89 Social Media | Determining your Social Media Use Case

In the previous module, the communications plan you created outlined the key audiences who would be interested in your research results/outputs. Determining whether the audiences you are trying to reach are on social media is the first step to determining if you need a social media plan. These audiences may be:

  • potential employers who will hire you for your expertise
  • potential research users
  • potential conference hosts looking for experts to give a keynote address
  • colleagues in your field who may turn into research collaborators
  • colleagues who are at the same career stage as you who may turn into professional mentors or supports
  • practitioners working in the field who want to implement your finding in their work
  • interested members of the public


Magnifying glass iconNow that you have completed this section of the module it is time to check in with the module worksheet. Please review the worksheet now and complete sections 1 to 10 within.

To determine your social media use case, you must first determine if the audience you are trying to reach is on social media. More specifically, which social media tool to use to reach them? In the pre-test question, a list of common social media networks was given: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

To determine who is part of your social media network, explore common networks and search for either specific audience members (i.e. you academic colleagues), or specific policy users, organizations, etc.

For example, Wilfrid Laurier University is a core partner in Global Water Futures, a pan-Canadian research program that is funded in part by the Canada First Research Excellence Fund. This research program has multiple faculty, student and staff members across multiple universities. Researchers working within this research network share their work through Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. And the program has created infographics to describe the work. Below is the GWF Twitter profile, that lists 3,181 followers for any researcher working in the area of water research can explore following on Twitter. Exploring followers on Twitter accounts can well populate your social media networks.

Use the Social Media Worksheet to record which social media network and user names of your audiences that you can find on social media, then complete the quiz.

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