So I don’t think we talk enough about all things that we do here at ErrantScience. Over the last year we’ve gotten really good at doing projects with people and then quietly moving the work from a folder called ‘do this’ to one called ‘archive’. This struck me as a bit daft considering that one of the things that we did recently was give a talk at Boston University specifically highlighting how researchers should share their work more… so here we are taking our own advice and we’re gonna tell you all about our talk:

How to Use Social Media to Promote Your Expertise and Engage Target Audiences

Catchy title right? It uses a whopping 77 characters which if you’re tweeting about it is a real bugger of a character hog. I regret not pushing for the punchier ‘Social Media Lol wut?’ which is a much tweet-friendlier 20 characters.

Under this title we were tasked with putting together a talk that would help faculty and students at Boston University from a range of backgrounds engage with and understand social media. No small task when the background of the attendees range from humanities to sciences and fresh-faced student to seasoned professor.

Our approach at ErrantScience is to focus first on the fairly obvious things such as why do it at all and how to practically do it, but we also focus on the importance of stories.

Knowing what to share or how to share something on social media is difficult when you’re not used to packaging things up in a readily accessible way. We try and talk researchers through thinking about the ‘stories’ of their work. This isn’t an invitation for researchers to make up things about their work, but to think of ways of conveying their work via headlines.

Slide ~30 from our talk

We also covered how stories about your work are great, but on social media you also need to have the story of yourself! This is a much harder idea to get across as if you’re not already on social media being all social and sharey then it can be pretty daunting to share your latest paper alongside your cat’s new bow tie.

This approach isn’t perfect and takes a lot of practice but social media is about getting that practice and learning to do it better and better over time.

This was a Zoom talk so the immediate feedback was great. By which I mean the little light next to my camera stayed green for the whole thing and green = good. Luckily Boston University sent out a survey and shared the feedback with us, highlights include:

If you’d like ErrantScience to come do a talk for you then check out our talks page, and please get in touch on our contacts us page or via one of our social media channels.

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