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"Social media channels provide direct outreach to (potential) target groups;
they are easy to handle and good for storytelling. They provide
the possibility for direct interaction with the target groups
and "real time" update on activities"

PAC in the EUSBSR communications survey on why they use social media



How to use social media as a part of your daily communications, how to tell stories on social media and particularly, how to use it to promote the visibility of the EUSBSR? First, to convey your message as effectively as possible (and to make the most of the limited resources) it is good to remember that each social media platform is different.

 

EXAMPLES OF SOCIAL MEDIA CHANNELS - AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS

 

TWITTER

Twitter is the most used social media channel by the EUSBSR community. By using hashtag #EUSBSR or tagging @EUSBSR into your post you are guaranteed a like or retweet!

On Twitter you have to squeeze your message into 280 characters. Hashtags and tagging are important in connecting your tweets to the Twitter conversations and other users. Photos and emojis help you to keep your message short in characters but make it visually interesting.

This image captures the different sides of Twitter. By using Twitter, you increase visibility and being active on Twitter makes it easier for other user to discover your account and for you to gain new followers. Of course, we do not use Twitter just for the sake of being on social media, but to influence and have an impact. Tweeting is a great way to raise awarness, start a conversation and be part of a discussion.

Source: Enabling Co-creation through Twitter. A Guidebook for Research Project Communication

Consider also using your personal Twitter account for tweeting about the EUSBSR as it gives face to your work, and people find it more relatable. This practice has turned out to be very succesful, for example, in science communications when the researcher him-/herself tells about the research results in an understandable way - and is also ready to answer questions.

 

FACEBOOK

On Facebook, it is possible to write posts without the fear of exceeding a character limit. This gives more freedom for storytelling and, for instance, it enables you to highlight the main points of a blogpost. You can tag people or organisations (by using @), and experiment with emojis. Use Facebook also to share photos and videos (have you already tried livestreaming your events?)

Don't forget to tag @EUSBSR in your Facebook posts so that your posts don't go unnoticed! Following regularly the EUSBSR page's updates you may find interesting contents related to your work to share in your Facebook account.

On social media, it is possible to use emoji and other characters to  express emotions and to replace words. Special characters also catch attention easier than regular letters which improves the visibility of your post.

 

 

 

INSTAGRAM

Instagram is focused on photos which can be used in many ways to convey a message: to share formal information about a certain topic, to share a random moment at office or in an event to show how it is to work with the EUSBSR, or to tell a story with series of photos.

Consider using Instagram if you take photos regularly with a varying content. Remember to also spend time on liking and commenting photos from other users, this will help you to gain new followers and to be connected. But, if photos are not taken often and there is no time for that, Instagram is not maybe the best social media channel in that case.

Old photos can be used to show progress: where you started and what you have achieved since. As we all know, one photo is worth a thousand words, so storytelling doesn’t always have to be about words. On Instagram (and on Twitter, too), it is common and quite popular to use hashtags, for example, #throwback, #tb (throwback) #tbt (throwbackthursday) for old photos.

 

YOUTUBE

Videos are a great way to tell stories. Check few EUSBSR examples here.

YouTube is a simple and also the biggest social media platform for sharing videos. It allows you to easily produce and edit, for instance, journalistic videos, such as an interview with a well-known ambassador suitable for your message. Or, have you considered an elevator speech in the form of a short video?

Remeber also that you can embed videos from YouTube on your website. If you feel that regular video making is too time consuming, don't worry! On YouTube, it is not necessary to upload content often to still profit from its visibility, as videos on YouTube have a long life span, unlike videos on Facebook or Twitter feeds.

As YouTube is owned by Google, it is very important to add tags that describe your video when posting it. In this way, your videos may gain new audience through Google matching your tags.