ITS (UK) hold final Academy session of the year with social media masterclass

Intelligent Transport Systems UK has held its final Academy session of the year with a lunchtime webinar on how best to use social media.

The session featured Early Careers Director James Hornsby of Atkins, and Mott MacDonald’s Professor of Future Mobility at the University of the West of England, Glenn Lyons, two experts in the use of social media to promote their professional and personal work.

The pair concentrated on the value of the professional network LinkedIn, which they suggested was less “confrontational” than Twitter, with a chance to post more reasoned and detailed arguments and analysis.

“I think one of the main reasons people like to use social media is to expand their network, Mr Hornsby told the meeting.  “It’s to get in contact with people that they either used to work with, or currently work with, and maybe working in different offices don’t see very regularly expanding that sort of general project work that you do.”

He shared details on how LinkedIn works, with its algorithms which affect the prominence of posts based on analysis of potential spam, the post’s quality, initial interactions, originality, outbound links, outreach and hashtags.  He discussed how to create a post with purpose, quality, personality and consideration of the intended audience plus tips on how to encourage interaction, use hashtags and tagging of people and companies.

Professor Lyons gave some personal examples of posts he has shared which has helped him gain nearly 6,000 followers.  He explained how he sees LinkedIn as a platform for
continuing professional development, and as a two-way street of learning, and to be professional “and a human.”

“It’s your brand that really matters,” he said.  “You have to pick your boundaries in terms of how much of you that you share.  When the transport decarbonisation plan came out last year, it was very important to me in my line of work, I made it my business to read it from cover to cover, and write constructively critical article that I published on LinkedIn within 24 hours of the government’s publication. I learned a lot from doing that, and got a lot of engagement about the whole topic of transport, decarbonisation as a result.”

The ITS (UK) Academy is an ad hoc series of webinars aimed particularly at the Early Careers cohort of intelligent transport professionals but often also of interest to other Members. It covers both technical and professional topics.

Max Sugarman, Chief Executive of Intelligent Transport Systems UK, who also chaired the event, said: “It was great to conclude this year’s series of Academy sessions with such a fascinating discussion on social media.

“Increasingly, intelligent transport professionals need to be able to effectively communicate what they do and its value within their organisations, to wider stakeholders and the public. So it’s really positive to have a session dedicated to just that, exploring the various ways you can develop your profile online. A big thank you to Glenn and James for their insightful presentations and tips.”

The webinar is available to watch on the ITS (UK) YouTube Channel.

(Graphic – from slide show in webinar)

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