Five Social Media Tools Academics Should Consider Using To Boost Their Profile

In a world where “fake news” and “alternatives facts” are being distributed and consumed on social media, the considered opinion of experts is being drowned out.

Traditional media outlets have also struggled to compete with those supplying an instantaneous reaction to events as they unfold. Those who garner the greatest reaction, no matter how ill-conceived or poorly considered their argument might be, will benefit from the algorithm used by Facebook.

In February of this year for example, Facebook took the decision to prioritise “reactions” over “likes” when ranking your newsfeed. In turn, even if users were appalled by what you had seen or read, Facebook’s algorithm only documents a reaction, taking it to that you want to see more posts of that nature in the future.

This has created a scenario whereby Facebook users only see certain types of content. This has obvious dangers, particularly for the 61% of Millennials who, according to the Pew Research Centre, use the social network as their main news source.

Although most traditional media outlets now have a firm focus on creating Facebook-friendly content, they find themselves in a race to produce articles that will draw a reaction rather than inform.

This leaves academics who might want to use social media to publicise their blogs, offer an opinion or advertise a publication fighting against a rising tide.

However, despite the bleak picture being painted above, there are a number of easy to use tools that enable users to make a greater impact on social media.

[heading size=”1″ color=”#fff000″]1. Buffer[/heading]

Although Hootsuite maybe a better-known platform for scheduling tweets, Buffer is cleaner and far easier to use.

Buffer’s simple interface makes it difficult for users to go wrong when scheduling social media posts, making it a far more beneficial tool if you’re only managing a small number of personal accounts.

The simple analytics suite enables users to see what posts are performing well and re-post such content with a click of a button.

Despite not offering the same level of detail as Hootsuite, Buffer comes with a series of extensions and features that add to its usefulness.

[heading size=”1″ color=”#fff000″]2. Pablo[/heading]

One such extension is Pablo, which brings the simplicity of Buffer to the world of graphic design, allowing academics to very quickly create images so as to promote conferences and events without having to spend time getting reacquainted with Photoshop.

Pablo allows users to very quickly overlay text onto images. All you have to do type text into a box, upload or select an image from the available gallery and you’re ready to post. Although you can spend a little more time playing around with additional details or inserting filters, it’s very easy to create an image that will garner a reaction from followers.

While other such apps exist, Pablo’s big advantage is its ability to integrate with Buffer’s smart scheduling.

[heading size=”1″ color=”#fff000″]3. Kudos[/heading]

A free tool for researchers, Kudos aims to help authors increase their readership by maximising the visibility and impact of their published articles.

Once the required data is uploaded, Kudos shares content across its various distribution or discovery channels, making your work available to a wider audience.

Like with all social media tools, Kudos uses an analytics suite, Altmetric, to track, monitor and detail the impact of your work.

By maximising an author’s readership and citations, Kudos also helps publishers identify high-interest content.

[heading size=”1″ color=”#fff000″]4. Slack[/heading]

If Outlook exists on one side of the spectrum and WhatsApp is on the other, then Slack sits somewhere in the middle.

The application was originally developed as an internal communication tool by Tiny Speck during the development of a video game titled “Glitch”.

However, after the video game was pulled in December 2012, Tiny Speck launched Slack in August 2013, before the company was renamed Slack Technologies in August 2014.

In Slack, teams, departments or groups create channels in which to hold conversations, making it a brilliant collaborative tool.

Consequently, it reduces the time spent formally responding to emails and helps cut back on needless correspondence that can clutter your inbox.

While Slack may not completely replace email in your project team, it supports video and audio calls and includes an easy to use planner, reducing further your reliance on Outlook.

[heading size=”1″ color=”#fff000″]5. Canva[/heading]

Arguably the most user-friendly way of creating gorgeous images, Canva allows those who are not graphically inclined to look like photoshop veterans.

Although Canva might seem a little restrictive to some, its drop and drag functionality takes much of the stress out of editing what might otherwise be a complicated design process.

Users simply select a graphic style and size, be it an image for use on social media, a blog post, or an A4 poster advertising an event etc. upload an image or use one from their massive library, add some features and text and hey presto you have a sophisticated design completed in minutes.

For further information or a tip or two, don’t be afraid to contact UCC Academy’s Digital Marketing Executive, Alan Drumm, on 021 490 5723 or email him at alan.drumm@ucc.ie