Using Social Media To Connect With Your Professional Community
Social media is a great way to boost your visibility as a serious student of solid state and electrochemical science, learn about important developments and key players in the field, build your ECS Student Chapter, and launch/navigate your career.
When you engage on social media as a professional, your membership in ECS’s unique community gives you a springboard. You can employ ECS’s Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and YouTube channels to build your network, share valuable research you discover, and help share ECS news. When you publish research, social media is a great tool for enhancing the discovery of your paper, and research indicates that social sharing increases the likelihood of citations and replications.
Here are some tips to help you effectively promote your professional self, your ECS Student Chapter, and your work on social media:
Decide on some goals and then focus your efforts on one or two platforms. As you already know, social media can be a time vortex, and you don’t want to get sucked in too deeply and get distracted. Twitter is used extensively by the scientific community. YouTube, LinkedIn, and Facebook are also active platforms in our world. Scholarly collaboration networks will be addressed in a future ECS Blog post.
Shape your profile(s) to reflect your interests and aspirations and serve your professional objectives. It’s ok to mix in a bit of personal with the professional, but don’t over-share or be off-putting to the audiences with whom you want to engage about your work or to seek opportunities. Social media is forever, so use your best judgment and avoid the inappropriate.
Tap into community
Make sure to follow ECS social channels and connect with other members to build your own following. You have a unique opportunity to interact directly with members of our like-minded community, which includes some of the greatest names in the field. Post about your chapter’s activities. Don’t forget to tag ECS and/or use trending hashtags when you post (e.g. when you’re attending an ECS meeting).
A picture = 1000 words
Visuals and brief posts are more compelling than dense text. “Live” tweets and posts from chapter events and conferences, accompanied with properly tagged photos, can invite engagement.
The best way to build a following is to engage! When someone takes the time to comment on your post or send you a direct message, it is worth your while to respond. Letting people know you appreciate their interest and feedback is the best way to keep them interested. Be proactive: Ask a question when you post or comment. It works both ways—when you engage, you put yourself on someone’s radar. You never know… they could become a future collaborator or employer!
Measure and recalibrate
Social media platforms provide analytics on your activity that can be useful for assessing your progress. The information can be used to adjust your social strategy, if needed, and use your time effectively. Once you publish, ECS features research Altmetrics and Dimensions analytics (see Trending). Like a stone rippling in a pond, these resources allow you to see the global impact of your work via social media and other content types.