.

Research Gate 

ResearchGate
ResearchGate is a scientific online network, currently gathering around 1.4 million researchers. The platform is similar to LinkedIn, but built specifically to foster communities around STM research. ResearchGate is also a particularly effective tool for finding the latest research and colleagues in your field.

Some suggestions to get started:

  • Follow the same steps for establishing your profile on ResearchGate as you would for facebook or LinkedIn.
  • Locate and connect with colleagues and peers.
  • Your ResearchGate profile can also be linked to both your facebook and LinkedIn profiles.

Twitter 

Twitter
Twitter is a unique social networking tool that enables the exchange of news, quick thoughts and interesting information for your “followers.” Twitter can be an effective tool for keeping in regular contact with your audience by providing brief updates or advertising more extensive updates on other platforms, such as your blog.
  • Messages are delivered in the form of ‘tweets’ and are limited to a maximum of 140 characters
  • Your followers can “re-tweet”, meaning if they like your news item or your book they can easily pass on your message to their network, expanding your reach to potentially include multiple networks of followers.

Some suggestions to get started:

Set up an account with your username – this will be your “twitter handle” and always starts with “@”
  • Your handle should be “@FirstNameLastName”
  • It is important to use your real name, to ensure that other researchers recognize you
  • Search for colleagues and peers – follow them and invite them to follow you
  • Start tweeting news about your research, interesting news items or things you have read, updates to your blog, updates on your book or plans to attend a conference.
  • Be sure to add interest and value to your tweets by commenting the items you include
  • One very effective tool for Tweeting is a site called Tinyurl.com. For links to items lengthy URL’s, Tinyurl.com will generate a much shorter URL, allowing you to use more of the 140 characters to comment on the item being linked.

Wikipedia 

Wikipedia
If your research and your name are widely known in the community, you may find that you already have an entry in Wikipedia. If not, Wikipedia is easily updated by anyone wishing to create an entry or update and existing article. You should create or update your biography to include a list of your background, credentials, areas of interest and publications with a link to the relevant publishers.

Some suggestions to get started:

  • Create or update your profile on Wikipedia to include the most current information about your research and publications
The Wikipedia template provides places to include a number of external links. You should be sure to update all of the possible links in your entry. These can include:
  • Publications
  • References
  • External links such as author sites, publisher sites or blogs
  • Suggestions for further reading – articles, books, etc.

Video and Audio Posts 

Another very effective tool for expanding your online brand is to create an audio or video broadcast on current topics in your subject area. These can be easily created with a well-equipped laptop computer and then posted to sites such as YouTube or iTunes for simple and free dissemination. Because these are a different media than text entries, they will typically show up separately in Search results providing yet another avenue for discovery.
Some suggestions to get started:
Using a webcam equipped laptop, create a 2-minute video discussing your most recent research or commenting on current topics in your field.
  • Post the video to YouTube and be sure to include as many relevant keywords as possible in your description. These will be found and returned in Search results.
  • Post links to your video -- or even better, embed the video itself in your personal website, blog and facebook page using the simple tool that YouTube provides.
  • Tweet the link to your new video.
Record an audio podcast discussing your research or other current topics
  • Post your podcast to iTunes
  • Post links to your podcast in your personal website, blog and facebook page.
  • Tweet the link to your new podcast.

Further Information 

For further information about any aspect of publishing in Springer journals, please consult our general Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page or contact our Author Helpdesk.
 
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