Science Speaks - Blog by ISAAA

Engage, Educate, and Entertain: Scientists as Influencers of Social Media for Impactful Science Communication

By Janine Cyren Escasura
April 3, 2024

In a study conducted by ISAAA and partners in 2022, around 80 percent of the respondents identified Facebook and YouTube as their sources of information. However, these social media platforms garnered low ratings in terms of trustworthiness. On the other hand, university-based scientists and scientists from R&D institutions are the most trusted sources of information but, unfortunately, are the least accessed. Could this be a great opportunity for scientists and researchers to be seen on social media?

ISAAA Inc., as part of the Know the Science project with the Philippine Agriculture and Fisheries Biotechnology Program of the Department of Agriculture (DA Biotech), has been maximizing the huge potential of social media to spread information and promote awareness of modern biotechnology and other significant bioscience topics. For the past six months, the social media pages of Know the Science PH have successfully reached over 1,750,00 users, with over 26,400 content interactions on Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly known as Twitter), and TikTok.

The Know the Science project effectively engages the general public through the social media campaign, “Ask questions, know the science!” Aside from providing updates on biotech research, this campaign encourages the audience to ask questions that are addressed in the posts, quoting ISAAA resources or expert opinions. This year-long campaign intends to use social media as an avenue to bridge the gap between researchers and the general public. With the vast amount of information on social media, how can researchers and scientists use it as a powerful tool for science communication and engagement?

There is no single formula for a successful social media campaign. Different platforms require different approaches. As a scientist, what social media strategies can you use to bridge the gap in modern biotechnology? Within six months, Know the Science PH was able to strategize social media campaigns to effectively communicate modern biotechnology to the general public. To help you start your campaign, here are six helpful tips that can serve as a roadmap for a successful social media campaign:

  1. Identify your target audience. Although social media is public, knowing who your audience is will help you develop tailor-fitted content adapted to your audience's needs and level of knowledge. Your audience on social media can be students, policymakers, farmers, or the general public.
  2. Create engaging and educational content. Showcase your creativity and laymanize your content. Develop visually appealing posts that engage your audience through different content formats–photos, videos, stories, and reels. However, it is also important that you avoid jargon or technical terms that may be unfamiliar to the general public.
  3. Use storytelling techniques. Personal experiences spark curiosity and grab the audience’s attention. Feature success stories and personal anecdotes that highlight real-world experiences and benefits of modern biotechnology. Audiences can easily connect with your posts if you highlight the socio-economic impact of biotechnology through the relatable stories of target beneficiaries.
  4. Engage with your audience. Engaging means listening and responding to any of their comments, messages, or mentions. Encourage your audiences to like, comment, and share your posts to help your page grow organically. Interactive posts in the form of games, quizzes, and polls could also be a good option to boost your page and gather feedback from your audience.
  5. Measure and evaluate performance. The analytics of social media are there for a reason. This will help you identify the best-performing content and posts that don’t really contribute to achieving your goals. Focus on content that drives better results and learn to adapt to emerging trends and practices in social media and science communication.
  6. Be consistent. This is not just about posting frequency but also about maintaining relevant themes and topics, brand, voice, and, most importantly, visual identity that will make the campaign stand out and be easily recognized across social media platforms. Incorporate logo and other brand elements to create a visually cohesive social media presence.

Millions of influencers have gained significant popularity with the advent of social media. But who exactly are these influencers? What do they do? How do they influence public opinion? In an era where trust in science has been an issue, can scientists be the so-called influencers? Indeed, social media has revolutionized science communication–bringing scientific concepts to a platform used by the general public on a daily basis. Social media brings science closer to people. However, this brings the challenge to scientists and researchers to see and be seen on social media. ISAAA hopes to see scientists as the new influencers of today’s generation.

Visit and follow the social media pages of Know the Science PH on Facebook, Instagram, X, and TikTok.

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