Your Professional Profile

Although social media may not be right for your project or center, you might want to consider it for yourself. Here are a few tips for using social media to stay in the know and the mix:

Facebook offers more full-fledged content updates from a wide variety of sources besides individual friends, such as associations, publishers, brands, broadcasters, schools, etc. As with Twitter, you don't have to use Facebook to broadcast information, though there are benefits if you do. To get started:

  1. If you don't have a personal profile, you can create one with basic information in minutes.
  2. If you do have a profile and network of friends, you might consider posting updates on project milestones, telling stories, and sharing photos.
  3. Ask questions to get feedback from the community, or create polls using Facebook tools.
  4. Add organizations that you're interested in following by finding them and liking their fan pages.

Twitter can be used to promote yourself and your work if you post regular updates. But it's also the best way to follow breaking news and leaders in various fields. The good news is that you don't have to post. You can use Twitter as a news feed for a low maintenance approach. To get started:

  1. Create an account either using your name (useful if your presenting yourself) or a description that defines you. The name should be short (fewer than 15 characters is ideal).
  2. If you plan to tweet, write a short description in the profile using keywords so that people are more likely to follow you and your posts.
  3. Look up news outlets, thought leaders, colleagues, etc. in the search box and review their profiles to confirm they are who you think they are. Follow them. This is the best way to get breaking news!
  4. Hashtags (e.g. #science) are the most direct way of searching for a topic or conversation. They will also help you to discover other resources/people that are worth following.

LinkedIn is a very direct way of presenting yourself and your project to other professionals, but it's also a resource to keep up with colleagues' work, query your network about opportunities, find answers to questions through professional groups, and more. To get started:

  1. Create a profile that serves as a calling card for you.
  2. Include a description of your work that uses the most relevant keywords for a web search.
  3. Connect with colleagues and friends to expand your network.
  4. Find and join groups relevant to your field, and participate in the discussions with questions and answers. This one of the best ways to build your Personal Learning Network.

For another way to connect with your audience, check out the next section on Blogs.