Social media tips for authors and editors
To effectively spread the news about your research, it will be important to become an active and trusted member of the online communities that may be influential in helping to promote your publications.
Social networks can be beneficial to authors and editors in a variety of ways:
- By connecting you with like-minded people and communities
- By promoting you, your organization, your books, chapters or articles
- They are helping you shape your reputation.
- Personal websites, social media, forums and blogs have allowed for wider discovery of your content (by search engines such as Google).
Each of the following platforms and tools can be very effective as stand-alone activities, but are most effective when they are linked together and content is replicated across multiple vehicles.
Twitter enables the exchange of news, quick thoughts and interesting information for your “followers.”
- We recommend you use your real name to set up your account and 'handle', i.e. “@FirstNameLastName”, 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.
- When tweeting about your book, always link to its homepage. The URL will be http://link.springer.com/your_book's_ISBN
- You may want to include a hashtag for any topical or “trending” topics within your tweets. Example: If you are working in nanoscience, people might find your post via #nanoscience.
- Your followers can “retweet”, 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.
- You may also want to add a link to your Twitter profile in your email signature.
Facebook can be a very effective tool for creating an online profile, locating others with mutual interests, and communicating with potential readers.
Populate your Facebook page with your research activities and links to research you find interesting, your publications on springer.com and SpringerLink, conferences you will be attending, etc.
When posting about your book, always link to its homepage. The URL will be http://link.springer.com/your_book's_ISBN
You have two options for using Facebook depending on your level of comfort.
You can either use a personal account for professional reasons, or, if already using a personal account for personal reasons (i.e. keeping in touch with family and friends), consider creating an official page to professionally represent your work.
- Create an official fan page for your professional “brand”.
- Invite friends, colleagues, and students to “like” your page and become a friend either directly through Facebook or by e-mailing your colleagues with a link to the fan page.
- Regularly update the page according to your own comfort level (ideally at least 1-2x/week) by linking to your research, linking to research you find interesting (including your comments on the piece in your status update) to drive discussions with your fans, announcing your new product releases, noting when and where you will be conference-wise, etc.
- Include the link to your fan page within your email signature to encourage others to like your page as well.
LinkedIn is very similar to Facebook but with a distinctly professional slant. Populate your LinkedIn profile with your research activities and links to research you find interesting, your publications on springer.com and SpringerLink, conferences you will be attending, etc.
LinkedIn Groups are highly specialized groups which provide users with avenues for discussion and sharing information. They are a very effective tool for quickly locating and becoming a part of the online discussion in your specific subject area. Once you have been accepted into a group, you can post discussion items, updates and links to other items such as your research. Groups can be located through LinkedIn’s search tools.
Suggestions for getting 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.
ResearchGate is a scientific online network built specifically to foster communities around research. ResearchGate is also a particularly effective tool for finding the latest research and colleagues in your field and to also ask questions, get answers, and find solutions to research problems.
Reddit is a simple but unique online platform where registered community users can submit content, which can either be text posts or direct links.
Users then vote posts up or down, determining which posts move up the page and get more attention.
The Reddit page is similar to a bulletin board system.
Content topics are organized into specific boards called ‘subreddits’. These are separate pages dedicated to particular topics, e.g. science.
As Reddit is very community-based (rather than you having your own individual profile with users who can follow you), we recommend that you exercise caution when promoting your own individual works.
To avoid “spamming” discussions with your own content, ensure that the content you are linking to is highly relevant, answers a particular question, or will trigger a new discussion.
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 or as a video “abstract” for your latest article.
These can be easily created with your smartphone and/or computer and then posted to sites such as YouTube or iTunes for simple and free dissemination.
Suggestions for getting started:
Using a mobile phone or webcam, create a 1-3 minute video discussing your most recent research or commenting on current topics in your field (note that a “teaser” video perhaps guiding to additional content may be best, as ten percent of viewers click away after ten seconds and over half stop viewing after one minute.)
- 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. Note that you can also now directly record from your webcam to YouTube.
- 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.
- Use your networks to promote 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.
Images in your posts are great to use because they provide a visual edge to your posts and help grab attention of users when scrolling down news feeds (Tweets with pictures are 10 times more likely to be clicked and retweeted!)
It’s important to note, however, that many images may have copyright restrictions, which can make it difficult to use them without proper attribution.
Looking for tools for editing or creating images? Here are some suggestions.
When tweeting in particular, you may want to shorten the link you post. Twitter already does this for you, but using link shortening websites allows you to track how many clicks your link received. This is quite useful if you’re interested in measuring the impact of your social media activities. Potential sites you could use include:
Social media dashboards
- Social media dashboards help you manage multiple social media accounts at once. The tools allow you to:
- Schedule and manage your social outreach and engage with people across all your accounts on one dashboard.
- Organize and build custom timelines, keep track of lists, searches, activity and more.
- Create searches to track topics, events and hashtags.
- Collaborate with team members by assigning messages, creating workflows, and streamlining communications.
- Get all the data on how your posts perform and see it on easy-to-read reports.
One effective tool is to write a blog covering your area of expertise. A blog provides a forum for you to share your ideas and establish your expertise in the area. A blog can also be linked from a Facebook page or Tweets, providing you with a flow of fresh content for these tools.
For a blog to be impactful, it must be updated regularly, but this does not require you to constantly generate original content. Often, you can simply provide commentary on discussions occurring in other places or on current events and topics in your area of research.
Try locate the forums in your subject area and begin commenting on the topics being discussed. These forums can generally be found through industry or faculty groups, conference web sites, events and by making connections to your colleagues and peers.
Once you have begun connecting to your peers, start reading and commenting on their blogs. You can also provide links back to your own materials as appropriate.
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