On Wednesday 1 February, Emily Goodhand, the University’s Copyright Compliance Officer presented to the Digital Development forum on how she has used social media to boost her professional profile. (Why not read Emily’s post on the Digitally Ready blog or download Emily’s presentation slides.)
Emily is an avid Twitter user and tweets under the name of @copyrightgirl. By regularly tweeting focused, topical, considered comments and engaging in debate in the twittersphere on copyright issues, Emily has built up quite a following. As a result, she has been invited to speak at a number of events on copyright issues and her views on current issues surrounding copyright and intellectual property are well respected. Having built up a network of copyright professionals, Emily has also built up a virtual team that the University can draw on when complex copyright issues arise.
Twitter isn’t the only social networking tool that can be used professionally, and there are a number of tools that you can use to boost your individual profile or that of your department.
The first step as with any communication is to consider your audience. You could put loads of effort into adding all your details to your profile on social network X, but that won’t help you if your audience are all on social network Y. You can look at stats and demographics to get an idea of where your audience are, but often the simplest way is to ask.
It’s also important to work out if you have the time to engage with social networking. It needn’t take up a huge amount of time, but you will have to be able to commit to making regular updates because a sparse, neglected social networking presence may have a negative effect. What constitutes ‘regular’ will vary depending on the nature of the service that you’re using. For more ‘active services such as Twitter and Facebook, daily engagement is the norm, thought the level of effort required is not necessarily high. For a blog, posting every couple of weeks is acceptable, but the time and effort required is greater.
Which service is right for me?
In the next few posts we’ll give a brief overview of some of the services available and how they can be used to promote both your individual professional profile and/or that of your department or unit. You can also book a Digital Development Drop-In and Learn (DIAL) session via CSTD to discuss your social media options.
Do you use social networking site professionally? If so, why not tell us a bit about your experiences in the comments?