Whilst juggling your academic and research demands, you decided to add another string to your bow and jump on the social media band wagon. In no-time, the process of learning, refining and developing a respectable opinion leader portfolio on your chosen platforms will become integrated into your day.
Here, we explain six easy to follow tips to get you on your way to progress from social media beginner to social media pro.
TIP 1: Select the right social media platform
Choose 1-2 platforms to start with, and do these really well. We recommend LinkedIn and Twitter for academics.
TIP 2: Know when your target audience is most active on social media
Start off by ‘listening’, and by this we mean keep an ear to the ground to see when your audience is most active. You will need to consider day and time. Don’t forget your international colleagues too if you are wanting to engage with them. There is no perfect algorithm to this, with some analysis necessary to optimize greater effectiveness.
TIP 3: Use tools that helps you schedule your social media posts
There are a variety of tools out there that allow management and scheduling of content across multiple social media platforms. We personally enjoy using Hootsuite, and with this you will be able to upload and schedule your posts, images or links at your own pace. This helps free up the worry of needing to be present on your account to get your content out there 24/7!
TIP 4: Set a time frame to be active
Now that you know when your audience is most active, set aside a small block of time e.g. 10 – 15 min to be active on your social media platforms. It is important to use this time to engage with your audience. E.g. Reply to a colleagues Tweet about their latest publication and congratulate them.
TIP 5: Have a workflow
A fundamental aspect to keeping your activity consistent and effective is to have a few goals set out during those set time frames when you are on social media. Systematically figure out how many shares/retweets/page likes you want to do, how many people you want to follow or friend, and how many conversations you want to start, all of these conducted in a particular order. When you have such a routine in place, you go into this unconscious but legit automated state like driving to a familiar location, or pipetting, and you save a lot of time by going through your mental checklist.
TIP 6: Share the work of other’s
Posting content to social media does not necessarily have to always come from original content that you create. Sharing the work of others is a great way to create conversations, learn about the work of others, and it quite literally only takes a couple of clicks for it to be posted or shared on your own profile. People also appreciate that you are supporting what they have made or shared, and that appreciation may be rewarded when you get the time to post your own original content.
When first starting out on social media, embrace the concept of ‘give to get’. The more you share the content of others, comment, and engage in conversations, the more other people will notice you, and start to share your content too!
Now your comfortable using social media, learn why you should tweet at conferences.