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Social media for researchers

Engaging with social media enables you to promote and track your research to a wider audience. This guide introduces platforms and provides tips to maximise social media usage. Relevant university policies and guidelines, as well as copyright information.

Getting started

Image by nominalize from Pixabay

social media block graphicWhy use social media?

Social media is the term for online communication which allows us to keep in touch with people, join existing networks or create new networks, and share information. 

The reasons why you choose to engage with social media will shape how you use social media and which platform/s you might choose to use as a researcher.

The benefits of engaging with social media as a researcher include:

  • Visibility - Build your online researcher profile and increase your visibility and citation metrics.
  • Reach - Communicate research, directly and quickly, to a wider audience and raise your profile outside academia.
  • Network - Communicate and develop relationships with other researchers (and potentially develop collaborative partnerships).
  • Find new research - Be informed about new research in your discipline and follow or contribute to discussions. 
  • Impact - Promote your research with the aim to engage a wider audience and create more impact.
  • Speedy distribution - A quick and easy way to get your message out there.

Considerations when using social media

When getting started with social media think about the following:

  • Platform - Consider which platform/s will best suit you and your area of expertise.
  • Profile - Build out your profile (handle/name, display picture, bio, website link, etc.)
  • Follow - Make connections, follow colleagues, industry leaders, and specialist media.
  • Engage - Stay active and engage regularly, whatever that looks like for you.

Library Research Spotlight

The following Research Spotlight session from May 2022 included the different platforms and applications researchers can use, and advice on audiences, strategies for engagement, and digital best practices.

RMIT’s social media team provides an overview of the University’s brand accounts and content strategy, followed by two academic guest speakers who share insights from their own experiences.

With thanks to the guest speakers:

Dr. Aaron Elbourne, School of Science Twitter      LinkedIn

A/Prof Sarah Bekessy, School of Global, Urban, and Social Studies  Twitter      LinkedIn


Social media for researchers (62 min), RMIT University Library, Microsoft Stream. (RMIT login required.)

With thanks to the University of South Australia Library and to the University of Queensland Library for inspiration for this guide.