How to use social media effectively in research projects
Whether you like it or not, social media, with its ever-expanding selection of platforms, has become the primary means of effectively sharing and disseminating information. This is true for everything from launching new industrial products to amplifying successful Horizon Europe projects. Clear evidence shows that a successful social media strategy can not only enhance brand awareness and drive overall sales for products and companies, but it can also positively affect the impact that funded projects have. With this in mind, it is clear that developing and executing a social media strategy for successful projects will help ensure that social media postings result in effective dissemination rather than wasted hours spent in front of a screen. There are many factors to consider when strategizing and implementing social media posts for Horizon Europe, and this "guide” covers several of them, including a basic strategy that has been AI-approved for social media success.
Proper social media usage for Horizon Europe projects
As stated above, an effective social media strategy is crucial for maximizing the impact of a funded Horizon Europe project. It allows for connecting with the target audience, promoting the project website, and establishing authority in the field of research. Social media also provides the opportunity to cultivate relationships with potential collaborators and expand the audience base beyond immediate peers. By leveraging social media platforms effectively, researchers can increase the visibility and reach of their project and promote the project's outcomes and achievements. This can ultimately lead to a greater impact on society, as more people become aware of the project's goals and outcomes, and the research findings are translated into real-world applications. Crucially, proper usage of social media can enhance the dissemination and exploitation of a Horizon Europe project, maximizing its impact and contributing to the advancement of scientific knowledge and innovation.
Ensuring the greatest impact for a Horizon Europe project requires an effective dissemination strategy – and nowadays this necessitates the use of social media. Perhaps the best way to go about this, according to several authorities in this realm, is using a "word/question of the day/week/month" series to introduce key terminology and research questions addressed by a Horizon Europe project.
Using storytelling through social media in the early stages of the project can help raise awareness and engage stakeholders. As the project progresses, social media can be used to disseminate new publications and highlight specific team members, methodologies, or research questions. Templates and visual aids such as infographics and videos can also make project results more accessible to a diverse audience. Including visuals in social media posts can significantly increase engagement rates, with posts containing images or visuals having a 98% higher comment rate on LinkedIn, being three times more likely to receive engagement on Twitter, and receiving more likes and comments on Facebook.
Real-time posting of photos and videos is suited for faster-moving platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, while longer videos are best shared on YouTube. LinkedIn also supports PDFs and slide sharing, which can increase accessibility to conference presentations and project newsletters.
Below is a general step-by-step guide to creating a social media dissemination strategy for a Horizon Europe project developed with the help of artificial intelligence that understands social media algorithms better than human beings:
Step 1: Identify the target audience
The first step in developing a social media dissemination strategy is to identify the target audience. Who are the people that you want to reach with your project results? This could include policymakers, industry stakeholders, researchers, and the general public.
Step 2: Choose your social media channels
Once you have identified the target audience, the next step is to select the appropriate social media channels. Depending on the target audience, different social media platforms may be more effective than others. For example, Twitter and LinkedIn may be more appropriate for reaching policymakers and industry stakeholders, while Instagram and Facebook may be more suitable for engaging with the general public.
Step 3: Create engaging content
The key to effective social media dissemination is to create engaging content that captures the attention of the audience. This could include infographics, short videos, blog posts, and live streams. The content should be visually appealing, concise, and easy to understand.
Step 4: Use hashtags
Hashtags are a powerful tool for increasing the visibility of your social media posts. Use relevant hashtags that are related to your project and the target audience. This will help people who are interested in the topic to find your posts more easily.
Step 5: Develop a content calendar
To ensure that your social media content is consistent and timely, develop a content calendar. This should include the dates of key events, such as project milestones, conferences, and workshops, as well as any relevant dates, such as Earth Day. This will help you to plan and schedule your social media content in advance.
Step 6: Engage with your audience
Social media is a two-way communication platform, so it is important to engage with the audience by responding to comments and messages. This will help to build relationships with the target audience and increase the visibility of your project.
Step 7: Monitor and evaluate
Finally, it is important to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of your social media dissemination strategy. Use analytics tools to track the reach and engagement of your posts and adjust your strategy accordingly.
Exploitation through social media
In addition to dissemination, exploitation through social media can bring further benefits for Horizon Europe projects, including:
Increased visibility and awareness of the project among a wider audience, including potential collaborators, funders, and stakeholders.
Opportunity to share project updates, progress, and achievements in real-time, helping to keep stakeholders engaged and informed.
Facilitation of collaboration and networking among project partners, as well as with external stakeholders, by providing a platform for communication and exchange of ideas.
Increased potential for the project to attract future funding and investment, as social media can help to demonstrate the project's relevance and potential impact.
Improved recruitment of participants and stakeholders for project activities and events.
If you are unsure of the difference between dissemination and exploitation, we have an article outlining what each of them are and how they differ.
How Linq Consulting helps with project dissemination and exploitation through social media
While all forms of communication are important, social media has seen an increasing importance in recent years – and this is not necessarily welcomed for many researchers. Fortunately, Linq Consulting specializes in project management and communication, including all aspects of social media engagement, from the grant proposal stage all the way through to completion in the real world. Our expert team of grant writers, project managers, and project communication specialists have helped numerous projects get funding and get to market from Horizon Europe and other EU-funded grant programs.
For more information on how we can help, get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to follow us on Twitter @linq-consulting and connect with us on LinkedIn as well.