I like social media despite all of its limitations, invasions of privacy, and videos of kittens chasing dogs. It’s a way to reach people and develop relationships with peers in the industry you might otherwise have never met. It helps us build our network and exchange information and although it’s limited by our sophomoric uses of it, its capabilities are extraordinary. If you’re not using social media, here’s why you need to start. If you are, here are a few things social media in tech transfer can help you with.
Establishing a Reputation
Social media can help you establish a reputation in three areas:
- establishing your personal brand as a technology transfer professional and reputation as an industry thought leader
- advancing your department’s mission and reputation as a technology resource
- creating an interest in working with you and your department
What may have taken years of article writing and conference networking to do in the past, can now be done in consistent efforts within minutes a day (over several months).
Building your personal brand and a reputation for yourself through use of social media in tech transfer makes you more valuable to your employer, advances your career, makes you more approachable to investors, and interesting to startups .
The separation between companies and academia can be very pronounced. Yet establishing relationships with commercialization partners is essential to your success in technology transfer. Your social media posts will help people get to “know” you before you’ve even met. Social media, at its best, is akin to an online portfolio of your professional thoughts, interests, and information you deem important. It can help others get a view into what it would be like working with you.
When used sparingly, it can also give people an insight into commonalities you might have. This is not, however, an invitation to post every quirk of your personality or every bad customer service experience you’ve ever had. These things provide insight as well, and it’s not the type that will get you hired or on the project of your dreams.
Generating More Traffic
Google’s algorithm is evolving. The latest update makes sharing on social media important to your webpage rankings. While this may not be important to you individually as your university undoubtedly has social and search experts, the more traffic you generate to your technology transfer page, the more exposure your projects will receive, the more interest it will generate from companies, and the more researchers will value your efforts, and in turn want to come work for your organization. Exposure in this aspect is a good thing.
If you’re not using social media on a regular basis, you’re missing an opportunity to grow your network and establish your presence in the technology transfer world. This sort of Internet footprint will become much more important to careers in the future. It may even make the difference between being interviewed or not.
If you don’t agree, tell me why I’m wrong.