Social media: Insights from an academic department

It’s taken a while to write up this session from June! Many thanks to Dr Tom Webb for sharing his insights from managing the Law School blog and social media presence of the Law School at Lancaster University.

The staff blog is currently used as a vehicle for writing up short articles (500-1500 words) following conferences, reflections on current topics, and writing articles which can be understood by wider audiences.

Why blog?

  • Raise the profile of the research
  • Speak to a different audience
  • ‘open up pathways to impact’
  • ‘claim an idea’ early on

Twitter broadens the network to other scholars, students, other institutions and beyond to reach a more mixed audience.

Analytics

Tom has found using Twitter and blog Analytics a useful way to provide feedback to colleagues on how many people are interacting with their social media posts/tweets. Unfortunately,  blog posts aren’t eligible to be included in the REF, though they can/do contribute towards generating broader impact.

Benefits

  • Quick publication
  • Attention from the media
  • Raise profile
  • Student recruitment

Recording

You can now view the slides and listen to Tom’s presentation.

Questions

Do author’s have to choose between writing for the Law School blog and writing for The ConversationYes and no. The Conversation uses Creative Commons licences which allows you to reblog their content. The Law School blog offers more editorial freedom than the Conversation (e.g. posts can be in ‘Legalese’).

Is there any editorial control? Authors send copy, and Tom will edit formatting (e.g. inserting paragraph breaks) to make the content more readable online. Otherwise not.

Do you get credit within the department for the work you do with social media? Yes to an extent. This will probably grow as Departments recognise the potential benefits and engagement that can result from taking part. 

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Lancaster University Library

Supporting teaching, learning and research at Lancaster University.

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