Social media checklist


Social media is a valuable engagement tool for scientists that can be used to your advantage in several ways. This includes searching for professional development opportunities, communicating your work with the public, or sharing your research achievements.


Here are some tips for getting you started on social media and how to use it safely.

  • Start slow

    • If you are new to social media, it is recommended you start on one platform. Once you get the gist of it, then you can proceed to another one. This will prevent you feeling overwhelmed or burned out.
  • Find out which platform(s) would serve your purpose best

    • Many platforms are similar, but they all have unique qualities. Do your research to figure out what each of them can provide. Think about:

      • Who is your audience? What platform(s) do they use? 

      • What type of materials would your audience respond to well? 

      • What voice should you use? (e.g., humorous, serious) 

      • What type of posts do you want to make? Do you want to solely share articles or use images? 

      • How much time and energy will you invest?

      • Does the platform support social media scheduling tools? 

  • Provide accurate information

    • Make sure the information you are sharing is rational and credible. Use reliable sources, such as peer-reviewed articles and information from trusted institutions. 
  • Stay informed

    • It is important to stay current on the latest in your field. Try not to post content that was last month’s news.
  • Figure out the best times and days to post

    • This information is crucial. Posting at the right time will bring more views, engagement and followers. 

  • Use hashtags

    • Expand your reach by using relevant #hashtags — search to see which ones are popular. Also, be aware of what is happening lately in your community. For example, there are always hashtags you can tie to your posts for observance/awareness months. 

  • Go high, not low

    • If someone communicates in a heated manner that a post was offensive to them, do your best to remain calm and civil in this situation. Do not resort to name-calling or insults as such behavior can lead to losing your audience, or worse your job.

  • Follow, follow, follow

    • The best way to boost engagement with your posts is to follow others. Find groups/individuals that have similar goals or content that could be tied to your purpose. Most will follow you also. Comment on or reshare their posts and they can do the same, leading to a mutually beneficial relationship.

Here are some additional resources that can help you on your social media journey: