You may have seen we’ve been working with researchers to build their LinkedIn profiles. All with the aim of increasing their chances of having their research activities picked up and translated into practice by new or novel collaborators. In many cases we’re working within existing organisational social media and other online frameworks. We often get asked questions like:
Q. Who owns the profile?
A. The individual researcher owns their profile. It is their choice to make changes or updates. But, like other professional development, you might make participation in a workshop conditional on profile changes being implemented.
Q. How do you get people to agree to have content about the centre/institute or university on their page?
A. See above. But if you make the assumption that participation is voluntary, then it’s all about demonstrating value. This is something we have been very successful at within the workshops we run.
Q. Can the team write their own profiles?
A. Yes… BUT it can be challenging. It’s like introducing yourself at a conference. It’s tough to talk about all of the great stuff you have done without feeling a bit icky. In the workshop we can work through some of these issues and work with researchers to co-write their summary and even their first posts.
Q. How will I know if it’s working?
A. If you’ve set up your profile correctly, and are active in the right ways (writing posts) and places (participating in groups) on LinkedIn, you will start to get increased profile views, connection requests and comments on your posts and shares. However, it’s not magic. If you don’t put in effort you cannot expect to get anything back. Also bear in mind that some social media policies may prevent what might be described as best practice. E.g. we have seen some organisations actively discourage the use of mentions (people) and hash tagging (topics, events) in posts. Mentions and hash tagging are two of the best ways to engage others on LinkedIn (and social media in general).
Q. How many opportunities can we expect?
A. This is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string. However, LinkedIn is all about business (or university) to business interaction. Businesses expect to engage with other businesses via LinkedIn. At this point (particularly in Australia) LinkedIn is relatively well used by business but not researchers/universities. Therefore, there are lots of opportunities for researchers to talk (in accessible terms) about their research, education or training activities (not just outputs), with business.
Q. How do you prove return on investment?
A. We reckon you’ll get at least one new industry funding opportunity through LinkedIn within 12 months. That will more than cover the cost of the LinkedIn workshop and the less than 7 minutes (what we advocate as a maximum time) a day you spend on LinkedIn. A much better return when you compare that to the grant writing, rewriting, review and notification process (especially with current success rates).
Raven Consulting Group specialises in delivering high quality strategic advice to the education, research and government sectors. Richard is driven by the challenge of helping organisations achieve their full potential. His strategic approach to collaboration and research translation has been making the impossible possible for more than seven years. His clients appreciate his cut-through approach. He knows the sector and how to turn ideas into reality. To find out more, call 0412 606 178, email ([email protected]) or subscribe to our newsletter.