Sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and a professional or company blog, wisely used, can be great ways to engage with readership and start conversations around your book or paper. Here are a few tips to get the most out of these:
Announce work as it is published: let people know that your latest research is out there!
Include a link to where your work is hosted. If you have limited characters (Twitter), you can use a link-shortening site like bitly.com – this also lets you track who is clicking and from which sources.
Hashtag key words so people searching relevant subjects find your post (E.g. #pollution).
Tag any co-authors, linked institutions or colleagues to promote sharing (E.g. @IWAPublishing).
Make your post attention-grabbing: use a short, catchy description or intriguing question so people want to click through and learn more. If you can, add a visual (the book/journal cover, a relevant infographic, an author photograph) so that your message stands out in a crowded feed of posts.
Make your online identity as consistent as possible: using the same name, titles and photographs on different public/professional accounts can help people to find you and your work.
Link between different social media accounts: if someone finds you through LinkedIn, they may be interested in following you on Twitter for updates and new work.
Other ways to get the word out online
Add a link to your email signature: this could be the page of your book or paper, or a link to your profile on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Kudos.
Write blog post which complements, expands on or explains your work in plain language to help engage a wider audience. This could be your own blog or that of your institution, a society or your publisher (IWA Publishing has one here). Come up with a compelling title and share this on your social media platforms with a link to your book or paper.
Add a link to your work on your faculty page or company LinkedIn profile.
Academic community websites
Community websites (like Mendeley, Zotero or ResearchGate) give researchers the opportunity to create a comprehensive academic profile and share information on their work with peers in the field.
Some of these sites require uploading a PDF file for works listed, but sharing full publications may put authors in risk of breaching copyright and publishing agreements. Uploading a summary or your abstract are great ways to let people know what your research is about without breaching copyright. Make sure to link to where the article is available so that people can find out more. If you are ever in doubt about copyright, check with your publisher – they will be able to offer guidance.
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