With the 2018 conference schedule rapidly filling with stalwarts including Pittcon and Analytica, we thought it would be the perfect time to compile some social media tips and tricks to help you maximise your presence at events and engage with your audience and peers in the industry!

The power of social media has often been ignored or overlooked at scientific conferences, yet platforms including LinkedIn and Twitter help you to maximise your brand visibility and grow your following with the right audience. The naturally collaborative nature of both science and conferences also pairs very well with social media! We’ve looked at simple ways you can use Twitter and LinkedIn.

The power of Twitter

Twitter is the perfect companion for conferences, as it is very easy to directly communicate with other attendees by using hashtags. It’s also a great way to reach those who weren’t able to make the event, as they can actively engage and participate in discussions online.
Our top tip is to make sure you have the correct hashtags before the event so that you can drive people to your presentations and contribute to any on-going discussions. The fast moving nature of Twitter also makes it great for timely posts – just make sure that if you’re live tweeting at an event, you don’t go overboard and post too often.

When presenting, including a Twitter handle or hashtag in your slides can be a game changer, allowing the audience to easily identify you online, interact and send any questions. It’s also a great way to share any additional resources you may mention, such as whitepapers or case studies.

Schedule posts in advance to take the pressure off when at the conference. This can include reminders about presentations, events at your booth or those extra resources for people watching your presentations – Hootsuite is a great tool for this.

Including images with your posts is shown to improve engagement levels, seeing 150% more retweets than those without images.

Three things to keep in mind:

1. Use the official event hashtag, but also be aware of other hashtags that might gain momentum during the event
2. As a rule of thumb, limit live tweeting to between 2-5 posts per session you attend
3. Don’t make it so serious! Show the more light-hearted side of the show – post photos of any vendors’ stands that grab your attention, making sure you include their handle in the post.

Don’t overlook LinkedIn

LinkedIn is now a necessary element of your B2B marketing strategy and it’s no different when maximising your presence at conferences. LinkedIn opens a wealth of opportunities, allowing you to look up and connect with key attendees and speakers before conferences, organise meetings and promote your booth and presentations.

Due to the nature of the platform, posts have a much longer half-life on LinkedIn, therefore it’s more suited to pre- and post-show activity. Leave the live updates to faster moving platforms, like Twitter, and only place key info or presentation documents on your LinkedIn page.

Four tips for LinkedIn:

1. Upload any relevant documents to your company LinkedIn page to make them accessible
2. Most events have a LinkedIn group. Visit it ahead of the show and send connection requests, then messages out to any people you want to try and meet at the show
3. Connect with any new contacts you meet at the event and build up some online engagement with them
4. Don’t overcrowd your feed: keep LinkedIn for more important announcements.

One last tip to make the most of social media while at a show is to designate one person to take control. Of course, make sure they are well-versed with the platforms and your company social media guidelines!

If you would like to get more out of your social media while at scientific conferences or just talk about the possibilities it presents, get in touch at [email protected] or call us on +44 1477 539539.

By Alexandra Walton, Account Executive at The Scott Partnership.