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Tips for Academics: Social Media Lingo

Platforms

Platforms are networks where users can share content and engage with followers

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Bloggers

Blogs are platforms where web content is published. Posts are indexed by search engines for easy retrieval. They allow users to post material such as articles, news, pictures, videos… Blogging platforms include Blogger and WordPress.

Relevance to researchers

Blogs can be used to post long articles about current research or your ones take on things that are going on in the news.

 

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Buffer

It can be very time consuming to regularly post content on social media. There are services such as Buffer and Hootsuites that let users write posts ahead of time and schedule when they will be put online.

Relevance to researchers

Buffer allows researchers to write when they have time and post when the content will be read by the most people. They also offer analytics to understand what your followers want to see.

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Facebook

Facebook is the world’s most popular social networking website. Through Facebook, users can connect to family, friends, colleagues, fans and customers. They can add photos, post status updates, create events

Relevance to researchers

Facebook can be used to create a community with people interested in your work.

 

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Google+

This is Google’s social network and like Facebook it is used to connect with friends, families and colleagues. Users can share photos, send messages, and comment or like content.

Relevance to researchers

Google+ can be used to create a community with people interested in your work.

 

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Instagram

Instagram is a free photo sharing platform where users can post photos, apply filters, edit and post to their Instagram account or cross-share on other networks, such as Facebook and Twitter.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can post pictures of their labs, experiments and excursions to show followers that what they do is pretty cool.

 

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LinkedIn

This social network is geared towards professionals and businesses. Users create connections with their colleagues and can follow organisations’ pages.

Relevance to researchers

LinkedIn can be used to post resumes and professional credential to gain followers in their field of work.

 

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Periscope

Periscope is a video platform where users can broadcast live videos. Users can also engage with other videos, and browse live and archived videos.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can post videos of their labs, experiments and excursions. It can also be used to have weekly or monthly discussions with their followers.

 

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Podcasts

Podcasts are audio files released episodically where hosts talk about their area of expertise. Guests are often invited for more interesting discussions.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can either start their own weekly podcast or be guest in someone else’s podcast. This is a great way to promote their work, gain more followers, and build their professional credentials.

 

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Reddit

Reddit is a popular social networking site on which users submit content that are voted and commented on by visitors. The most upvoted and commented post, whether they be links, videos, texts or pictures, appears on the website’s front page.

Relevance to researchers

There are subreddits for every topic imaginable. Researchers can use reddit to answer questions from the public and be up to date on the latest development in their field.

 

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Twitter

This platform lets users publish 140-character long messages as well as photos, videos and other types of media. Twitter is popular for its real-time discussions on news stories.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can comment on the latest news or papers. They can also use Twitter to learn about the latest development in their field.

 

Platform features

Every platform has special features. Here is a list of some of those features.

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AMA

AMA is an acronym for “ask me anything”. It is a popular Q & A subreddit where users ask experts and celebrities questions. They in-turn respond in real time.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can have AMA sessions to answer questions about their fields. They are especially popular if their work is in the news.

 

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Facebook Live

Facebook Live is a feature where users can stream live videos to their followers. In-turn, they can interact with each other in real-time and get live reactions.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can have live Q & A questions with their followers.

 

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LinkedIn Publishing

This is a blogging platform where users can publish long posts related to their field of study.

Relevance to researchers

LinkedIn Publishing is a good way to share researching findings with peers and show that the researcher is relevant her field.

 

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LinkedIn SlideShare

This is a platform where users can share presentation and documents. Followers can favorite the documents and share them on other networks (i.e. Twitter, Facebook…)

Relevance to researchers

Like with LinkedIn Publishing, this is a good way to share researching findings with peers and show relevance.

 

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Live Tweet

Live Tweeting is the act of posting live comments of an event, with appropriate hashtag, as it is happening. This can range from the awards (like the Nobel Prize), spaceship launches or press conferences.

Relevance to researchers

Live Tweeting is a great way to explain to the public what is going on in the news.

 

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Pinned Tweet

A pinned Tweet is a Tweet that has been pinned to the top a Twitter profile page. The tweet will be viewed by everybody who visits the profile page.

Relevance to researchers

Pinning a Tweet is a good way to make announcements.

 

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Subreddit

A subreddits are smaller forums within Reddit dedicated to a specific topic. They are defined by the symbol “r/”. Users can post material on the relevant subjects, and others can comment and add to it.

Relevance to research

Subreddits can use subreddits to stay informed on the developments in their fields.

 

Engagement

Engagement implies talking to, messaging or interacting on social networks

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Block

This is a Twitter feature to prevent another user from following you, having their mentions and replies appear in your tabs, or tagging you in a photo.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can block unsavory users. It must be noted that Twitter does not prevent users from seeing public Tweets.

 

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Comment

This is a response to another user’s public post.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can comment on posts to congratulate the original poster, to contribute something that is missing, or to correct an erroneous fact.

 

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Crowdsourcing

Crowdsourcing implies using the resources of an online community for a common goal.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can use their following to help them achieve a goal. They can ask for new ideas or help collect data for instance.

 

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Direct Messages

These are private conversations on Twitter. They can only be sent between Twitter users that are already following each other.

Relevance to researchers

Direct messages can be used for more intimate conversations on Twitter. They can also be used to set up meetings or introduced oneself to influencers in a formal way.

 

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Endorsement

An endorsement is a feature of LinkedIn where a user acknowledges the skills that another has posted on their profile. A highly endorsed skill demonstrates that the user indeed possesses it and boosts her credibility.

Relevance to researchers

Endorsement can be used to build goodwill among colleagues. The endorsee is also more likely to visit and engage on the endorser’s social media platforms.

 

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Facebook Group

These are pages on Facebook, that can either be public, closed or secret, where researchers can communicate and share content with a maximum of 6,000 members.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can create Facebook groups with their colleagues to exchange results or brainstorm ideas.

 

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Fans

Fans are people who like a Facebook Page. By being a fan of a page, users will receive notification of new posts.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers should ask their followers to become Fans of their Facebook Page for their posts to have a greater reach.

 

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Follow Friday (#ff)

Follow Friday is a Twitter hashtag to promote interesting accounts. Users tweet #ff and a handle to recommend Twitter users to their followers.

Relevance to researchers

Follow Friday is a great way to promote fellow scientists.

 

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Followers

Followers are users who subscribe to an account to receive updates when new material is posted. Researchers should connect often with their followers to promote their social media accounts.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers should seek to gain followers to have a greater reach.

 

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Friends

Friends are people with whom you make personal connections on Facebook. They can be actual friends, colleagues or acquaintances who can see your profile and engage with your posts.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers should seek to gain friends for their posts to have a greater reach.

 

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Handle

Handle is the term used to describe someone’s name, especially on Twitter. 5minofscience Twitter handle is @5minofscience, for example.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers should use an easy handle that is consistent among all their social network profiles.

 

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Hashtag

A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the “#” sign used to annotate a message. Hashtags are an effective way to categorize information and make it discoverable for users.

Relevance to researchers

Since on most social networks (Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Tumblr…), clicking a hashtag will reveal all the messages that also contain that hashtag, it is important for researchers to annotate their messages with relevant hashtags.

 

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Like

Like is a quick way to show approval of a Facebook or Instagram posts.

Relevance to researchers

Likes can be used to build goodwill among colleagues. The endorsee is also more likely to visit and engage on the endorser’s social media accounts.

 

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Mention

Mentions are used to include someone else’s account name in a post (i.e. @5minofscience on Twitter or +5minofscience on Google+). The user mentioned in the post is notified that they have been mentioned and can react accordingly.

Relevance to researchers

Mentions are great to start a conversation with colleagues or other followers. Since the followers of the person included in the mention will also view the post, mentions are a great way for the poster and the mentionnee to gain new followers. In fact, a mention allows the audience to view the mentionee’s profile by clicking on the created link.

 

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Mute

Mute is a feature of Twitter that allows users to remove people from their feed without them knowing. Because the muted users still sees that they are being followed, and they can still view your posts and retweet them, they will not be as offended.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can use the Mute function to remove certain user’s post from their feed without offending the poster.

 

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Post

A post is an item on a social media platform or a blog. It can be a video, a sound file, an article, a short message…

Relevance to researchers

Researchers should regularly post on their social media platform and blog to keep their followers engaged.

 

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Quote Tweet

This is a retweet where users attach the original Tweet to their own comment.

Relevance to researchers

Quote Tweet are a great way to comment on other user’s posts to compliment them or correct a mistake.

 

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Reply

A reply is a Twitter feature where users can respond to a Tweet. They begin with the original poster’s handle (i.e.@5minofscience). They are public conversation that are viewable by your followers and on your profile.

Relevance to researchers

Replies can be used to comment on other user’s posts to compliment them or correct a mistake.

 

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Retweet

A Tweet that is re-shared to the followers of another user’s Twitter account.

Relevance to researchers

Re-twitting posts is an effective way to attract new followers, quickly share interesting content with your existing followers and build relationships with others on Twitter.

 

Tweet

A Tweet is a public Twitter post. They can contain up to 140 characters of text, photos, videos, sound, and other media.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers should regularly Tweet on their social media platform and blog to keep their followers engaged.

 

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Unfollow/Unfriending

The action of unsubscribing from another Twitter user’s account.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers should remove followers if they become abusive or belligerent.

 

Analytics

Understanding how users interact with the content gives a better understanding on what they want to see.

Engagement rate

Engagement rate is the percentage of people who actively engage with a post that they saw (clicked the link, replied, liked, favorited, shared…). Posts may differ in popularity on each platform. Blogs, for instance, tend to attract readers who like long articles, while Tweeter is used by those who like short posts of things currently in the news.

Relevance to researchers

Engagement rates shows what followers find valuable. By knowing that information, researchers can save a lot of time by only posting information that they know that their users want to see.

 

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Organic Reach

This represents the number of users who view a post without paid promotion. They discover the content by being followers, through friends, hashtag…

Relevance to researchers

At first, your content will not be shared much. But as you build a following, your reach will increase organically; so post often, follow other people and share content.

 

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Reach

Reach is the metric that shows the potential number of people that can see a post. It is a function of the number of followers that the poster has and the number of shares.

Relevance to researchers

As you build your following, your content will increase its reach.

 

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Response rate

The response rate calculates how much interaction a user has with its audience. They are a factor of the number of responses one gives compared to their mentions.

Relevance to researchers

To keep followers engaged, researchers should respond to inquiries. Not only will your followers be grateful for it but your responses may earn you a greater following.

 

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Response time

The response time measures how long it takes for users to respond to comments on social media.

Relevance to researchers

To keep followers engaged, researchers should respond promptly to social media inquiries. The response does not have to be long. It can be a link to relevant article or expert, or a quick explanation.

 

Others

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Influencer

An influencer is a leader in their field. They usually have a lot of social media followers and their posts have a lot of reach. LinkedIn features influencers (on invitation only) that publish influential articles.

Relevance to researchers

By becoming an influencer, researchers will have much more social media reach that they can use to promote their field and research. Influencers are also more likely to have lucrative book deals, if they choose to follow that route.

 

Scheduling

Users can use webservices to write posts ahead of time and publish them based on a predetermined schedule.

Relevance to researchers

Researchers can save time and improve their workflows by writing several posts at once. This is a great tool for busy academics.