Social media for learning, teaching and research: Overview


Welcome to the Social Media guide.

This guide is aimed at students, doctoral researchers and staff who are interested in using social media for learning, teaching and research.

Using social media is a great way of keeping up to date, raising your profile, maintaining your online reputation and building your networks.

According to Brunel University London's Social Media Policy, social media refers to "any form of media that encourages online social interaction between users and content creators” (Brunel Social Media Policy 2012).

Top five tips for using social media

1. Choose the right tool for the job.

Decide what it is you want to do, eg raise your profile, collaborate more etc then focus on a social media platform that will help you do this.

2. Build a relationship.

Don’t just talk at your audience -  engage them, get them involved and always promptly reply to any responses or comments. Social media isn’t a soapbox, but a tool for engagement.

3. Create a detailed profile.

Let people know who you are and why you are here and they are much more likely to engage with you. This is how you maintain your reputation

4. Be 'profersonal' - maintain a personal/professional balance.

You don’t want to get too personal, but you don’t want to seem stiffly professional either.  Don’t let emotions get the best of you.

5. Use analytics.

There are now lots of tools available to help you analyse the best time to tweet to your followers or what content gets the most interest. The results can be quite enlightening to read and help you make the most out of your time using social media.

Social media

A-Z of social media for academia