Building your blog

A little while ago now I ran a blogging workshop in Rome for writers on their “On brains & beer” blog. But while we tailored the work there to the people in Rome, a lot of the things we discussed are more universal. So in the spirit of openness, this is some of what we covered. If you are at EMBL and would like a similar workshop, please let me know. Continue reading “Building your blog”

EMBL’s top social media posts of 2017 and what we learned from them

I want to take a look back at my first full year as EMBL’s social media manager. So what worked best over 2017 and what can I learn from this?

What are we measuring? Why?

My basic goals for EMBL’s social media are to build community and develop a shared understanding of who we as an organisation are. Consequently, I care about what resonates on the different social sites much more than driving traffic back to EMBL websites, although traffic is obviously a by-product. Continue reading “EMBL’s top social media posts of 2017 and what we learned from them”

Who are we reaching on Social Media?

In this post I share an outline of what I have learned about EMBL’s followers on social media. This is based on my observations and research, as well as third-party data about social media users in general.

Social media users are generally young, well educated and well off, even compared to average internet users. The gap in social media use between people aged 18-34 and those aged 50 and older is significant in every country surveyed. The percentage of people who use social media differs from country to country, as does which social media channels people use (Source: Pew).

Let’s look at each of our channels and see what we can say about our audiences.
Continue reading “Who are we reaching on Social Media?”

Draft social media guidelines

EMBL hasn’t really had any social media guidelines for users. As we build our community I’ve been drafting and redrafting advice and guidelines for our staff. These are now ready to start sharing and asking for comment. Do these make sense? Do they answer your questions? Are they too long/too short/too prescriptive? Now is the time to let me know and I invite feedback here and by email or by just stopping me when you next see me.
Continue reading “Draft social media guidelines”

After the coffee… social media two months in

When I walked into the office on the first of September I fired up the laptop and checked my emails and social media accounts. And then I posted…

As Dan has already described, by the next day, I was already out of date. @EMBLorg was dead, long live @embl. Social media is everywhere and it is fast. I’m here to make sure EMBL is as excellent at social media as it is at science. As with everything we’re going to be trying over the next months, I want the changes I make to be open (hence the blog) and evidence based.

Continue reading “After the coffee… social media two months in”

@embl Twitter handle

On 1st September Twitter granted EMBL the use of the @embl Twitter account.  This account had been registered by an individual a long time ago and had remained dormant, which meant that EMBL was using the @EMBLorg handle. This was causing confusion, with many people naturally mentioning @embl, and many potential conversations being cut short.

Acquiring the @embl handle was a process that began in February. Big thanks to our colleagues in legal services, notably Amaranta Amador Bernal, who did a huge amount of work behind the scenes, including acquiring trademark protections for EMBL’s name in terms that are easily recognised by US-based companies such as Twitter.

The timing of the name transfer couldn’t have been better: on 1 September Laura Howes (@L_Howes) joined the Strategy and Communications team from the Science in School team as EMBL’s new Social Media Manager. Watch this space for how she goes on to develop EMBL’s social media strategy. Priorities for now are:

  1. increase the frequency of social media posts; and
  2. engage with people who ask EMBL questions via our social media channels.