One strand in the DFID Research 4Development project explored the value of social media and other web 2.0 tools in encouraging uptake of DFID funded research material. It aimed to engage users and audiences in the online material as well as, more generally, increase knowledge-sharing and collaboration between researchers. This work involved desk research, prototyping and experimenting with a range of online tools and consulting with experienced practitioners in three Peer Exchange meetings held in DFID. This document summarises the main findings of that activity:
- why we focused on social media;
- how relevant are online tools for researchers, especially those based in the global South;
- what we mean by engagement;
- what is recognised as good practice in this emerging specialism; and
- how success might be measured.
The study gives 7 points to be observed when managing the social media mix:
- Know your audience;
- Content is king;
- Gather your social media portfolio;
- Make the content find-able, share-able and searchable;
- Cross-link and promote;
- Tweet like a pro - engage, educate, entertain; and
- Making sense of it all - have a strategy and take time every day to monitor and evaluate.
Euforic Services, Oxford, United Kingdom. Social Media Engagement: A report of activities from the R4D project. CABI, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, UK (2013) 34 pp.