How should academics use social media? What does a digital academic look like? Do you need to be on social media, if you're a University lecturer?
I have my own view on social media of course (my Twitter tagline is 'own mind, own views' for a reason) and it goes roughly like this:
Social media are communication channels. It pretty much makes sense to be approximately the same person on social that you are in real life. Social isn't you, it's just a channel that you can use to communicate with others (people, brands, people-brands, organisations, etc.) online.
You can use social media for both personal and professional communications, and it's also a useful tool to keep up-to-date with what goes on in your area of expertise (teaching and / or research). For instance, I use it Twitter to keep up with news and research about my subject (digital marketing).
Academics and Social Media
As an academic in 2015, you need to be visible online and have a public profile. Not on Linkedin? You don't exist in the eyes of your students (they will google you). Fine (perhaps) if you teach Greek or Maths, but not if you teach media, communications, or PR.
In addition, having a profile means you can be found online and get opportunities coming to you. For instance, I'm an external examiner for the Dublin Institute of Technology and about to produce my first Henry Stewart Talk all on account of this site here ranking for certain search queries in Google.
If you too want to learn how to use social media professionally, the upcoming Google+ hangout by Jobs.ac.uk, How to be a Successful Digital Academic to Boost Your Career, looks like a great step to get you started:
You may already be on Twitter and LinkedIn but how can you use these and other tools to enhance your research and widen public engagement? How much time should you be spending on your digital academic profile and what are the risks to your professional image and organisation?
The hangout takes place on Tuesday 27th January 2015, 12 PM GMT and will last one hour.
The event's landing page has more info (including who's on the panel), and the session is bound to give you a few tactics and practical tips that you can implement for yourself in 2015!