Widen the reach of your publications with social media

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By Dong Danping, Librarian, Research Services

Have you considered making use of social media to widen the reach of your article and engage a wider audience? It may help to maximize readership and visibility beyond your immediate circle, and potentially get more views, downloads and cites.

A project team from SMU Libraries is experimenting with the use of social media on platforms like Twitter, Linkedin to promote SMU research publications. If you are interested in participating, drop us an email and give us the link to your article. The team will work with you to create suitable content for social media dissemination.

5 Starter Tips for promoting your research on social media

  1. Keep it short and simple
    "Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication". Talk about your research in clear, straightforward language. Keep your target audience in mind and make sure your post interests them enough to find out more.
  2. Include a visual
    Communicate key ideas about your research with an image (or maybe an infographic, video, poster...) It helps to capture your audience quickly and make your post stand out. (Alternatively, reaching out to the project team for help with creating a visual abstract).
  3. Include an open access link
    It is often irritating to land on a page behind the paywall. Help your readers get to your paper and remove possible frictions for them. Whenever possible, link to a free copy hosted on an open repository (e.g. SMU InK).
  4. Connect with the wider community and be where they are
    Apart from the content, it is equally if not more important to consider what platforms you should be on based on who you intend to reach. For example, if most of your community is on LinkedIn, posting on Twitter will not help much. However, if you do identify that Twitter is where your audience is, this is what you can do on Twitter:
    • Include hashtags that your target audience are using and thus increasing the chances of reaching an even wider audience. Spend some time to find suitable hashtags to use for your topic.
    • Identify and @ Twitter accounts that may be interested in reading or retweeting your post, e.g. colleagues and friends, journal official accounts, related conference hashtags or other researchers you know in the field.
    • Participate in existing conversations by retweeting what is interesting and relevant. You are not only self-promoting but engaging, contributing and adding value to the community.
  5. Measure and track
    Try using a tool such as KUDOS that helps to put together everything in one place - a plain English blurb, the WHY of your research, and a nice visual all on a customised landing page. You can share it on different social media channels and track the usage statistics and impact of your promotional efforts.

    A study has shown that explaining and sharing via Kudos on average takes 10 minutes of your time and leads to 23% growth in full-text downloads.
Screenshot of KUDOS
An example of Kudos page by Prof. Siu Loon Hoe

We hope these tips will help you get started tweeting about your research. Contact us to find out more about working with the library team on social media dissemination of your research article!

Further Readings