Maximizing your Academic Potential Via Social Media: Part Four

Welcome. This is the final part of a 4 part blog series designed to help academics to maximize their professional potential via social media.

Many people ask the following questions:

  • How do academics use social media?
  • How can  social media be used for research?
  • How can social media be used to promote businesses?
  • How can social media be used to promote Community interest companies (CIC)?
  • How can social media be used for networking?
  • How can I use social media to promote my academic research?

You can find the entire 4 part blog series which answer these questions by clicking here

This blog series reflects a seminar I was asked to give by the Research Excellence unit at Coventry University. I hope you find it useful 🙂

How do we relate social media to academia?

Ok, so we have largely gone through how to set up social media accounts and use them for the purpose of promoting our academic ‘selves’… But how does this relate more specifically to academia?

Here are some academic platforms which all academics should embrace.. we touched upon these earlier:

  • Orcid ID’s
  • Research gate
  • Google Scholar Profiles
  • Repositories
  • Altmetrics
  • Slidshare

The social media data you collect can be used in grant applications and impact studies

I would also recommend the early adoption of new online research directories. It can’t really hurt to jump on board early, and you may get ‘found’ or ‘discovered’ before anyone else!

Google yourself! – This is what future funders, employers and collaborators will see –  What comes up first? Don’t like it?… Then optimise your online presence to project the best possible ‘YOU’.

Academic on Social Media

Once you are optimised, you might be interested in tracking your success. Altmetrics is growing fast as a tool and platform with which to track the success and reach of certain papers.

The Altmetric score for a research output provides an indicator of the amount of attention that it has received.

The score is derived from an automated algorithm, and represents a weighted count of the amount of attention we’ve picked up for a research output. Why is it weighted? To reflect the relative reach of each type of source. It’s easy to imagine that the average newspaper story is more likely to bring attention to the research output than the average tweet.

This is reflected in the default weightings:









Sina Weibo




Policy Documents (per source)












A more detailed description of how Altmetrics works can be found here.

For a live example of how Altmetric works, here is an example from one of my recent papers. I can see who, where and how people have accessed and shared my paper. For this paper so far, Altmetric has seen 70 tweets from 52 users, with an upper bound of 86,999 followers.


Altmetrics page

This Altmetric score can only grow

->  Check out the updated progress of this paper right now by clicking here

Now imagine if your whole research centre was active on social media, they each had 1000 (relevant) followers and everybody shared each others work in a celebratory way!….How far could your reach spread?

Below, you will see the papers with the highest Altmetric scoring…Within these articles so far, Altmetric has seen 2467 tweets from 2308 users, with an upper bound of 5,064,475 followers.

Double Wow!

top altmetric papers

Check out the latest top 100 Altmetric articles here

How to increase your Altmetric score:

The Altmetric scores will always follow the interactions made with your article, and the reach and spread of its URL link. So make sure you use this link wherever you can

It usually looks like this:

  • Now that you run a blog (after reading this blog series of course you will right?) add a post about your article.
  • As your contacts to blog about and share your paper
  • Ask your press office of institution to promote the link of the article in news stories (and everywhere really).
  • Tweet about your paper (more than once!) – Try pinning it to your profile page with an image and tag people who might be interested to ready and share it.
  • Start a discussion about your paper and invite people to comment online.
  • Highlight your paper at conference, raise its profile and ask people to share it online. Make this easy for them by connecting with them and tagging them.
  • Promote reciprocal sharing where you share and celebrate the work of your colleagues in return (You scratch my back I’ll scratch yours)!
  • Share your work with fellow academics on Mendeley
  • Take a look at Wiley’s Journal Author Promotional Toolkit.

Health Research via Social Media

As you will know, I am a midwife by background and my work largely focuses upon workforce issues, health and well being. Therefore, this section will introduce you to some cool work being done via social media in the health and social care fields. I hope you can extrapolate this to your own work…

There is much to talk about, so I consolidate some of this section here:

These are some groovy ways to use social media huh?

I myself have used social media and this blog to recruit participants for my own Delphi study research… See the summary of this recruitment strategy below…Paper protocol here.

Multimedia Appendix 1 - Social media engagement and recruitment summary.

More recently, I have been involved with a research study on Twitter. This study was designed to explore what  for healthcare staff This was done with a vision of helping healthcare organisations to become more compassionate towards their staff. See info here. See metrics here. I will be promoting the results of this study within this blog, once the paper is published of course!


And so last but not least, it is time to leave you with a few of my top tips before I send you out of this social media nest to fly out on your own as social media ninjas. Unfortunately I of course have not been able to cover everything about social media and its academic uses within this blog series. Nevertheless I hope you have found this introduction useful.

I would be very happy help you or your organisation, so please do contact me via the contact pages of this blog if you wish to talk further.

Social media is one of my many passions, and I really do think it has great potential to achieve so many things. Lets all maximise our potential together by lifting each other up and supporting one another to achieve wonderful things.

be unique

Final Top Tips

  • Be wary of changing your brand (Think 2 steps ahead)
  • Stay away from the negative –> follow the positive
  • Be consistent, human, reflective, sharing, collaborative, brave!
  • Use Bitly– Condenses long URLs to make them easier to share – Also generates stats.
  • Never use Social Media whilst drunk!
  • Think of spellings – American or English? Who are you trying to attract? Going global?
  • Exploit your email signature (Add your social media links etc for imprints online).
  • Exploit your presentation slides (Add your social media links to them)
  • Use photos on Twitter (tag up to 10 people in them)!
  • Treat everything you post as public – Think before you post!
  • Respect Google and other search engines
  • Join blogging directories (or create one?)
  • Join online communities (or create one?)
  • Follow and engage with key influencers in your field
  • Explore HOOTSUITE! (This allows you to schedule your outgoing content to save time)
  • KEEP ACTIVE – 10 minutes a day goes a long way 🙂


The Last Word

When people are looking down at their mobile devices, they may actually be online looking directly at you….What do you want them to see?

Be fabulous

Thank you for reading this blog. If you found it helpful please share it with others!

Follow me on Twitter: @SallyPezaro


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