How can Academics use LinkedIn for Research Promotion in 2020?
It’s no surprise that social media is by far the most popular online activity in 2020, with an estimated 3.6 billion users worldwide, a number projected to increase to almost 4.41 billion in 2025. Social media gives individuals the opportunity to reach out to large audiences as well as establish a like-minded community connect.
As in any other field, researchers also now consider social media one of the most effective platforms to promote their findings. Social media presence also gives them a unique online identity and a competitive edge over their socially inactive peers. These platforms help them reach out to their audience by making their academic work easily accessible.
Among the various social media platforms currently available, LinkedIn is undoubtedly the leading professional networking platform which can help you establish connections with experts across the world. With 706+ million active users in more than 200 countries worldwide, it offers numerous possibilities to expand one’s network. It has extensive search capabilities for researchers and is also well indexed by Google. LinkedIn is an excellent medium to showcase professional accomplishments and improve one’s visibility in their academic circle. This, in turn, allows you to look out for new opportunities that match your skills and expertise in the academic or industrial sector.
Specific to researchers, networking on LinkedIn offers a range of benefits, some of which include:
- Engage with your network to share the latest research updates and other events such as talks/symposiums where you participate
- Connect with other researchers, editors, publishers, etc. through the direct messaging feature
- Join group discussions where you can interact with a closed network and like-minded people
In this article, we share some simple tips to help you promote your research on LinkedIn and improve your visibility in the research community.
1. Creating a profile
One of the first and the most important requirements for a strong LinkedIn presence is an updated and complete profile. Think of it as an enhanced curriculum vitae that promotes your personal brand value. A strong profile can open doors for collaborations, networking, and of course, better opportunities! Salient features of a strong profile include:
- A striking headline, with appropriate keywords that emphasize your current role and expertise. A headline is an important aspect of your profile especially because these keywords are scanned during searches in LinkedIn or other search engines.
- Adding a professional profile photo allows you to establish a visual connection with your contacts. Avoid casual selfies; on the other end, don’t go for a severe and staid picture either in a bid to look formal. Keep it authentic and congenial.
- A captivating summary (of up to 200 words) specifying your current research status, interests and requirements, and competencies that differentiate you from your peers will help your profile gain better attention.
In the experience and education sections, include your job information (with the current position at the top), academic qualifications (beginning with the recent ones), recognitions such as promotions, honors, awards, licenses and certifications, books, and research publications along with their URLs for quick access.
In addition, adding unique research identifiers such as ORCID ids and recommendations from your peers and higher authorities act as endorsements that can considerably improve your visibility and credibility.
2. Content promotion with multimedia
The use of multimedia formats such as PowerPoint presentations shared on virtual seminars, videos of scientific techniques, infographics simplifying a journal, and trending podcasts enable a visual representation of essential information in a clear and appealing manner. Content sharing in newer formats not only serves as an effective way of communication, but also attracts wider audiences.
Posting blogs and articles, discussing novel ideas, writing engaging content, and sharing URLs of relevant online platforms garners attention to your profile and is also a smart way to exhibit your research caliber. The hashtag feature allows you to tag people or groups to your posts, which can increase their visibility.
3. Establishing a strong network
Building a strong first-line connection helps you improve your discoverability, promotes your research subjects, and also helps you stay abreast of developments. Identify the right people such as scientists, researchers, experts working in the same/similar fields, or those suggested by LinkedIn and connect with them with a personalized note using the “Connect” option on their profiles. In the case of unknown contacts in a related field, you can “Follow” them to track their updates.
4. Sharing research updates in Groups & Discussion Forums
Another popular way to initiate collaborations is by connecting with research groups, universities, funding agencies, and industries related to your field of interest. This allows users to share relevant information to those who value it the most!
Being active on online scientific forums and groups on LinkedIn gives you the chance to interact with fellow researchers and provides a good opportunity to share and discuss your findings. It can also help spark new ideas and collaborations with like-minded individuals.
LinkedIn hosts several discussion forums for researchers to actively communicate, raise questions, and respond to queries. You can join or even start new groups to initiate engaging topics for discussion, thereby highlighting your leadership skills and also contributing to the dissemination of scientific knowledge. Use the search function to find the groups most relevant to you and engage actively with your colleagues!
Along with recognizing the significance of LinkedIn in research communication to improve social media presence, it is important to remain proactive and make the most of its networking opportunities. Availing professional services can help you manage your profile better, thereby improving your professional visibility.
Impact Science plays an active role in helping individual researchers as well as institutions make the most of their social media presence for research communication. Reach out to us on firstname.lastname@example.org, for assistance in both creating and managing an attractive, up-to-date profile and content!