“I want to do something with social media” are words often used by many researchers. Often, they end up with an empty Twitter account or a Facebook page with as many fans as you have colleagues. “Doing something with social media” is fun, but needs to be thought out. Click the slider for 10 tips and tricks on social media!

1. Quality over quantity

Start small, choose one or two social media channels and build these up with quality posts.

2. Plan ahead

At the start of the month or week, make a plan of what you want to post. This will allow you to work in a more routine and time-saving way. Programs such as Hootsuite can help you plan.

3. Fill in every inch of your profile

It is professional and immediately lets your potential fans/followers know who you are, what you stand for and why they should ‘like’ and ‘follow’ you.

4. Advertise your social media channels

Do you have a nice Facebook page or a fun Instagram account? Scream it from the rooftops! Make sure to put your social media channels on your website, e-mail signature, poster, postcards, coursebooks,…

5. Offer something extra on your social media channels

Make sure that your followers or fans get an added value out of your account or page. These are the ideal media to organize giveaways at congresses or events, provide extra information, organize competitions that are only accessible to fans,…

6. Post for your target audience, not for yourself

Do not ask yourself “what do I want to say/talk about?”, but “what does my target audience want to know?”.

7. Use images

Photos and videos are successful on every channel. Do not post anything on Facebook without a picture, even if you cannot find anything other than a photo of a cat in a box.

8. Ensure a personal/professional balance

You are not a robot, and the people should know! Social media are more personal in nature than other types of media. Use this to provide a look behind the scenes of your lab, subject field, lectures, your life as a researcher,…

9. Make friends

Who in your subject field is successful online? How do they do it? Keep track of best practices and learn from them! Make sure to talk to them sometimes by putting an @ in front of their Twitter/Facebook name.

10. Analyze your work

Take a look at your Facebook statistics from time to time. Analyze which posts were successful, and which were not.