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The importance of social media presence

Having a presence on the Internet and social media is very important for scientists: watch Lydia Gil discuss more.

Why should scientists be on social media?

The internet is flooded with scientific news – both fake and real. This is one of the reasons why scientists should be part of the scientific arena on the web – yet, only a small percentage of them do that.

Different social networks cater to different audiences, but Twitter is the most popular between scientists and science communicators. When tweeting, hashtags are an important tool to raise your visibility. This includes using hashtags as #SciComm, as well as other ones more specific to your topic. Some popular science communication accounts, such as @iamscicomm, are rotation curation projects – which means that different people take them over for a limited period of days, contributing to the output of the account and gaining its visibility and follower base.

A different idea is to blog about science – even if the role of blogging declined with time, Medium blends social media elements with blogging and social journalism. It is regularly used to post opinion pieces, how-tos and essays, and it can play a role in your social media strategy, both as a young researcher or as an experienced science communicator.

As we will discuss in the following steps, having a strategy is crucial to communicate science, even on social media: having in mind your audience, keeping a consistent image and having a clear goal in mind will help you plan your actions and increase their effectiveness.

What we would like you to do

  • Tell us more about your strategy
  • Do you use social media to talk about science?
  • Do you engage in discussions on forums and sites such as Reddit, where science news can draw thousands of comments?
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Science Communication and Public Engagement

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