Social media is the last place scholars would expect to find sanctuary for their professional research. But with virtually everyone on one social media platform or another, the microblogging sites are a great resource for academics.
The World Wide Web is home to billions – yes, BILLIONS – of individual pages. Included in those pages are popular social media websites such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Of those four examples, LinkedIn is largely viewed as a place for professional networking and job hunting.
But the other three social media sites once regarded for connecting with family and friends are gaining traction in the professional world. Social media sites can help researchers broadcast their findings to a wider audience if used correctly.
The Importance of Keeping Your Personal and Professional Life Aligned in Higher-Ed
Almost daily, there’s a news article about someone in a professional field losing their job or facing repercussions for an ill-advised or unacceptable social media post. More and more frequently, employers are perusing a prospective hire’s social media activity during the interview process to catch any red flags.
Due to the ease of posting on social media, from apps downloaded to phones or tablets, many people post every passing thought to their profile. Mainstream celebrities are losing their careers due to problematic social media posts they made years before becoming famous.
Such incidents are cautionary tales for higher education professors as a reminder to keep their personal and professional lives aligned on social media. If you wouldn’t say it in person, don’t say it online.
Your social media profile reflects not only you but your institution and colleagues as well. Those in the academic world would do well to maintain their professionalism even on more relaxed social media sites.
Social Media for Research? The Pros and Cons
Who goes to social media sites to read research papers? You might be surprised! Internet users discover their niches in various corners of the internet, including social media sites.
While Twitter, Facebook, etc, were originally used to stay in touch with friends and family, their reach is expanding exponentially. Even the President of the United States has a Twitter account used to connect with American citizens on political and human issues.
Social media platforms can broadcast your research into places worldwide that you’d never be able to reach otherwise. But using social media is a double-edged sword if you’re not careful.
One of the cons of using Twitter is there’s a very precise window of opportunity to get your research article out there. You need the right username, the right hashtags and the right connections. A perfect storm of all three can help expand your research findings far beyond what a traditional scientific journal would.
Is Twitter the best platform for researchers to use?
Twitter Versus Other Platforms
The Silicon Valley tech boom of the mid-1990s was the precursor of innumerable social media sites and apps today. With so many platforms oversaturating the market, it can be difficult for users to find the best one for their needs.
Many people fluctuate between Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for their personal and professional connections. Instagram is a photo-sharing site rather than a place to share academic research. Facebook is useful for keeping up with extended family and high school classmates.
Twitter is where up-to-date trending topics have their ‘viral’ moment of internet glory. It’s there that researchers and scholars may find the most important professional connections and audiences for their research findings.
With the ‘retweet’ tool, millions of users could potentially share your research if you have the right connections.
Impactio: The Number One Scientific Networking Platform in America
While Twitter is a great option for sharing your research, it’s not a platform dedicated exclusively to like-minded professionals.
Impactio is America’s premier networking platform for scholars and researchers. With your profile, you can track your academic impact analytics and form connections simultaneously. Create an Impactio profile today to make the most of social media’s immeasurable reach.