Follow this guide for a quick reference of using social media to engage and interact during conference season (whether in-person or virtual).

Pre-Conference Tweeting

  1. Set up your social media account, or refresh your current profile. That means -> Nice looking and current headshot, focus of research in profile including your field and institution, and a brave readiness to be yourself (with the kind of filter you would use in a job interview, with the Dean, for example).
  2. Follow the conference and any organizations that sponsor the event. Follow others that share interests. Like posts and retweet anything that relates to the conference.
  3. Share relevant professional content of your own. Mentoring tips, lab advice, writing progress, or generally supportive anecdotes.
  4. Add your Twitter handle to your business card or other online profiles.

Live-Tweeting Tips

  1. Use the conference hashtag* on EVERY tweet you send. It’s not redundant, it helps.

    *BEFORE using any hashtag, do a quick search on Twitter to be sure you are engaging in the correct conversation. Bonus: Searching the conference hashtag brings up related posts, offering new accounts to follow and opportunities join the Twitter conversation of other conference attendees (hooray for virtual networking).

  2. Check event site for any specific live-tweeting rules for sensitive topics and pending publications.
  3. Tweet your own research and ask others to take pictures and Tweet as well.
  4. Ask permission from each presenter BEFORE they begin so that you are clear what is okay to share publicly, and respect their decision if they say ‘No’. Either way it’s a great chance to meet them (and get their Twitter handle).
  5. Use Twitter handles for presenters as well as their full name and title of their paper.
  6. Be clear when using direct quotes versus paraphrasing.
  7. Avoid sharing personal details shared during a talk and stick to the academic thread of their topic.
  8. Take pictures of the event and the folks you interact with. Tag them and follow each other. If online, screenshots can work in a similar way, or a selfie of how you are viewing from home. (Just don’t forget to put on your pants and clear away the week’s worth of coffee cups off the desk.)
  9. Don’t let Tweeting distract you from participating at the conference.

Post Conference Wrap Up

  1. Check out your notifications and follow up by answering any questions, liking comments, and seeing who has shared your Tweets.
  2. Search for other posts from the conference hashtag and like/retweet the ones that you like.
  3. Follow up with anyone you met (either in-person or virtually) to connect by following them and sending a direct message to say hello.
  4. Write a short post on Edge for Scholars about any key takeaways from your conference experience and how you felt using social media to connect with other researchers.

Helpful hint – If you hover over the icons in the Tweet it will tell you what each one will do, but here it is from left to right:

Upload an image, upload a GIF (searchable options appear), create a poll, choose an emoticon, schedule tweet for a specific date and time in the future, tag location.

Additional Resources for Academic Tweeting:


Twitter 101: how to follow people and discover topics

20 Essential Twitter Rules You’ve Probably Never Heard

But wait, there’s more! Twitter-rific Articles on Edge for Scholars:

Twitter for Scientists

How to Choose a Lab and Mentor According to #AcademicTwitter

Professional Success in Social Media

Finding Community on Twitter: Why I Plugged In

Conversion of a Social Media Skeptic

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