Follow, share, love Materials Science
A new LinkedIn page for materials science has quickly gained many followers. The initiative was started by the ITM school and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering six months ago. The purpose was to create a channel for those who really want to connect and deep dive into materials science. Now it is time to evaluate!
Hi Ulrika Georgsson , initiator of KTH's new LinkedIn page on materials science. Why did you start this?
”Because many research news at KTH do not reach a larger audience, there is simply no forum for them. We saw the need to establish new channels for those really interested in certain areas. The LinkedIn page for materials science became a pilot.”
Why materials science?
”Because there is a large and active community that we hoped would follow and interact. We also started the initiative together with the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, so we know what is happening in this reserach area. At the same time, materials science is broader than the research done at the department, so we are trying to get more news about other materials as well, such as biomaterials.”
Who are the followers?
”All sorts of people who work with research and development in the field of materials. A majority come from academy, but we also have many followers from various industrial sectors. It is interesting to see how much mobility of people there is in this field.”
Which posts are most popular?
”The posts about people making a career or receiving an award are the most popular, and a lot of people cheer on and congratulate. For example, a post about a certain person got 19500 views when we only had 500 followers. At the same time, our focus is the research. So we are careful to not only highlight popular individuals but also their research and publications.”
Are there any challenges?
”It is a challenge to present complex topics in a way that fits this channel. We are three people working with this, one of whom is a doctoral student and can assess what is relevant, keep track of buzzwords and so on, but otherwise it is all about reading the publications and finding their essens.”
”We have never been told that the content is too banal or concise, as long as the posts link to further reading. It shows that it never hurts to present research in an accessible way. On LinkedIn, we also reach new groups, that distinguishes the channel from more specialised research communities like ReserchGate.”
How has the interest been?
”The site has gained 1400 followers in six months, so it has exceeded expectations. The same goes for how much people interact.”
Why do you think it has worked so well?
”First and foremost because there was a need for something like this, but also because we have allowed ourselves some trial and error to find out what kind of content works and what does not. It is also important to moderate all the time. In the middle of the holiday period this summer, for example, there was an intense discussion about the quality of higher education. I had to respond from my motorhome and get one of our researchers to respond to the criticism. In social media, anything can happen!”
Does this mean that there will be more LinkedIn pages now, for other topics?
”I can not answer that quite yet, but we are investigating how we can move to the next step.”
On LinkedIn: Materials Science at KTH
Text: Alexandra von Kern