Dissemination Toolkit: Social Media Outreach

Social Media Icon

Just Getting Started?

First, ask yourself if social media is right for your project. To use social media effectively, you need to build a group of followers, and the best way to build a following is by posting relevant information regularly. As an exercise, generate a list of 14 resources that would be appropriate to post. See how long that took. If you had trouble coming up with ideas, then maybe social media is not the right approach for your project dissemination.

If social media is a good fit, then ask yourself what platform(s) would work best for you. Top 10 Social Media Sites for Business gives a great overview of the different options available. This compilation of social media statistics, Global Social Media Research Summary, can also be helpful since it provides stats on the numbers of people on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc., and shows active use of social networks broken down by age group. CAISE also wrote a blog on Science Communication on Social Media with examples of how others in the field are tweeting, creating podcasts, and using Instagram and YouTube.

Wondering how educators are using social media? Edutopia has gathered guides, resources and ideas for teachers in this article. 

Social Media Platform How-tos

Facebook

What's the difference between a profile, Page and group?
What is the difference between a Facebook Page, group, and profile? See this article to find out. For an example of a Facebook page, visit the CADRE Facebook page.

How to Create a Facebook Page
There are many sites that are helpful when creating a Facebook page. We picked this one because (a) it has screen grabs, (b) it seems up to date, and (c) if you continue to scroll down, you will also find some helpful tips for more advanced Facebook learners, such as how to change the URL of your Facebook page.

Instagram

Instagram
Instagram is a popular visual social media tool. Learn about how to get started in this video or Instagram's help center.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a network of professional connections. It also has groups that you can join based on your interests. For an example, see CADRE's NSF STEM Education Research group. Interested in starting your own group? Get started with this LinkedIn Help page: Creating a Group. More tips can be found in the article, Why LinkedIn Groups Can Be Great for Businesses (and How to Create a Successful One).

Pinterest

Pinterest
Pinterest is a collecting and sharing social media tool. Learn more about how to get started and use Pinterest.

Reddit

Reddit
Reddit is essentially a message board. Like Twitter, the information is real-time, but unlike Twitter, the Reddit community votes on the content so that items of value or interest end up on the top. See Mashable’s Reddit: A Beginner’s Guide, or Reddit’s Beginner's Guide and accompanying video.

Snapchat

Snapchat
In 2017, Snapchat was the third-most popular app among 18- to 24-year-olds in the U.S. See this article to learn how to use Snapchat to promote your work.

Tumblr

Tumblr 
Tumblr is a micro-blogging platform that churns out millions of posts on a daily basis. Learn how to get started!

Twitter

Getting Started with Twitter
Learn about the basics on this Twitter help page.

Hashtagify
Use hashtagify to get data on hashtags you use or are thinking about using.

Recruiting Research Participants via Twitter (or Social Media)
This AEA365 blog gives tips on how to recruit research participants via Twitter and social media. The authors of the blog are researchers on the NSF-funded project, Twitter and Informal Science Learning and Engagement (TwISLE).

The Art of Live-Tweeting
Christopher Long, a professor at Michigan State University, gives advice on live-tweeting at academic conferences.

YouTube

How to Set Up a YouTube Channel
In true YouTube fashion, this describes how to set up your own YouTube Channel … via video. See CADRE's YouTube Channel for an example.

Social Media Tips

3 Tools for Improving Your Social Media Strategy
These free tools help you monitor your social media and find pertinent posts.

Hootsuite
HootSuite is a free program that allows you to manage multiple social media profiles (e.g., Facebook, Twitter) in one dashboard. You can plan out and schedule when your tweets and posts should go out.

Social Media Examiner
From tips to product reviews, Social Media Examiner puts out new and useful social media information multiple times per week. If your project is using social media or thinking about branding, this site is definitely worth visiting.

Education-specific Social Media Platforms

Discovery Education Network
This global community of educators of more than 100,000 members connects teachers both online and in-person. Discovery Educators have exclusive access to a wide range of resources, professional development activities, networking opportunities, exclusive Discovery Educator events, and more.

Edmodo
With more than 34 million users, Edmodo offers a free and secure social learning network for teachers and students.

Edthena
Edthena allows you to upload recorded videos and receive feedback, while also recording goals for next steps.

EdWeb
EdWeb is a professional social network for the education community that is designed to connect colleagues, create learning communities, share and collaborate, and mentor new teachers.

Teaching Channel
Teaching Channel’s is an online community  with the mission of creating an environment “where teachers can watch, share, and learn diverse techniques to help every student grow.”