Educational Theory

Author Tips for Social Media Use


New to Social Media?

Different social media platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) reach different audiences and facilitate different kinds of communication. Decide which platforms are right for you. Here is a helpful guide to the features and limitations of various platforms:

Can you use a current personal account for professional purposes, or will you need a new, separate account? Many people prefer to keep their personal feed and professional feeds separate. If you want something new, create an account that reflects your professional persona (e.g., your screenname should be your publication name rather than a nickname, your profile picture a professional-looking headshot). Freshen up your profile descriptions and add your personal or faculty URL address under your name.

Follow and/or Friend key societies, journals, institutions, and individuals. Often they will follow you back, helping even more people find you. Remember to interact with others’ posts: like, react, and leave comments. With their permission, share others’ posts about their own research. This strengthens your professional network, encourages others to promote your research too, and is generally a kind thing to do.

Want to Optimize your Social Media?

Here are a few tips for doing so:     

  • Friend & Follow Educational Theory. Share our posts about your article (and other articles in your issue). In particular, identify two or three intriguing or provocative quotes from your article that we can post directly to social media. These quotes should be no more than 250 characters to fit into social media character limits.

  • DO post about your article when it is accepted for publication/is published. Add the link! Include the link to your article and be sure to cross-post it on each social media or networking site you use (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn,, etc.). 
  • DO NOT post excessively or try to “flood” your followers’ feeds. You can also post about the processes of researching and writing, interesting things you are reading or thinking about, successes and setbacks on the way to publication, etc. These types of posts can be a great way to start a mini-conversation.    
  • You could use common or trending hashtags from content/users similar to your own in order to increase your impact. (Be careful not to use hashtags that may also be part of an unrelated subject/conversation.)     

  • Remember to use the Educational Theory hashtag: #JournalEdTheory   
  • Visual posts with images or video yield more interaction; think about adding these elements to your posts. Facebook also lets you “pin” and “star” posts to maximize formatting and placement in your feed.   
  • If available on your chosen platform(s), use analytics such as “most viewed posts” to reflect on and help improve your social media usage.Examples of widely recommended analytics tools include Altmetric and Hootsuite. Some of these services can also schedule posts for you.    
  • Track and analyze yourself beyond keyword searches. Facebook offers a link called “Insights” that shows activity on your page. Plus, third-party tools like Hootsuite, CrowdFire, and Altmetric can give you data on the reach of your work and your followers.   
  • Keep perspective. Actually doing your research is more important than promoting your research on social media (and your own health and wellbeing is more important than either).

  • Use social media as much or as little as you want to; don’t let it take over your work or life. Checking in for a few minutes every day is more helpful than spending an hour or two once a month.