Some science social media accounts seem to always be on the ball. They post science news, jump on the relevant hashtags, and manage to consistently share interesting things. How do they do it? Some of them might just always be online and are constantly thinking about their scicomm social media accounts, but the rest manage it by planning ahead and getting into a routine.
This coffee break, plan scicomm social media content
Start by thinking about the next four to six weeks. What are you doing in that time? Are you attending a conference, doing fieldwork or taking part in any public engagement activities that you might want to share on social media? Do you have any articles coming out? For events and conferences, check if there is a hashtag that the organisers are encouraging you to use, and make a note of that.
Now look at your general schedule. Are there certain times you can set aside to drop in on your social media accounts and upload content or reply to people?
Next, think about how often you would like to post new content over the next few weeks. Once a day? Five times per day? Three times per week? This will determine the total number of pieces of content you would need in that time.
Finally, start outlining the coming weeks’ worth of content. You don’t have to post or schedule this content, but make a list of what the tweets or posts would contain (and include any hashtags, user tags or links where relevant).
What have you learned?
By thinking ahead about the possibly science content of your social media over the next few weeks, you get a better idea of how often you can post, and which topics might be interesting for your followers.
You can turn this exercise into a proper scicomm social media editorial calendar, in which you plan out what you will be covering over the next weeks. Overall, this should help you get an overview of the science communication goals you want to achieve with your social media account.
- The Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography’s Scientist Guide to Social Media.
- Comprendia has a calendar with major events, awareness days and conferences in the life sciences that people in biomedical research can use to plan topical content for social media.
- Three rules for social media success in science communication, on From The Lab Bench.
Share Your Sci is a website with short introductory articles about science communication and open science. All articles, newsletters, activities, resources and support are aimed at busy scientists who want to share their science, but don’t know where to start.