Broadcast yourself: maximising your reach using social media

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Martyn Bull ISIS Neutron and Muon Source martyn.bull@stfc.ac.uk twitter.com/moomoobull www.isis.stfc.ac.uk twitter.com/isisneutronmuon Broadcast yourself: Maximising your reach with social media A short introduction to social media for scientists. I give some starting points on what to use when, and emphasise the importance of using online activity to support real-world events.

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www.idfive.com A (somewhat incomplete) timeline of social media 2000 2005 I define social media as a way of exchanging a message between two people who are not physically close to each other. So, the first postal service in Persia could be thought of as the first social network. Amazingly, only with the arrival of electricity and powerful computing have we been able to do any better. And only in the last decade have we really begun to harness the power of sharing information in creative ways using computers. Most of the familiar names we associate with social media such as Twitter, Facebook , YouTube, were barely functioning 5 years ago.

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The problem for you and me is that there are hundreds of possible social networks available to use. Why should you bother to use any of them? How do you make good choices between them?

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http://www.ignitesocialmedia.com/social-media-stats/2011-social-network-analysis-report/ Luckily, some social networks are dead…

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Plaxo Others are dying out...

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hi5 …or cover odd regions of the world.

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Facebook Those that are popular are continuing to grow, and have wide use across income ranges, age and gender. Facebook is one of the most widely used social networks.

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Flickr Flickr for photo sharing is strong in the UK

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Linked in LinkedIn is growing and in the UK is becoming more widespread with particular use as a business-to-business professional networking tool

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Twitter Twitter has exploded in popularity because it is simple and easy to use and very effective. It also has a wide spread of use across the world.

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YouTube YouTube is a global phenomena for video sharing, but also includes strong social networking capability that is heavily exploited.

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UK Demographic - April 2011 In the UK, the YouTube demographic is around 30% female use, and for both male and female has strong participation in the 13-24 age range, key demographics for STFC public engagement

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http://www.vincos.it/world-map-of-social-networks/ It’s worth contemplating the global reach of Facebook and how this is increasingly dominant

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…although in 2011, we see that new networks in Russia are leading the fight back.

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UK media consumption habits Ofcom 7 th annual communications market report August 2010 http://stakeholders.ofcom.org.uk/market-data-research/market-data/communications-market-reports/cmr10/ When thinking about social media, you have to think about what your audience is doing at a given time. At 9pm in the evening, most people in the UK are watching TV, whereas in the morning radio dominates

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40% of time on a computer is spent communicating with other people: for all age groups, communication makes up a large proportion of activity done on a computer. For 16-24s, it peaks to over 50% computer time. They are more likely to use social networking (23% of all computer activity) and instant messaging (14%) A significant fraction of activity on computers is devoted to communicating

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And in the UK now, home internet access has good reach across all ages and socio-economic groupings

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User-generated content sites continue to grow: YouTube remains the most popular video-sharing site, growing by 13% year-on-year to reach 17.5 million monthly unique users. Commenting on blogs saw a significant growth in take-up between 2007 and 2009, from 19% to 27% The younger an internet user is, the more likely they are to have experience of a given social media activity. Mobile devices are finding greater use for social networking

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Most people are comfortable uploading pictures or updating their profile, but are less comfortable updating Wikipedia or creating video

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And looking at how valuable different activities are to people, communicating digitally is very important

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Increasingly, people are multitasking and consuming media on two or more screens

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Where are you? Where is your audience? Which means that not only do you have to think about what your audience is doing, but where they are doing it. No longer are computers tied to desks with wires.

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blends science into the mix of everyday culture shares knowledge beyond the paywalls of journals and newspapers Why use social networking? For scientists, I believe there is great value in using social media, not just to communicate with other scientists, but as a way of bridging the gap between science and other parts of life

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rapid alerting for your networks - saving them time make use of the things that fall in the cracks between publications Why use social networking? You can save people time, alerting your peers to new work, and find an outlet for all the things that research publications aren’t bothered with

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shows you to be active and vibrant share context and interpretation Why use social networking? Social media gives you a voice beyond your lab, and enables you to contribute to discussion about research with a wider audience than your research colleagues

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explain the process and business of doing science a powerful way to reinforce real world activity continuing the engagement after events Why use social networking? With social media, you can discuss how science works with a non-specialist audience, giving deeper understanding to the background behind results, and it allows you to continue conversations with an audience once an event is over.

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Why use social networking? clearly communicate your research to people beyond your specialist area One of the biggest benefits is that social media allows you to practice explaining your research to non-specialists

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Making sense of it all: Social media dashboards I recommend using social media dashboards to keep on top of the different services you use. They are easy to use and configure, and will keep you from being buried in a never-ending river of updates.

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Making sense of it all: Collaborate work in a group to share the load and provide a variety of perspectives it takes time to build community, so don’t be discouraged if you don't get immediate results I also recommend sharing the task of updating the networks with a group of colleagues. It keeps the workload per person at a manageable level.

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Making sense of it all online activity complements face-to-face activity have social media be part of your overall communication aims Online activity alone will not replace on-the-ground activity, but it can form part of your communication strategy for a particular project

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Making sense of it all: what to use + mobile apps to update on the move Here is my recommendation on social media services to use, starting with simple and easy-to-use services and moving on to those requiring more investment of time and skill.

Social networking confidence: 

Social networking confidence Constant practice makes you a better communicator And over time you will move along the curve of social media confidence from consumer to online ninja