A short and sharp blog this month, with a very specific theme. Social media. Not to critique or understand it, but, ask for some advice and feedback…
Do you use social media professionally?
I do, and I cannot keep up! I now have accounts on: Academia.edu, Twitter, LinkedIn, WordPress, Soundcloud, YouTube, H-Net etc.
‘Social’ media has now been eroded to be ‘social/professional’ media; with my own professional practice saturated by a plethora of social media channels. I largely use them to network, communicate and reach a variety of audiences, which I find very cost/time effective.
I am co-delivering a workshop next week with a fellow PhD student, Andy, and I wanted to blog about the questions raised during the workshop. It is definitely not a ‘how to’ masterclass, as in my opinion there is no right way to use social/professional media.
If you do use social media professionally, what is your chosen/most frequently used platform? Does your usage ever blur into personal posts or content?
Fenwick (2014, p.3) raises the concern that:
“..there is a general concern that online environments loosen inhibitions and create a false sense of intimacy, producing inappropriate postings that can be amplified immediately and internationally..”
I think this is fair, but, what expectations do people have in 2018? Is social media a domain where you always need to be professional? It is based on a ‘social’ element after all?!
A lot of unanswered questions around the ethics, blurring of activities and professional guidelines, you need to adhere to when projecting yourself into the public domain. However, a lot of answered questions in terms of the positive trend of engaging with professional/social media. The Microsoft $26.2bn deal (above) to acquire LinkedIn shows a clear tech industry endorsement to the ‘power’ of professional/social media. Plus, the growing body of statistics that show a positive correlation between professional/social media and the impact of research outputs, for example, the LSE Impact Blog published recently:
Academic journals with a presence on Twitter are more widely disseminated and receive a higher number of citations.
The statistics and metrics around reach and audience is persuasive when you consider the cost and time effective role professional/social media can play, especially, within academia. But are we at a point where guidelines, practices and expectations need to be clearer? …much to discuss next week in the workshop with Andy and the group!
In the meantime, any comments or feedback would be very useful – email firstname.lastname@example.org / comment on the blog using the boxes below / Tweet/DM me / or a message via one of the multitude of platforms I appear on!
Reference: Fenwick, T. (2014) Social media, professionalism and higher education: a sociomaterial consideration, Studies in Higher Education, DOI: 10.1080/03075079.2014.942275