6.2 Communicating Science on Social Media: Strategic Keys to Success

Tuesday, 9 January 2018: 1:45 PM
Room 6B (ACC) (Austin, Texas)
Susan Osborne, TeleSolv Consulting, NOAA/National Centers for Environmental Information, Asheville, NC; and K. V. Matthews, G. Hammer, J. Fulford, H. McCullough, K. Boseo, A. Sallis, and T. Maycock

Social media touches our lives every day. From getting thousands of people to dump buckets of ice water on themselves to helping save lives during a natural disaster, social media continuously proves just how powerful it can be. With such great potential to impact the world around us, these tools are critical for successfully communicating science. But, establishing a social media audience and inspiring them with science can be challenging.

As the world’s largest archive and curator of environmental information, with data spanning from the ocean floor to the surface of the sun, NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) communicates a wide variety of topics to people across the globe. We’ve grown a thriving social media audience of nearly 100,000 fans and followers. We regularly engage at least 10 percent of our fanbase. And, each month, we drive thousands of visitors to our website from these platforms.

Our social media success is rooted in a strong strategy and more than five years of experience using these tools to communicate environmental science. And, our success translates into more people getting more of the critical scientific information they need and want.

Along the way, we’ve discovered several strategic keys to social media success. This presentation will highlight some of those keys and provide tips on how you can use them too. We’ll explain how we chose the social media platforms we use and why. We’ll demonstrate how we’ve leveraged both our scientific and communications experts to create effective content and establish our online reputation. We’ll unveil how we designed and built some of our most successful campaigns. And, we’ll show you how we’ve monitored our progress, evaluated our successes and failures, and adjusted our strategy along the way.

While there’s more than one path to success, our experience can help you make a plan to more effectively communicate science on social media.

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