3 Myths About Social Media

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I heard I need thousands of followers!

This isn’t true. Don’t get me wrong, more followers helps. But what’s more important than how many, is who.

If you have 100 or 200 followers, and they’re mostly graduate students, academics your field, and friends/family, it is likely that a high percentage of those people will be interested in your content.

Your goal should be engagement (how people interact with your content), not follower count.

This course teaches you how to

  • find the right audience for you
  • write to engage that audience
  • reach the larger public effectively

I don’t want to post about my work all the time.

It’s totally okay if you want your social media content to be an outlet for your favorite hobby, cat photos, or adventures.

If you’re an academic I suggest you dedicate a portion of your bio to what you do. If you’re say an astronomer who tweets mostly about baseball, just include that too!

Check out my suggestions for your Instagram and Twitter profiles.

This course teaches you the best practices for posting about your work when you choose to.

I don’t like to be ‘visible.’

That’s okay! I think it’s fair to say all of us have been a bit scared of social media at one point or another, even me. I wrote about how I stayed off social media for years because of this exact reason. I just joined Twitter in 2018.

Social media makes you as visible as you want to be. There are a variety of options to control your privacy. And the major platforms academics and researchers should be utilizing — Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn — allow for reasonable control over who can see what information.

You have more control than you think. Here’s an example. I tweeted every day for a month and the most personal detail I shared was that one day, I read with my cats. You decide what content you share.

I’m not advocating for you posting on social media every day. Far from it. The only thing I suggest is be consistent.

If every academic and researcher commits to one social media post per month, the scholarly network online will grow. The longer you remain consistent, the greater your following will be.

This course asks you to consider your comfort with privacy and level of engagement in new ways.

An Instagram account with 100-200 followers can have a post that engaged hundreds or thousands of accounts with good content. But what you share in that content is up to you.

In this course, you will practice different types of writing so you are prepared to talk your work in various capacities no matter your goals.

This is a robust social media course anyone can take, but the content is geared towards academics and researchers. Templates and content calendars included in this course can be adapted to your needs.

Keep reading on The Social Academic.