Social media is one way we disseminate our articles. By writing compelling social media copy, we can increase engagement on our posts and increase the number of people clicking on the link to your article and reading it!
In your GatherContent template, you'll see a tab that says, "Audience & Sharing." We ask that all authors fill out three fields to help us create accurate and interesting social media posts that are relevant to your article. The fields are as follows:
- Two Tweets
- One Facebook Post
- Other Social Media Profiles
We also ask that you submit social media posts with your lab notes. If you are unable to come up with a suggested post for your lab note, please write 1 or 2 two key takeaways from your article. This will be a big help to us when we share your lab notes on social media!
Before writing your posts, consider the following...
- Who do you want to read your article and how can you reach them on social media?
- Who do you mention in your article (any schools, institutions, lab groups, researchers, etc)? Do they have social media accounts that you can tag?
- Which keywords or hashtags related to your article are people searching for or using to connect on social media?
- What are the most important takeaways from your article?
So, what do we ask for in GatherContent?
As the writer of your article, you can quickly find the two most relevant and interesting points in your story. Tweets are limited to 280 characters, so make sure that they are clear, concise, compelling, and credible. They should also have a hook and tell a mini-story. Please include the Twitter usernames for any researchers, institutions, lab groups (etc) you mention, if applicable. If you would like to be tagged, please include your Twitter username.
What does a good tweet look like?
"While goats don’t have thumbs, they have advanced motor coordination and hooves that allow them to play DDR at a champion level—and beat every scientist in lab."
A not-so-good tweet lacks context, might be too formal or too informal, and doesn't give the reader a reason to click the link.
What does a not-so-good tweet look like?
"Goats, also known as Capra aegagrus hircus, are Herbivorous creatures that eat poaceae." [lacks a hook and context!]
One Facebook Post
The same principles apply to creating a Facebook post. However, you have more length to work with, and thus can add more context or more story. Our Facebook audience is generally a bit older (40+) and has fewer scientists than our Twitter or Instagram audiences. Remember to include usernames for any relevant pages, including your own!
What does a good Facebook post look like?
"Since the dawn of Atari, humans have flocked to gaming. Other species were left out completely until a rogue scientist decided to study the brain activity of goats playing MarioKart. In the newly released report from @MIT, the creatures are shown to have a natural aptitude for gaming — and brain patterning similar to ours — which could unlock keys to why humans find video games so addictive."
Other Social Profiles
If you have other social media accounts (Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Pinterest), and you would like us to tag you in posts we share on these platforms, please include either your usernames or links to your profiles here.
Having trouble writing a post? Try one of these formulas!
Problem-Agitate-Solve: Identify a problem... agitate the problem... solve the problem.
The 4 C's: Your post should be Clear, Concise, Compelling, and Credible.
A note on tone
It’s important to use your voice, and it’s just as important to make sure your voice is engaging. Your tone should be active, upbeat, and curious. The important thing to remember about tone is that it’s what is going to entice someone to keep reading. As you’re writing, ask yourself, “How would I like to be spoken to if someone was presenting me with new information?”
A note on context
While you understand the article and the topics you’ve explored, most readers are seeing these ideas for the first time. As you’re writing social copy, be descriptive, and focus on telling a short story. Without the context, readers might be confused or even pass over clicking on your article because it’s not clear — and clarity and context are key.
More social media tips
Follow Massive on all the platforms you use
Don’t be shy about tagging the universities, people, or institutions you’ve mentioned in your piece — they will most likely be flattered and repost
Get creative! Ask us to create a gif (we have a Giphy account!) for you, or post in Instagram stories and use the sticker feature. There are so many ways to tell a visually engaging post on social media.
If you are a current Massive Science writer and would like to be featured on our social media accounts, please fill out our feature form. You can also tag us (Twitter, TikTok, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram) or use #MassiveScienceWriter for posts you would like us to share with our audience (posts promoting your stories but also your research). If you have questions, please email our social media editor at firstname.lastname@example.org.