July 27, 2021

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Execution: The Principal Class of the Social Media Sandwich

If you want to boost the impression of your research employing social media, it needs devoted arranging, execution and evaluation. In my previous report, I released the metaphor of the social media sandwich as a handy way to visualize how these ways match with each other. The initially stage, planning, is like the sandwich bread — it is what the relaxation of the course of action is developed on, and without the need of it all the things falls apart. In the setting up period, you should make clear why you want to share your exploration on social media, who you want to get to, and what you want your message to be. You must also decide exactly where and when to write-up. If you skipped the arranging techniques or want to overview them, here’s Component Just one again.

The moment these components are honed, it is time to commence submitting! Your posts are the main filling of your social media sandwich — the juicy burger (or veggie burger) that entices your audience to choose that next bite and engage with your put up by liking, sharing, commenting or clicking a website link. Around the many years at Footnote, we have attained an increasingly nuanced comprehending of what can make an successful article on diverse platforms, and I’ve distilled some of these lessons for you down below.

In this write-up I’ll split down the posting course of action and share some standard suggestions for working with each and every of the most important social media platforms. We’ll mainly target on how to use just about every system effectively, instead the material of the posts. Crafting an efficient social media submit is an artwork kind, and if you’re continue to battling to get your information ideal, you can evaluate the recommendations in my previous submit or verify out a lot more of the good suggestions out there, like this article from Mother nature.


Twitter is a person of most well known online spaces for sharing academic analysis, as nicely as for collaborating in ongoing conversations with colleagues, so I’ll go into a little bit much more detail on Twitter technique than I will for the other platforms. Posting to Twitter is normally regarded as the most tough to master simply because you are restricted to 280 people for every tweet (originally it was only 140!). Brevity principles on this system, so work on distilling your information into a single sentence that will make your viewers want to find out much more by clicking your url, adhering to your account or using whichever next action you want them to interact in.

Which include an graphic, movie or GIF with your tweet assists it stand out on viewers’ feeds, so consider to integrate one when correct. But never feel pressured to use an image for just about every single submit — a ton of fantastic tweets are purely text but obtain significant engagement because their content material is relatable and imagined-provoking. For particular one-way links, Twitter immediately makes a clickable ‘preview image’ when you paste the URL into your tweet, generating the website link much more seen and raising the probabilities that somebody will simply click on it. To locate out regardless of whether a URL you want to use has an graphic preview, you can paste it into Twitter’s card validator. If it does not autopopulate an graphic, you can insert one manually. Here’s what a clickable preview picture seems like:

Together with a few of hashtags applicable to your message can help people today find your tweet and hook up it to a larger discussion about an challenge. As I stated in my earlier posting, you can look for for opportunity hashtags using web sites like hashtagify and Display screen Uses or observing what tags the persons you comply with on Twitter use often. Some hashtags are reasonably broad, these kinds of as #AcademicTwitter and #SciComm, even though some others are much more particular to specific fields or matters, this sort of as #neurobiology and #behavioraleconomics. Nevertheless other individuals have been created to aid discussion about unique troubles or strategies, this sort of as the current #BlackAndSTEM and #BlackBirdersWeek, or all around situations like conferences or workshops. Which hashtags you use aid determine who sees your tweet and how it receives categorized.

Alongside with hashtags, you can also tag other accounts in your tweet or in the accompanying picture — you simply just consist of the user account title with the @ image at the commencing. I suggest executing this sparingly, but it’s handy in specified cases. When you are sharing about a collaborative job, you can tag the establishments or people who participated so they can retweet and abide by the dialogue. You can engage other accounts in dialogue or straight check with them issues by tagging. At last, you can tag accounts you consider will be primarily fascinated in your publish — but be judicious about this so you never arrive throughout as a spammer.

If you want to incorporate extra detail or inbound links than a solitary tweet permits, think about building a thread or series of tweets that are all linked. Here’s a uncomplicated explanation of how to make a thread. The prevalent protocol is to state “thread” in the 1st tweet or use 1/x (x standing for total number of tweets) to show that this is one of several linked tweets. Threads, also referred to as “Twitter essays,” are a good way to crack down the important details of a investigation paper or short article, offer a checklist of suggestions or views on a matter, or build a mini tale that builds to a strong closing assertion. Here are some examples of Twitter threads to give you an thought of how unique men and women use them.

Lengthy threads can be tough to keep monitor of, in particular if numerous folks are replying. Luckily, there is an effortless way to view all the tweets from a thread collectively in just one spot: it’s called “unrolling a thread,” and all you have to do is reply “@threadreaderapp unroll” to any tweet by the initial poster. At the time the thread-reader bot is carried out compiling the tweets, it will tweet you back a hyperlink to a article that has pieced them all alongside one another in a person area.

Lastly, take into consideration posting the very same (or equivalent) tweets many instances across a number of times or weeks to access a even bigger audience. Tweets are ephemeral, and when hashtags can assist people today locate your put up following it is disappeared off their feeds, usually only a very small proportion of your viewers ever sees a provided tweet. Really do not worry about an individual seeing your write-up more than once — it’s a rather acknowledged follow on Twitter. They may perhaps even click on on your connection or like your submit soon after seeing it that next time.


LinkedIn is a professional community, so it is great for sharing job milestones, new papers or article content you have revealed, or backlinks that are pertinent to colleagues in your area. Creating a article for LinkedIn, or any of the other main social platforms, is a lot much less constricted than Twitter. LinkedIn enables you up to 1,300 characters in a submit. I strongly propose, even so, that you however intention to continue to keep your posts short and sweet. Time and yet again I’ve seen that posts with considerably less textual content, no matter the social media system, get larger engagement (the exception to this is Instagram, which I’ll clarify beneath). Usually, folks never want to read a very long put up they want the punch line so they can make your mind up no matter if it’s well worth their time to click on your hyperlink or share your article.

As with Twitter, when you paste a URL into your LinkedIn write-up, it will generally generate a clickable image preview. If there isn’t an graphic related with your website link, or you aren’t sharing a connection at all, you can incorporate an image or video manually. You can also incorporate hashtags and account mentions to your article just as you would on Twitter. In this article are some supplemental recommendations for upping your LinkedIn posting match.


Securing a large attain for your posts is a little bit trickier on Facebook since it is made to be a personal social network wherever your posts are mainly shared with your immediate connections. To entice broader consideration, you will most likely want to do a lot more than submit to your have individual website page (nevertheless it’s always awesome to share your perform with good friends and family members). Inquire your institution if they have a Fb web page they’d be keen to share your article on and look at which groups or organizational webpages you are affiliated with that may be a match for sharing your ideas.

As with the other platforms, on Fb it pays to maintain your submit textual content shorter and to the place, involve pictures or video as appropriate, or paste a URL that makes a clickable impression preview. You can use hashtags, but they aren’t needed or practical the way they are on Twitter or LinkedIn, mainly because folks really don’t tend to research by hashtags on Fb. Alternatively, the very best way to achieve your viewers is by publishing to related pages and groups.


Instagram is considerably special among social media platforms in a range of ways. 1st, it’s a visually concentrated house exactly where the graphic requires middle stage more than the caption. In purchase to submit, you have to have some form of graphic, and preferably it should really be your very own first content, not a stock image or other externally sourced picture. You can share various pictures or films in a single write-up.

Second, you simply cannot share clickable URLs in an Instagram submit. The only put you can share a clickable backlink is in your profile bio, which is why you will usually see individuals create “see link in bio” in their captions when they want you to pay a visit to a web page. This would make Instagram a a lot less attractive platform for sharing analysis articles or blog posts and other external inbound links. Nevertheless, if your exploration lends by itself to fascinating imagery — wonderful electron microscope shots, intriguing and insightful graphs or amazing nature photography — you can use this to your advantage. Quite a few science labs and exploration institutes use Instagram to share guiding-the-scenes photographs of investigate in action or highlight vital visuals from analysis papers. Here’s some far more good assistance on how to communicate about your study on Instagram.

3rd, Instagram is one of the handful of platforms where it’s satisfactory to produce a very long narrative caption. You can use up to 2,200 characters for each write-up, enough to publish a handful of brief paragraphs. Whereas Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook audiences tend to want quick posts, Instagram is an exception. When some men and women will like a article without having even reading through the caption, since they have been drawn in by the impression, other people have arrive to embrace the “Insta Essay” — a extended caption that tells a tale or goes into depth about a subject matter similar to the highlighted image. Look at an Instagram write-up as a way to express significant tales about you and your investigate in a a lot more private way than Twitter or LinkedIn allow.

Fourth, hashtags are your mate on Instagram, probably even much more than on Twitter. Several Instagram people peruse hashtags (and locational tags) to find new accounts to abide by, so they are a vital section of escalating your viewers and put up engagement. Although I counsel utilizing no additional than a few hashtags on other platforms, you have a great deal more leeway on Instagram: it is undoubtedly prevalent and even proposed to use at the very least 10. The typical way to involve hashtags on Instagram is by listing all of them at the end of a caption, not mixing them in with your text. You can make your mind up which tags to use by making use of applications like hashtagify or seeking hashtags on Instagram and observing which ones most intently match your material or the audience you want to attain.

Cooked to Perfection

As you turn into far more cozy with social media, you are going to master what submitting designs resonate with your audience and what functions most effective for each individual system. It normally takes exercise, and a lot of style testing, to hone the right recipe that will make people today want to sink their enamel into your sandwich — er, content material. Never be worried to check out unique components and ask other individuals for enable or responses.

The far more exertion you put into sharing your research and tips on social media, the more engagement and dialogue you will spark. Just really don’t forget about that social media is a two-way road and people will be extra likely to interact with you if you engage with their posts as effectively. Interacting with other end users and their posts exposes you to opportunity collaborators, investigation that may possibly be pertinent to your work and information or updates applicable to your subject. You can also study from others’ posts to assist your individual strategy evolve, just as you might try out sandwiches from a amount of places to eat as you ideal your very own recipe.

In the next and closing short article in this series, we’ll talk about the great importance of checking the general performance of your social posts, subsequent up with your audience and evaluating your achievement.

And if you are hungry for more, signal up for Footnote’s totally free webinar on how to thrive on social media, coming up on Sept. 23, 2020.


Kristen Weiss is a scientist turned science communicator who is the social media supervisor at Footnote, an firm that collaborates with the tutorial community to boost the effects of their research and knowledge via improved communication.