Widening the reach of my post: Encouraging engagement

Once your article has been published in the journal and your blog post written, it is natural to want to share this with your network – and beyond! Read on for some tips to help you share your blog post effectively.
Widening the reach of my post: Encouraging engagement

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Sharing your science through many different channels is a great way to widen awareness, promote engagement with science, and demonstrate the important impact of your work.

Telling your teams

Your organisation, institution, and funding body are all likely to have media and communications teams who are keen to support you in sharing your work with the world. You may already have spoken to them about your article publication, but be sure to let them know about your blog post too!

They are very welcome to share the link to the blog post across their channels and social media accounts. 

Sharing on social media

At the top of your post, just below your profile image, you will see a ‘share’ button that allows you to share your post directly to Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. 

The three buttons shown near the top of a blog post - one on the left showing the option to like, and two on the right showing the options to comment and/or share.

You can also copy the short URL that can be included in posts on other sites or shared with colleagues. Using the short URL frees up space in your social media posts to allow you to talk more about your work!

When sharing your blog post on social media, keep in mind that these platforms are open to all and that non-experts are likely to see your post. Try to avoid using jargon or acronyms and instead explain things in clear and concise terms that can be understood by both experts and those who may not know much about the field. 

You may also see your post shared by the Research Communities team on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. A like, retweet, or comment is really appreciated and helps people to discover your profile and more about your work.

Ensuring accessibility

You can find out more about how to ensure your post is accessible in this post, but it is also important to think about accessibility when you share your work on social media. If you add any images to your social media posts, be sure to:

  1. Include alternative text to describe any images you include in your social media post

    Some social networking sites generate automatic alternative descriptions, which can often be incorrect and doesn’t accurately represent the image. Therefore, it is always better to add your own. Whilst being essential for accessibility, adding alt text also improves SEO (search engine optimisation) for your post to help more people discover your post.
    Don’t forget this applies to images of text and gifs too.

    For more information on adding alternative descriptions on different social media platforms, take a look at the links below:
  2. Consider your use of Gifs

    Before sharing a gif with your post, be sure to consider the flashing and blinking nature of some gifs, as this can trigger seizures. If you would like to find out more about making accessible animated content, including gifs, the BBC offers some advice on creating accessible animated images.
  3. Include captions on videos

    You can upload a video that already includes open captions (burned in) to most platforms.  It is highly recommended to add your own captions, rather than relying on auto generated captions, as they frequently contain mistakes. 

    Adding captions makes it easier for audiences to watch and engage with videos when using their device without sound. As well as providing important accessibility, captions can also help to drive stronger engagement with your post.

  4. Capitalise the first letter of each word in a hashtag.

    Capitalising the first letter of each word helps screen-reading software read out each word separately, making it much easier to follow. For example, use #ResearchCommunities and not #researchcommunities.

  5. Be mindful when using emojis.

    A screen reader announces every emoji you include. If you include emojis within the text of your post, be mindful that they will be read out in full within the sentence which may disrupt the flow of your post. It is best to use emojis sparingly and at the end of sentences.

Helpful links

Facebook accessibility centre
Facebook accessibility account (@accessibility)
Twitter accessibility account (@twitterA11y)
LinkedIn accessibility support

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