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Using Social Media like a Pro at Your Academic Conference

Using Social Media like a Pro at Your Academic Conference

All the submissions are in, and the presenting speakers and papers have been chosen. But can’t help feeling lost on navigating the social media world when it comes to planning the conference? Every organization uses, or should use, social media to promote their conferences. You don’t have to be an expert on every single social media platform out there (trust me, new ones pop up every day, it’ll be tough to stay on top of all those) – but you SHOULD be strategic about where and when you post.

Here are a few tips on how you can use social media before, during, and after your event to your best advantage to achieve your goals.


Don’t worry, you won’t be needing a giant chalkboard to plan any of this.

Before: Prime your Audience

Most organizations start their event promotion period with a number of individuals who already engage with their brand on social media. Thus, the promotion period for your abstracts conference should be packed with valuable content and other posts that will build excitement for what’s to come in this year’s conference.


  • Post Pictures From Last Year – Using photos from last year’s conference gives potential attendees a baseline visual of what to expect from your conference this year. Remember to post a variety of pictures showcasing speakers, food, attendees, sponsors, and more!
  • Post Videos From Last Year – Videos are a great way to demand attention on social media! You may want to use videos attendees submitted from last year, or you can create a photo montage of the event to tell a story.
  • Post Visual Testimonials – Visual content reigns supreme on most every social media platform. Take testimonials and make them visual by pulling quotes from emails, surveys, and other comments and pairing them with an inspirational image or photo from last year’s conference. Doing so is a simple way to build content with information you already have.


During: Keep them Engaged

Social media during the conference is all about sharing. The idea is to use a unique hashtag to get attendees to share what they’re enjoying and to generate content and even influence other attendees who may be looking for something specific at your conference.


  • Set Up Your Event to be Social – This doesn’t mean you give attendees a conference hashtag and expect them to use it. Instead, you set up graphics throughout the event with the hashtag and provide “photo op” areas throughout to remind them that you want them to share their experience on social media. You should have screens throughout the conference scrolling with this generated content to encourage others to share as well!
  • Make Your Staff Social – Your conference staff are an example for attendees. By having them also take and share social media content, whether from speaker sessions or elsewhere, you will encourage attendees to share content as well.
  • Share Speaker Quotes – Most attendees won’t make it to every single speaker session they want to since many speakers will overlap. Thus, it’s important to share small snippets of speeches and quotes on social media to round out the experience from attendees who may otherwise walk away feeling as if they missed something.


After: Always Follow Up!

The train doesn’t stop after the conference. After the conference, attendees are excited about what you’ve shared and want to learn more. Thus, you should keep the social media content rolling to do so.


  • Share Content – Did you record speaker sessions? Gather materials that weren’t passed out at the event itself? You can and should share more content from each session to keep attendees engaged and to help them better understand and retain the new information they’ve learned.
  • Keep the Conversation Going – Share pictures, quotes, ideas, and more from social media on all of your platforms. The idea is to keep the post-conference conversation going well throughout the year so when your next conferences comes, past attendees, and those who may have found your organization in the meantime, are ready to purchase a ticket.


Use Social Media to Your Best Advantage

Social media is a platform any organization can use, but few use to their best advantage. As an executive, you aren’t going to be the individual posting to social media all the time. However, it’s important you influence the strategy that will make your conference, and general organization, a success for this upcoming abstracts conference and in years to come.

So, what will you change about your social media strategy? Share in the comments below!


Still not sure if an Abstract Management Software is the one for you? Click here to find out more about OpenWater’s Abstract Management Software solution and Growthstack.

Already with OpenWater’s Abstract Management Software? Have you checked if your organization is OpenWater certified? Hurry! Check out our calendar to find out about upcoming webinars and certification programs.


Read more: 5 Silly Mistakes People Make when writing an Abstract

Read more: Build a Better Conference with an Abstracts Software


Annika is a Content Marketing Associate at OpenWater, where she helps our clients better navigate the challenges they may encounter in the associations world. She has a passion in helping organizations and nonprofits share their stories with the growing technology sector. When she's not typing away on her keyboard in our Arlington HQ, she's steering boats on the Potomac River or running the streets of DC.

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