Social media guide for EU funded projects

Social media allows you to reach an extremely wide — but also targeted — audience, maximising the impact and successful exploitation of your research results.  The european commission provides a guideline witht tips on how to use social media for your project which it can be found here.

To avoid potentially wasting time with unfocused, open-ended use of social media, decide on a detailed social media strategy, as part of your project’s communication and dissemination plan.

This should cover the following points:

WHERE

  • which accounts and platforms will you use?

WHO?

  • who in your consortium who will be in charge of social media?
  • who is your target audience?

HOW?

  • what impact do you want to have and how will you assess this?
  • which language(s) will you use for your target audience?

WHAT?

  • which content do you want to share?
  • how much time will you need to commit to this task?

WHEN

  • what is the right time to share your content?
  • how often you should post on your account?

These are some tips for making the best use of social media on your projects:

  • Make an analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats (SWOT) in relation to using social media for your project
  • Make a social media strategy and plan ahead right from the start choose the social media platforms and accounts that are most relevant to your project
  • Clarify who is doing what in your consortium define your goals, target audience, policy and messages plan how you are going to measure your impact be consistent across all your communication channels
  • Share project-related content only, using an appropriate style vary the types of content you post (text, pictures, videos, polls, links, etc.)
  • Engage with your audience using replies, retweets or tags connect with other EU-funded projects and the European Commission social media channels
  • Use @EU_H2020 and #H2020 in your tweets to maximise their visibility
  • Follow the news and use trending hashtags monitor your social media channels to measure the impact you’re having
  • Share the social media activities and analysis for your project with your Project Officer, in the deliverables and periodic reports.

Content and tone Below are some tips to help you hold the reader’s attention (as well as being accurate, fair and consistent) — vital in today’s crowded social media landscape. Minimise the use of abbreviations, except generally recognised acronyms and accepted hashtags.  Limit the number of technical words that only experts are likely to understand. Instead try to use layman’s terms.  Use visual aids in your tweets as much as possible, and tag relevant handles.

3 sentences at most on Facebook.

Use software to help you avoid typos and grammar mistakes.

Convey emotions with your posts (but don’t go overboard, or undermine your content’s credibility with excessive hype or clichéd promotional phrasing).

Publish content in other languages, to reach local communities.

Before you post, ask yourself if you would be interested in reading this, or clicking the link to know more.

Vary the content — include a picture, video, GIF, infographic, link or poll to enliven the text. The image credit should be put next to the picture.

Visual content is very effective as it conveys a lot of information in an appealing, easily digestible way.

Share information about your project results and final products, new papers and scientific publications, events, conferences and training courses, breaking news and hashtags relevant to your project, etc.

Highlight the project’s impacts and its contribution to society.

Make sure everything you post is accurate — nobody wants to follow an unreliable information source!

Use appropriate, inoffensive language (this is how you will get responses and stimulate debate).  Be receptive to your readers’ arguments — if you don’t agree, defend your position without being rude.  Gain/maintain credibility by sharing worthwhile, relevant content and show respect for other cultures and ideas, online as well as offline.

All beneficiaries are welcome to contribute to the project’s social media activities, but you need to designate one person to oversee all of this.

We suggest you specify who this is in your communication and dissemination plan.

They will set up and manage social media accounts, centralise the information to be shared and communicate with the audience, including replying to messages.

The ideal person for this could be the beneficiary staff member who already handles communication tasks.