Episode 10 – How to build a professional online profile
We’ve all heard the phrase ‘Publish or perish’. But what about the more recent maxim ‘Be visible or vanish’? Regardless of your career stage, there are many advantages to having a professional online presence: it will bring new opportunities, connections and visibility. But it can be hard to know where and how best to invest your time and energy when it comes to social media. In this episode, Michael and Jen talk about why to build your profile, where and how to start, and how to ensure you are developing your profile strategically. We also specifically consider the value of LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram for scientists. In addition to our thoughts, hear fantastic advice from two of our UniMelbSciComm alumni, Kate Huckstep and Ebony Ciarrocchi.
We highly recommend listening to Kate’s podcast Curiosity Killed the Rat too!
Here are some good reads which may help as you create or build your profile:
- Scientist Guide to Social Media – this article has an awesome table comparing the different platforms, as well as tips for each different platform
- Twitter For Scientists – comprehensive online book with beginner, intermediate and advanced information.
- I’m a scientist and I want to use social media. Now what? A good discussion of the different goals scientists have when using social media
- Chemists are finding their place on TikTok and TikTok challenges us to communicate science – Two pieces about the potential of TikTok for scicomm
- A social media survival guide for scientists – some excellent survival tips to responsibly using social media for science communication
- How social media helps scientists get the message across – results from a study showing that research shared on social media (mainly Twitter) gets more academic citations
- Social media as a scientist: a very quick guide – a quick, condensed guide to using social media for science, and examples of how you can use LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook to network, exchange scientific ideas, or advance a career
- Social media: A network boost – a thorough guide how scientists can use Twitter to increase their networks, as well as how employers use Twitter when recruiting
- Scientists, do you want to succeed on Twitter? Here’s how many followers you need – a look into how many followers is needed to start reaching the broader public
- Why We Scientists Do Instagram – why Instagram is an awesome platform for scientists, and how it helps boost visibility and correct gender stereotypes, especially for women in STEMM. There’s also includes a nice mind-map of the motivations to blog about science
- One tweet led to a spot on Bill Nye’s TV show – an example of the opportunities social media can lead to (Andrew is one of our former students)
Welcome to Let’s Talk SciComm, a podcast by the University of Melbourne Science Communication Teaching Team.
I’m Dr Jen Martin and my co-host is Dr Michael Wheeler and we believe science isn’t finished until it’s communicated.
Hello and welcome to another episode of Let’s Talk SciComm.
I’m Jen and I am joined as always by the wonderful Michael. Hi Michael.
Hey Jen, I’m really excited for this episode. We’re going to be talking all about building a professional online presence.
Yeah, that’s right, ’cause I think all scientists have heard the mantra that you’ve got to publish or perish, which can kind of make people feel pretty anxious that they just have to publish more, publish more, publish more.
But I think the new mantra that you’ve probably heard is also ‘Be visible or vanish’. And that’s the idea that in the current day and age that we live in, it’s really important that if you want to have a career in science, in fact, probably many careers in all sorts of different areas, it’s really important that we build online networks and that we have a professional online profile which I think can be a bit confronting right?
Because if you think about it, it wasn’t that long ago that social media was just something that we thought of as being something that you, I don’t know, you shared cat memes, or you shared your foodie habits perhaps? Or perhaps that social media was really important for people who were running businesses.
But I think these days there’s just so many advantages to having an online profile. Essentially because it gives you the possibility of connecting with so many more people around the world than you can face-to-face. Think about it, how many people do you get to see face-to-face and even excepting COVID Michael? How many people do you reckon you get to bump into day-to-day?
A handful of people maybe. I counted on one hand, maybe two hands if I’m having a good day.
Yeah, two hands on a good day, I think that’s a fair way to look at it. Whereas the people that you might want to have professional interactions with, you might want them to know the sort of work you do and the things that you’ve published or the talks that you’re giving, whatever it is, that can be a lot of people. So I think probably most of us would agree that it is worth having an online profile. But in today’s episode we really wanna think about why you would do that, how you would go about doing that strategically, what the benefits are.
And for me it always comes back to a fantastic quote from someone called Bernard Kelvin Clive, and the quote is “Visibility without value is vanity”, which I just love. So we’re not talking about being visible for the sake of it; we’re not talking about trying to have lots of followers, just so you have lots of followers; we’re not talking about trying to become an influencer.
We’re talking about value, so being really clear and strategic about how being visible online can help you achieve your goals in your work. And the strategy part of it is crucial because we’re all busy. You don’t have a lot of time for this, I’m pretty confident that that’s a true statement. So we’re not talking about spending your time mindlessly scrolling, getting sucked into reading things just for the sake of it. We’re talking about consciously using an online profile and social media to further your professional goals.
I think that’s such a good point about being conscious. As much as I love a good cat meme Jen, they are very distracting. And I was reading a really interesting book recently, it’s called How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, which encapsulates that idea that not all of our engagements online are going to be productive. And there was a really good quote that I’m just going to paraphrase from that along the lines of: In the short term, distractions are annoying and that’s what we think of them as. But actually we need to think of them in the long term, that those distractions actually prevent us from doing the things we want to do and being able to reflect and know what we want to want. So yeah, I think we should take kind of a long-term view of distractions and try and be conscious about engaging productively with social media.
Which I guess is the thinking behind all the kind of screen controls and all of the tools out there that keep a track of how much time you’re spending online. Because if you feel like oh, I just dip in and out of social media for a few minutes each day, that’s no big deal. But of course, if you add it all up, you can discover that you’re spending huge amounts of time doing something that’s actually not productive at all, and that you end up feeling a bit guilty about, and that’s not achieving anything useful for you.
So that’s definitely not our message today, because our assumption is that if you’re listening to this podcast, you have a day job that involves you doing science in some capacity, or you’re probably not interested in this podcast, which means social media is probably not a key feature of the work you need to get done all day. So for us to be suggesting that we think you should be spending time, investing time in your online profile, that means you’ve got to get good payoff for the time and energy that you’re going to spend doing that. It can’t be something that takes you a huge amount of time. And it has to be something that you see as valuable.
So as you’ll know if you’ve listened to some of our other episodes, we always start with purpose. What would your purpose be? You’ve gotta start with your goals. So Michael, what can you think of, in the teaching that we do, in the scientists we interact with? What do you think some of the key goals might be for a scientist to be more visible and spend time building their profile?
I suppose one of the main goals is really increasing the audience of their work. So beyond a purely scientific audience and spreading the message of their research, wider… thinking about altmetrics, which you know, are really interesting and actually evolving quite a lot. I remember recently discovering that with altmetrics, you can now track the number of times your work has been mentioned, not just in blogs and on Twitter and things like that, but actually mentioned in policy documents, which is really useful for grant applications, promotion applications and things like that. So altmetrics I think are very important, and it’s good to be aware of them. I suppose it’s also just about engaging a broader audience about your science and creating opportunities for conversation rather than just transmission.
Definitely. I think there’s also quite a bit of good evidence out there that if you’re sharing your work, particularly somewhere like Twitter that it is more likely to be cited. Now, there’ve been a few studies in different directions here arguing yes yes, you end up with more citations or no, we don’t have clear evidence for that. But on balance, I think it’s pretty clear that if you share your work in more places than just actually publishing the paper in the journal, people are more likely to see it and they are more likely to cite it if they know that that work exists.
Yeah, exactly, that’s where being strategic comes into it. If you’re following other scientists on Twitter, a lot of your audience is made up of people who are going to be interested in your work and probably likely to cite it, then it can be really useful. It seems logical that it would increase your citation count.
But it also provides evidence of your communication skills and being able to communicate in different ways and in different styles, which has lots of translational benefits in doing that.
Yeah, I think that’s super important, particularly if you’re applying for a job. And I guess we haven’t even mentioned yet that one of the key reasons I think to be active online is to find out about opportunities. Because being active online allows you to build your networks and networks lead to new collaborations and hearing about jobs, maybe hearing about other opportunities like radio interviews or panel discussions, guest speaker opportunities.
Building your reputation as someone who has something useful to contribute can lead to all sorts of opportunities. But then when you apply for that job that you’ve now seen advertised, one of the key selection criteria for most jobs is excellent communication skills. And as much as you might like to sit in an interview, saying, Trust me, trust me, I’m an excellent communicator, you do have to provide evidence. And I think pointing to your profile that maybe you’ve been writing a blog, or maybe you’ve been doing something interesting on a social media platform. That can provide the evidence that employers might like to see, so there are clear concrete benefits I think.
Yeah, absolutely. And on the collaboration point as well, I think science is moving towards being more and more collaborative and having studies that span different countries is something that’s really important. And being able to connect with people online is one way of beginning those relationships because successful collaborations are all about building successful relationships with people. So look, it is very useful, so hopefully you are now convinced of that.
Well, the other thing Michael we haven’t mentioned is just the idea that you can get feedback. Particularly Twitter I guess I’m thinking about and we will talk more about Twitter soon. But I think on Twitter you can get feedback on your research. You can stay up-to-date because a lot of researchers will share things that they’re doing, whether it be a paper that they’ve just published or a lecture that they’re giving you know, people will share what they’re doing.
So being able to stay up-to-date and sharing what you’re doing and then getting feedback on it and being encouraged and finding support when things aren’t going so well, I think that’s a really important goal to me as well, just to be part of a community. And as you said, quite early on, it’s not just broadcasting. Hi, it’s me. This is what I do. It’s also having conversations with people. And sure we’d love to have conversations that are face to face all the time, but it’s not possible and so for me, the next best thing can be a social media conversation.
Yeah exactly. And I suppose as scientists, scientists go through a lot of struggles and being able to share that and get advice from people is really, really helpful and beneficial. So yeah, lots of benefits to engaging productively online. But if we agree with that then I suppose the next question is where do we start?
And that can be a bit of a, bit of a problem to try and think about where do we start, because it can all be a bit overwhelming. There’s so many different platforms out there now and also a sense of maybe we’re too late, we’ve kind of missed the boat, it’s not possible to learn how to engage with all these platforms. Now, it’s definitely worth acknowledging that. But also saying I think it’s understandable, but you don’t necessarily have to be part of every single platform, and it can actually be useful just to begin engaging with maybe one or start small. Be aware of your capacity in terms of time, but do start.
And I suppose there’s a couple of questions we can also ask ourselves around this idea of starting and trying to gauge capacity. So asking yourself, “Okay, so what are my goals in raising visibility here and who are the audience is that I want to connect with to reach these goals? Where do they hang out? Which platforms are going to be most valuable to me?” and understanding which platforms have influence and are used by your audience. But you definitely don’t want to spread yourself too thin and you definitely can’t be on every platform.
Yeah, absolutely Michael and I think that’s just so crucial, we’ve talked about this before. Coming back to your why: Why are you doing this? What are you trying to achieve? Because otherwise, if you just think oh yeah, I should be on Twitter so I’ll just go and hang out on Twitter. Sure, you could probably have some fun and you could meet some interesting people. But if you’ve got limited time then it’s got to be strategic in terms of what am I actually trying to achieve here? And it may actually be that social media is not the most important place for you to raise your visibility so it all comes back to your purpose. What are you trying to achieve here? What are your goals?
And it may be that for you and the audiences that you want to connect with and you want to have some conversations with and potentially some influence over that there’s other platforms that are more valuable. Maybe it’s about giving a talk. We’ve got an episode on how to give a talk about science. It could be that you ideally need to go and talk to the local primary school, or perhaps you need to give a Ted Talk. It’s a pretty big continuum out there for audiences for talks. If you have a Ted Talk that’s watched by a lot of people, potentially far more than ever going to read your paper, maybe that’s important.
Or maybe you need to start your own blog. Or maybe you need to write a guest blog for somebody else. Maybe there are other online articles that you could write at the university or the institution or the company wherever you work, they’re probably desperately craving online material to publish. That may be the perfect place to do it, or somewhere like The Conversation, which is quite big here in Australia, but is also global. Maybe you need to try and organise a radio interview for yourself. Maybe you need to give a guest lecture to target the audience that you want to be speaking with. Maybe you need to write a letter to someone or like a public letter, an op-ed that gets published in the newspaper.
I think there are so many different ways that it may be important for you to be visible, and you’ve just got to come back to what are you trying to achieve and who’s the audience and how are you gonna connect with them. But I guess I would point out that if you do any of those other things, you’re going to want to spread the word so that people are aware you’ve given this talk or written this thing, and social media is probably the best way to do that. So don’t dismiss social media out of hand because it could be a really useful tool for you, even if it’s like a secondary mechanism of just sharing other stuff.
Yeah definitely. And on that point of audience and reaching a wide audience, it really is amazing how the reach of the audience that you can achieve on social media or things like The Conversation, writing articles for The Conversation can really be big. And I suppose that brings up the question then, if that’s something that you want to spread the message of your research far and wide, how do I go about building a little bit of a following online?
There’s a few points that we can come back to here. The first one is really just following widely. So on Twitter, for example, or other social media platforms, following friends, peers and colleagues, people that you know but also influencers as well. Journalists are good, groups or professional organisations. But I know when I started Twitter I already had Facebook and I was using that for personal with friends and things like that. But then with Twitter I’d decided okay, I’m going to have this for more professional use, so I’ll follow colleagues and peers who are also friends. But yeah, also other scientists and academics. So I guess my news feed is a little bit more tailored towards professional things.
Not so many cat memes then Michael?
Yeah, not so many cat memes, although some people I follow share cat memes sometimes so…
There’s nothing wrong with a good cat meme really.
There’s nothing wrong with a good cat meme. Pictures of dogs you know, it’s, it’s nice, it’s nice…
Are you having a go at me Michael? You know how often my dog gets a guernsey on Twitter.
I love those little videos of Molly, just getting in a puddle and getting messy.
She loves getting messy in a puddle and it’s funny right? Because for me, Twitter is largely a professional place, although I do do some running stuff on Twitter. If anyone follows me on Twitter, I am also interested in running.
But you’d be amazed how many people respond by saying, oh, we just love those videos of your dog, she always makes us laugh. And I think, well, there is room for that also. We’re sort of treating this as a very serious thing, you’ve gotta have your goal and your purpose and your audience. But you got to have room for fun as well. If having a bit of fun with colleagues in harmless ways helps you to get through the day, I think that’s okay too.
Oh, absolutely, and I suppose it kind of models as well that it’s not all work and no play, right? It’s important to say I’m actually a person at the end of the day, and I do other things.
Yeah exactly. How boring would it be if you only ever talked about work and how dismal the state of the world is? I’m not up for that at all.
Yeah, absolutely. And then thinking about engaging productively then with social media, it can be good to try and progress to having conversations with people online. You might want to join communities that are having relevant conversations and be a part of that, and listen to what people are saying. Kind of demonstrate that you’re interested and ask questions.
And yeah, I suppose it’s about adding value and you’ve got insight you can bring to a particular topic that people might be interested in, and that’s where the huge benefits are. Because you know, you could be providing insight on an issue to someone on the other side of the world that you wouldn’t necessarily get to have that conversation with them in real life without social media.
I think showing your support for other people is a really important part of social media, you know. If all you ever do is talk about your own stuff, here’s me, look at me, look at what I did, it can get pretty boring quite quickly. Whereas if you can lend your weight behind supporting other people, liking what they’re doing, commenting maybe, providing feedback where it’s appropriate, retweeting their work. Maybe someone’s doing a survey and they’re trying to get it out to more people and you can retweet it to your followers. I think you can provide a lot of value and support for one another online which people sometimes forget.
Definitely, definitely. And then thinking about the type of content that you want to put out there. Broadly speaking, it’s similar to when we’re talking about slides and people giving presentations, images are really powerful, videos and graphics are really powerful. Even things like live streaming can be more engaging than text.
And it’s also good to tap into trends as well. With Twitter, you can find out what the trending topics are and if there’s something that falls into your circle of competence or a circle of interest, it can be particularly productive to engage with that topic at that moment.
Yeah, and I think all of that is about how you start to create a community for yourself to belong to. How do you build a following? How do you become part of interesting conversations? And as you said, how do you demonstrate to people that you are someone of interest in your field with something useful to contribute, which is really important.
And so then I guess the next question that we so often get from students when we’re talking about this is what am I going to share? I’m happy to set up a profile, I’m happy to follow other people, I’m happy to give shoutouts to others or whatever it is. But what am I actually going to share? ‘Cause I don’t want to just be a lurker. And I think there are lots of things you can share. For me, it sort of comes back again to this sense of privilege that here I am, I’m a white woman, English is my first language and I live in a country and I work in a place where I have access to all sorts of interesting information and talks and people doing extraordinarily interesting things. So my job then on social media can be to help to make some of that accessible for people who don’t have that access. So maybe I get to go to a talk, I could live tweet it and I could share it. Maybe there’s an event that I’ve heard about that I think other people might not hear about. Sharing news and information can be really valuable.
And as I said, when you’re thinking about content to share, for me it’s a lot about just sharing good news, shouting out for other people what they’ve achieved, something that I’m proud of for them. And I guess for us at Unimelb SciComm, our teaching program, part of that is just celebrating the successes of our students. We’ve had so many students study with us now over the last decade, and they do such incredible things out there in the world. I’m constantly proud of them. And I want to help them get their messages out. It’s not that we’re trying to claim any part of their success or take any credit for it, we just want as many people as possible to know the good work they’re doing and the things they’re achieving. So I think seeing social media as a way of helping others is really important.
Supporting students on social media platforms is very important because you know with our subject, some of the assignments that we get students to do are about being online, writing blogs and things like that, that can be good to, good to share.
And maybe the first time that a student has done that and it can be a real big boost to their confidence and having productive conversations with students. It’s great when you see blogs get picked up and retweeted that some of our students have written. It gives you a good feeling inside.
Yeah, yeah, absolutely. So I think there’s no limit to the sort of stuff that you can share. You can show what your own work looks like and selfies are still super popular if you’re out in the field or you’re in the lab or whatever it is that you’re doing. And we’ve talked already about how important conversations are. And of course, if you are creating content, you’re making a podcast, or you’ve made a cool infographic, or you’ve published a paper or whatever it is you want to tell people about it. And so I think there’s no limit to what you can share.
But for me it really comes down to two things. This is what I always ask myself. Am I being myself and am I being useful? So I think when you say to someone you’ve got to be yourself, what does that mean? And people always come back with well, it means being authentic and being genuine. And I just think authentic is such an overused word now. What does it, what does it even mean? What does authentic mean? But I guess we’ve already covered some of this. It’s about being a well-rounded, multifaceted human being, who in my case has children and likes to run and likes to sing and has a dog.
I think just being a real person, engaging in conversations, admitting that you’re fallible, that you make mistakes, asking for help and asking for advice. Sharing the difficulties in your life as well as the successes. It can be really easy to share when you’ve just won a prize or something. What about the days that you get rejected from your grant or whatever it is? But clearly we have to set boundaries. You’re not going to share things that are personal to you, and we all know a lot about online privacy.
So being myself is part of it, but then it’s about being useful: I want people to know that they can trust me, that I’m not going to share things if I’m not sure of the source, that I know that the information has come from a reliable place. That I can be relied upon to be generous and to follow the generosity principle that I will celebrate others’ good fortune and successes. That I’ll try and be kind and be helpful and that I’ll try and be a good role model in terms of how I behave online.
So I think for me that’s the stuff that I’m always thinking about. But then it kind of really comes down to which platforms are you going to use ’cause you can say yes yes, I’ll do all of that stuff, but where should I be? Because you can go online and google the world’s most used social media platforms. And you could be excused for thinking that the only place that it’s worth being is Facebook and maybe Instagram, ’cause that’s where people are.
But we’ve just got to come back to audience. Who is the audience you’re interacting with? And people have been predicting the death of Twitter for a long time now. But scientists are not getting that memo that Twitter is dying. We all use Twitter all the time and we find it incredibly useful. So don’t let someone tell you that the only place that’s worth being is Facebook, because I just don’t think that’s true. I think there’s lots of other places.
And again, you’ve got to be realistic about what you can take on. You’ve got to schedule time into your day to do this. There are tools to help with that. You can schedule posts in advance. But don’t decide you have to be everywhere because you don’t have time to be everywhere.
You definitely don’t. Some of the other social media platforms that I like are LinkedIn which you might be familiar with as a professional social networking platform, so like a professional version of Facebook. Recruiters use it quite a lot actually to headhunt people sometimes. Or if you’re in an organisation and you’re looking for someone to fill a role, often you can scroll through your contacts on LinkedIn. So it’s almost like with LinkedIn, sometimes jobs might come to you or opportunities might come to you, so it’s important to have a rich profile.
Have a good photo, talk about your experience rather than just listing what you’ve done, and engage in conversations and share things online. But yeah, as I said, recruiters also use it. They use algorithms to filter through LinkedIn profiles. So you want to have a bio that states who you are and what you’re interested in as well can be really useful. So yeah, if you’re not on LinkedIn, I recommend that as a good platform to check out.
Yeah, definitely, and I think most people are now. But if you’re not, LinkedIn I find very useful. And I guess the key one for me is Twitter. We’ve talked about this a bit already, but the sense for me is that Twitter really has deserved its name as being the world’s biggest academic department. As in, if you want to interact with other people who work in similar areas to you in science, it’s a really wonderful community to belong and contribute to. And yes, of course, there can be lots of toxicity on Twitter. I’m not for a second pretending that it’s this utopia of kindness, it certainly isn’t. But there are lots of benefits. There’s a really wonderful lack of hierarchy. You can talk to people far more senior than you, who would probably never answer an email from you, but are very happy to chat with you on Twitter. And again, there’s opportunities for conversation and for me, we don’t have time to go into it, but there’s been some really exciting and very impactful collaborations that have come out of conversations on Twitter, which I think is really valuable. So if you’re not on Twitter, definitely have a think about what you might be missing out on.
And same for Instagram. Instagram obviously is a bit different. People might think it’s only about food and fashion, but there’s a lot of science and sci-art that happens on Instagram. And you get a higher character count than Twitter, so you could say a bit more. And images can be a really important part of scientific work, so I think Instagram can be a great place for community and like Twitter, hashtags can be a very important part of getting your messages out there. So if you don’t know anything about hashtags… I always say just follow people who you think are doing a good job in your field of being active on social media and see which hashtags they use and imitate them because they’ve probably already worked out which are the right hashtags to signal to people this is going to be interesting to you, this is stuff that’s relevant to you.
Yeah. And then I suppose on the theme of being visual, but in terms of videos you’ve got TikTok and YouTube, TikTok being short videos and YouTube short videos but also longer ones as well. And there’s some really good science communication content creators who are on these platforms and we can definitely link to some of their profiles because videos can be hugely engaging way of putting out science communication content. And explaining complex ideas in a visual way is really effective I think.
Yeah, absolutely. I’m not on TikTok (a) ’cause I think I’d be really bad at it, but (b) ’cause I won’t let my children use it, so I don’t think I should either. But there’s some extraordinary science communication happening on TikTok. So I wouldn’t get too fussed about the platforms to be honest. I think just experiment and see where you can find your people and find your audience.
But I think the place to finish today Michael is really with this idea of working out what your brand is, and scientists tend to hate that term. It’s like I don’t have a brand, I’m just me. And I get that, you sort of feel a bit dirty talking about your brand, but everyone has a brand, everyone has a story online.
And the way I always think about it is that any potential employer or collaborator or supervisor is likely to google you and when they google you, what are they going to find? Are they going to only find some out of date mention from a place you used to work five years ago? You want people to find an “authentic” version of you. What you believe in, something that represents what your values are. What sort of work you do? Why you think that work matters? What you’re trying to achieve in the world. And it may be that the really only way to ensure that your online brand reflects who you really are is for you to take control of that story by putting the material out yourself, by being active online. I think you can’t dismiss how important it is to be in control of your own online brand.
‘Cause whether you like it or not, you have one. So you might as well try and craft it into something that you’re proud of and happy with.
Fantastic, but I think now Jen is the time of the podcast where we need to go to the student tips.
Hey everyone, I’m Kate, a neuroscience PhD researcher and host of the Science Comedy podcast Curiosity Killed the Rat. When I started this podcast at the end of 2019, one of our biggest challenges was how to try and build an audience for the show, something that we largely achieved through the use of social media and online profiles. My top tip about how to do this successfully, which is actually just the top science communication tip full stop is know your audience.
When thinking about online profiles, I feel like this applies in two different ways. Number one, which platforms are going to be most worth your time? Are you… who is your target audience and where do they hang out? For us, we went with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and if you want to find us, you can find us @CuriosityRat. The second way I think this tip applies is about the language you choose to use in your posts. Social media, especially Twitter, is a great exercise in being concise and clear. But despite the limited characters, you can still do this in very different ways, right?
The way that I speak or write on my personal Twitter, especially when posting about my science or a paper I’ve been involved in, is very different to the way I speak when posting from the podcast’s account. I use my personal Twitter as a profile for myself as a scientist as well as a science communicator who can target my communication to a range of audiences. And I try to let my tweets and choice of retweets reflect this. When I’m posting for the podcast however, I lean into the slang and casual language that we use on the show. I want the tweets to reflect the energy of the show so that we can attract the type of audience who will actually enjoy our content and so far this seems to be working. I hope this helps.
Hi everyone, my name is Ebony and I’m a PhD student at the University of Melbourne. I am studying marsupial reproduction and early development with a particular focus on marsupial IVF. When it comes to building a professional online profile, I think traditionally there’s been this idea that professional… using air quotes here like you could see them, but professional is synonymous with bland or robotic or in our case, strictly science. But I think nowadays it’s far more common and it’s actually way more beneficial to let this divide between our work selves and our life selves fall away a little bit.
Of course, it’s still important to set boundaries on what it is that we’re willing to share on these platforms, and how much we’re willing to share because I know, they would be different from what you would share on like your Instagram close friends for example. But I definitely don’t think that we need to be afraid to be ourselves. Not only does it make us more relatable, and it takes that pressure off creating a business profile, but it’s also really important to capture people’s interests outside of work. Personally, I’ve had far more engagement online through the content that is not strictly science related, and it’s made it so much easier to network and build connections that might later lead to opportunities.
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