Instructions for researchers
Welcome to #ThisIsMyScience & #ThisIsMyField
Here’s the stuff you need to know to play along, as well as some bonus tips and tricks on how to make the most of your social media platforms. In this document, we outline the different types of content you can create and how to tailor them for Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok and LinkedIn. We’ve even sprinkled in some inspiration to get you started!
Quick links for return readers
- How to create content (Text, Images, Diagrams, Video)
- Social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn)
- Getting help
How are the two hashtags different?
- #ThisIsMyScience showcases your current scientific research.
- #ThisIsMyField showcases the various ways in which your scientific research is done. From everyday, routine tasks through to the environments or conditions you work in.
If your post is about your research field, lab, methods, etc. use #ThisIsMyField.
I'm keen - but how do I participate?
- Register for #ThisIsMyScience and/or #ThisIsMyField via the form here. This helps us find your content on the day to make sure we can share it.
- If you are new to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or another platform create an account on the platform(s) of your choice (follow these guides for Twitter and Instagram)
- Create your content! Read on in the below section for general and specific advice on content creation, and reach out to us if you have any questions at [email protected]
- Include #ThisIsMyScience or #ThisIsMyField in your posts and replies
- Include a research theme hashtag in your posts (or several!):
#AtomsToGalaxies - physics, chemistry, maths, astronomy;
#PlanetEarth - geosciences, botany, zoology;
#OurBody - medicine, human biology, health;
#BeautifulMind - neuroscience, psychology, psychiatry;
#OurSociety - law, history, politics, policy, languages;
#TechMeOut - biotechnology, robotics, computers
- Include #PintAU21 and tag us using @PintOfScienceAU so we can share your post on our social media platforms (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook & LinkedIn)
- Post your content to your social media platform of choice on Monday 17 May between 9:00 am and 5:00 pm AEST | 8:30 am and 4:30 pm ACST | 7:00 am and 3:00 pm AWST
- Be prepared to answer questions to increase engagement where possible (eg checking the platform once every hour on the 17th of May for approx 5 minutes is a good idea)
- Follow the action and interact with other #ThisIsMyScience and #ThisIsMyField posts. We know of at least one collaboration that was started out of the #ThisIsMyScience project last year.
Okay, so how do I create my content?
First, choose a medium. Words are great for storytelling, while images and videos can show people exactly what you mean. You can even combine words with images to make a diagram of your experiment or research field. Put words and video together and you’re taking your audience on a visual and auditory journey.
Before going into the different types of content, here are some general tips/reminders:
- Use clear and inclusive language
- Use plain, conversational language and avoid jargons
- Check your privacy settings. You are more than welcome to keep your account private and share your post only to your followers or friends. If you want Pint of Science to help amplify your content, make sure your account is public and your posts are shared with the public
- Each social media platform has its own character limits, find out more here
- If other people are included in your image or video, or the photo belongs to someone else, make sure you have permission to post the content on social media
- As your post may be shared across multiple social media platforms (woo hoo!), check and remove any confidential, personal or identifiable information (e.g., restricted spaces, access pass, unpublished results or methods)
- If using content from the web, be aware of copyright laws. Here are some places to source royalty-free images and graphics: Unplash, Pixabay, Noun Project
- When making images, keep colour contrast in mind and be colourblind aware. Find optimal colour combination suggestions at Color Supply and Coolors
- Make your posts more inclusive by adding alternative text, closed captions, transcripts, etc. Learn more about inclusive social media content
If the written word is your jam or a medium you want to experiment with, you might want to talk about your science or field using a thread of maximum five tweets on Twitter. Here is a guide on how to create a thread and some inspo to get you started: @wormychew, @abbilscott, @drjessvc
Some tips to consider:
- Make your first tweet catchy - this is the one that will get the most love (likes, retweets, interaction). This initial tweet introduces the point of the thread, so use it to grab people’s attention by including a ‘hook’, interesting images, short video or GIF;
- Your second tweet is usually the second most popular of the bunch. Use this opportunity to dispel any myths or misconceptions. It keeps your readers engaged and if they leave after the second post, they won’t be leaving with the wrong idea;
- And keep it visual! Include images, drawings, memes or GIFs relevant to your topic.
Here’s one way to structure your five tweet thread:
- First tweet - introduce yourself, drop an interesting fact about your science and pair with an attention grabbing image, video or GIF
- Next three tweets - you can:
- Debunk myths
- Share a key finding of your work
- Explain why people should be interested
- Share mysteries of your field
- End your thread - add a call to action, a Twitter poll to quiz your audience about your research/field or if they learnt something new from your thread
Do you create awesome images as part of your research? Or maybe you’d like to give people a glimpse of a lab instrument and explain how it does what it does. Create your content around these images - interesting images attract attention. Don’t forget to pair them with detailed captions explaining what the image is showing, an interesting story or a funny anecdote. Well crafted alternative text is very important for these types of posts.
Just remember - what is scientifically interesting in your image may not be visually interesting. Find the way to 'hook' your audience with a visually interesting image, and then show them more detail.
Diagrams are great for presenting methods you use while conducting your research. In particular, flowcharts are useful to show the steps involved in the work you do or even highlight the tedious, mundane tasks that the public might not be aware of. You can try making your diagram in PowerPoint, Canva, Inkscape, Krita, Paint or Biorender to name a few.
Handy tips to consider:
- Use easy-to-read fonts like Century Gothic, Garamond or Verdana
- Choose a font size that won’t be straining on the eyes when viewing on a mobile phone
- Include a maximum of 15 words per text box
- Include pictures or figures
- Check out Tidio for more tips on making a good flowchart
- Keep the topics and pathways simple, complex flowcharts can be hard to follow!
Sometimes, words and static images are just not enough. Sometimes, you need to break into the exciting world of motion pictures. And by that, we mean videos. A tour of your lab, a short explainer of the what, why and how of your research topic, a short segment about your experiment protocol, these are all great ideas for a pre-recorded video.
Depending on which platform you choose to share your video, the length, size and dimension of your video needs to be different. Check out the always up-to-date guide to social media video specs for more information.
Here are some handy tips to consider:
- Include closed captions in the video if possible. For the platforms that don't let you uploaded closed captions, consider using open captions. Tools like Threads (apple/google) can make this easier on mobile
- Make sure the focal point of your video is well-lit and focused. For best results - try to have your background around the same brightness as what you are videoing
- If you are filming in a restricted space, please ensure you have permission to share this content on social media
- If using memes or music in the background, please be mindful of the suitability and permission of use of the content
Which social media platform should I post it on?
Before you start creating your content, have a think about which platform you want to post this on. What you decide dictates how you make your content as each social media platform has their own requirements (see these guides for the character limits, image dimensions and video specs for each platform). Our teams are able to provide technical support on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. Below is a brief breakdown of each platform.
- Your post can include images, diagrams, videos or just text. Graphics are useful for grabbing people’s attention
- There is a 240 character limit, and a 2:20min video limit, so short and sweet is best
- 'Fleets' are even shorter videos, similar to Instagram or Facebook stories. They can be useful to help highlight that you tweeted as part of this activity, but they disappear after 24 hours
- Hashtags are useful on Twitter - but don't overdo it. One or two per tweet is enough
- Images, diagrams and videos are powerful on this platform
- Decide if you want to post to Stories or to your Feed, or both!
- Instagram Stories is shared only to your followers and can be pinned to your feed
- Depending on your privacy setting, Instagram Feed is shared to the public
- Read here for more information on the difference between Stories and Feed and how to upload multiple images or videos to your post
- Caption preview cuts off at around 80ish characters, so make your first line attention grabbing
- To get the most interactions on Instagram, use plenty of hashtags - remember to use #ThisIsMyScience or #ThisIsMyField, the relevant theme hashtag, #PintAU21 and tag us @PintOfScienceAU. Include more hashtags that suit your post, such as: #SciComm, #science, #ScienceCommunication, #ScientistsOfInstagram - just remember there is a limit of 30 hashtags per post, so maybe don’t go too wild
- All medium welcomed at Facebook
- Facebook allows for long posts (>60,000 characters), but we recommend to keep it short and interesting, otherwise you may lose your reader!
- Remember to use #ThisIsMyScience or #ThisIsMyField, the relevant research hashtag, #PintAU21 and tag us @PintOfScienceAU
- On the day, post your content on your page and share your post to the #PintAU #ThisIsMyScience & #ThisIsMyField group (you can find this on our page)
- Pint of Science Australia does not have a TikTok account at present but we will share content to our Instagram Stories (make sure you use #ThisIsMyScience or #ThisIsMyField, the relevant theme hashtag and #PintAU21 and make your video downloadable otherwise we can't share it)
- TikTok is all about short videos (up to 60 seconds). You can either upload a pre-recorded video from your gallery or record straight from the app. Check out this page for a step-by-step guide
- There is a 150 character limit for the caption, but you can also add text straight onto the video (great for closed captioning!)
- LinkedIn is a place where professionals gather, so consider your audience here when you are creating your content. Images, diagrams, videos or just text are suitable here
- While LinkedIn allows for long posts, like with Facebook, we recommend to keep it short and interesting and pair with an interesting image or video
- Remember to use #ThisIsMyScience or #ThisIsMyField, the relevant research hashtag, #PintAU21 and most importantly to tag us @PintOfScienceAU so we can share it on our feed
I want to try something unfamiliar to me
We’re here to help! Send us through a copy of where you get up to, or if you need help and we can provide some feedback on where you can improve your post for higher engagement. It may take us a day or two to respond, so please keep this in mind when sending through content.
Please email [email protected] with your content, what you’d like our help with and which platform you plan to share on and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can!
We’re able to provide social platform support for Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, along with content support.