How to make professional use of social media

Use it to share key results and updates, promote an event or farm visit and engage with other researchers, farmers, advisors and public.

Twitter

Twit­ter is great for:

  • Shar­ing research/​updates to a large audience 
  • Help­ing to get your research/​work or name known
  • Inter­act­ing with peo­ple with­in and out­side your indus­try (See How to use hash­tags and tags)
  • Help­ing to mea­sure your reach (See How to mea­sure my social media reach)
  • Shar­ing research/​updates to a large audi­ence. With Face­book you can write longer more detailed posts.
  • Shar­ing videos, links to arti­cles and web­sites from your research or business 
  • Inter­act­ing with peo­ple through com­ments as well as pri­vate and pub­lic groups.
  • Shar­ing pho­to and video updates about your research or on your farm
  • Engag­ing with your tar­get audi­ence through com­ments, Insta­gram sto­ries or pri­vate direct messages.
  • Pro­mote events or key results. 

Facebook

There are bil­lions of Face­book users around the world. It is great for:

  • Shar­ing research/​updates to a large audi­ence. With Face­book you can write longer more detailed posts.
  • Shar­ing videos, links to arti­cles and web­sites from your research or business 
  • Inter­act­ing with peo­ple through com­ments as well as pri­vate and pub­lic groups.

Instagram

Insta­gram has risen in pop­u­lar­i­ty because its based around the shar­ing of images and film.

It is great for:

  • Shar­ing pho­to and video updates about your research or on your farm
  • Engag­ing with your tar­get audi­ence through com­ments, Insta­gram sto­ries or pri­vate direct messages.
  • Pro­mote events or key results.

Here are the top things to think about when composing a social media post

What is the point?

Does your tweet or Facebook post inform and engage? Is it making a statement, illustrating an activity or inviting a response? One tweet can do all three.

What have you used to add interest?

Including a great photo and a short, good film is much more likely to attract interest.

Does it signpost followers to useful information?

A tweet has to be short: no more than 280 characters. Use your tweet to signpost to additional information by including the link to a web page.

Does it use hashtags and tags?

A hashtag connects your post to other conversations on social media. A tag brings others alerts other users to your post.

See: How to use hashtags and tags

When is the best time to post?

You may have composed the most profound, most important or most informative tweet of all time, but it will be of little consequence if you have decided to post it on Twitter at a time when your intended audience is not online and is unlikely to see it. Try to guess when your followers are most likely to be checking their twitter feed.

Pause, think and check before you post

If you are representing an organisation, a company or a brand, your tweet has to represent those values. Some employers issue their staff with social media guidelines. 

Construct a positive profile for your social media account

Make sure photos used for your profile are good quality and company or institution logo is clear. Include concise information and web address etc.

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