At first glance, academia and social media might not appear to have an obvious connection. Social media use tends to be viewed as frivolous or as an activity undertaken for purely personal reasons, such as keeping in touch with friends or family. These views are often expressed in academic circles. Yet some universities are now encouraging academics to use social media to engage with the public and to disseminate their research more widely. Academics themselves are beginning to realise the potential of social media use.