Academics should jump onto the social media bandwagon

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It is ironical that most academics speak well, are proactive and take the lead in activities but when comes to social media, a majority them refrain from using it. Academics are usually shy of social media. It emanates from our culture that teaching is a noble profession and that one’s work speaks for itself. When propositioned to take to social media, most of them would react thus: “Why do we need publicity?”, “Oh it’s not for us” ”You want me to do this?” or “Our job is to teach and we should be very serious.” It is construed that social media is for publicity seeking and therefore it is “not meant for academics’. There cannot a greater fallacy than this.

Currently there are about 64 Crore social network users in India which is estimated to touch 100 rore by the year 2025 and the same would reach 150 crore by 2040 according to Statista 2021.

Among all the social networks the most popular is YouTube which stands at 85.8% followed by Facebook at 75.7%. Worldwide, going by the number of active users, Facebook attracts a large
number of people- 2,853 million whereas YouTube would have to 2,291 million users per month

Followed by WhatsApp at 2,000 and Instagram at 1,386 million active users per month. The underlying reasons for such proliferation of social network could be: Growing discretion, growing digitalisation, low data prices and ease of internet access.

The tech influence on youngsters is far too high. It appears that Facebook rides on envy, Instagram on pride. The grid to go up in your work ladder is witnessed on LinkedIn whereas wrath is writ large on the micro blogging platform Twitter.

There’s been a spike in usage of social networks during the pandemic. By the end of June 2020, the average time spent was 3 hours and 37 minutes on social networks. While this meteoric rise has thrown open numerous social commerce possibilities for advertisers, it has also transformed the living styles of many youngsters in this country. On one hand the ease of keeping in touch, the ability to take your message across a large number of people coupled with creative bent of mind has helped all of us witness the positive sides. The tech influence on youngsters is far too high. It appears that Facebook rides on envy, Instagram on pride. The grid to go up in your work ladder is witnessed on LinkedIn whereas wrath is writ large on the micro blogging platform Twitter. It is said that because of Netflix slot among users has gone up while Yelp has built or increased or enhanced gluttony. And rubbish is just thrown around on WhatsApp. Many working professionals most of them young do not distinguish how each platform can be put to its best use. Platform native designs have inbuilt objectives to propagate certain core messaging styles. While Facebook is aimed at making general friendships, not so formal, promising greater visibility. LinkedIn is meant for working professionals where accomplishments on work side, rise in careers or aspirations for careers or thought leadership is supposed to be propagated. Instagram is designed for younger population who have an unlimited appetite for sharing their stories. Twitter stood for micro blogging where the users make statements that align with their existence as well as aspirations.

Why you should jump onto the bandwagon?

To create your personal brand

  • Leaders create more space for growth both at personal as well as institutional level.
  • Personal branding is unveiling the real you.
  • Knowing – doing – being to be handled with a greater focus as much as 80%. Talking will take 20% focus/effort.
  • Institutions are built by people who have clear identities/ personalities.
  • Your reputation precedes you. Perception management is paramount.
  • The best way to tell the world how different you are is to create your own school of thought and your own school of action.

How does it help your institute?

Problem

The institutional handles on social media are construed as ‘commercial’ in nature and therefore cannot always garner enough attention or followership, thereby affecting the visibility, engagement, amplification etc.

Objective To realise the full potential of brand on social media by on-boarding faculty members

Solution Bootcamp to sensitise the faculty members on the ways & means to use social media to meet the objective

Focus

  1. Profile management on social media, suggested content based on personal & professional accomplishments, anecdotes, classroom experiences, interesting student queries so on and so forth
  2. Emphasis on internalisation, consistency, believability
  3. Last 150 actions that you took on social media is yourself

Benefits

  • The target group of students at UG/PG level are mostly active on social media especially on Facebook, Instagram etc. They are digital natives. It is better to be present in their “natural habitat” to understand their pulse.
  • Presence would moderate the extreme behaviours of students if any
  • LinkedIn gives the right connection to professional peers, industry and recruiting organisations. Active presence on LinkedIn would serve to build the right perception on merit/competence
  • Faculty members are expected to become role models to student community and thought leaders among peer group
  • Classes will be more effective as acceptability goes up; will truly become influencers
  • In the current situation, we have only digital; all the more reason to make the most of it. Recommended platforms
  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn

Examples of what can be shared posted

– Facebook is for managing friendships

– Relationships

– Visibility and cross postings

– Superficial

Facebook Appreciate/wish/share sympathy social expressions It can be brief And it has leads to other platforms like leads to YouTube, leads to LinkedIn etc

LinkedIn LinkedIn can be used to share GyanKnowledge/snippets/nuggets of knowledge

Content opportunities:

  • Classroom experiences
  • Outside class experiences
  • Connect the answers to current affairs
  • General life
  • Pics of campus

How to post same event/ accomplishment on different platforms?

Work and accomplishments like awards – announce it on FB and Instagram

Write about what fetched you the award beyond the title namely the focus of seminal work that you did – take it to LinkedIn

Watch a movie – review it on FB about movie making and comparison to other movies of the same genre etc. The tech related aspects of learning and teaching on LinkedIn for example Shakuntala Devi.

Stories of a visit to a location – share the travel, food, experience on Facebook

What business you have transacted can be on LinkedIn

Behavioural aspects based on observing the people that you come across can be posted by HR faculty:

  • Bottoms up approach
  • Employee engagement
  • Interventions for change
  • Managing a hostile team-Chak De.

Latest trends of AI and IoT or any sector can be posted in discussions. Accident/rape/stereotypes we can take to Facebook draw lessons – paragraph.