With well over a billion users, Facebook offers you a huge potential audience, and it’s simple to use. If you don’t already have an account, they’re really straightforward to set up. From here, you might want to create a page for your research that you can begin sharing. Don’t go too heavy with information; it’ll put people off. Give people a bit of background about your research and your goals in the about section, and direct them to your institution page for more of the nitty gritty science details. Remember that the majority of the public aren’t science experts, so bombarding people with technical information isn’t going to win them over.
Now you have your page up and running: use it! Ask friends to “Like” it and share it with their friends, while also looking for other science communities on Facebook and posting it there for other science enthusiasts to see and hopefully become interested in. There’s certainly no shortage of science pages, so start interacting in the comments sections, particularly if you see posts that relate to your work.
It’s really important that you strike a balance between spamming Facebook users, and letting the page stagnate. If you post on your page too frequently, people may get irritated and unfollow you. That said, if you don’t post at all, you won’t get people interested. Ideally, you don’t want more than a few posts a day, and they shouldn’t all be the same. Think about posting fun or hard-hitting facts that relate to your project, updates on progress, and links to any media coverage you’ve received. Encourage discussion, don’t ignore comments and don’t get angry at people who don’t share the same opinion as you.
Remember to keep a look out for our other pages on using Twitter, LinkedIn and Reddit.