Are you presenting at a conference this year?
Every presentation or talk you give is a chance to make an impact. Conference presentations are a norm of academic life.
It’s important you take advantage of the most powerful free tool at your disposal: social media.
Social media is all about connecting with people.
Conference organizers and program committees aim is to put together an event people want to attend.
You spend time and energy on the research, writing, and travel to your presentation.
Welcome to The Social Academic, my blog about your online presence in the academic world. This post is all about why social media is a great way to announce your next presentation or talk
- Research impact
- Sharing your talk isn’t self-promotion
- Benefits of announcing your presentation
- Your next steps
Let’s talk about the impact of your research
- the media
- the public
If you’re like these academics on Twitter, you’re presenting at conferences, and often!
Hi #AcademicTwitter 🙂— The Academic Designer (@HigherEdPR) February 27, 2019
I need your help for my next blog post.
How many conferences did you present at in 2018?
Please ❤️ so more people can vote.
Please reply and let me know if you attended conferences you didn’t present at. I appreciate your help!
While many articles discuss the importance of networking at conferences, most avoid the delicate subject of self-promotion.
Devony Looser says, “You want to be known as someone who presents terrific work-in-progress — work that is original, clearly argued, and succinct. But if you swoop into a conference, present your work, and leave, you’re missing the whole point.”
Conferences have great potential impact.
It’s time to use social media to your advantage.
Why? Because your audience matters.
Let’s talk about how to help your audience find you.
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Sharing your upcoming talk isn’t self-promotion
Self-promotion is often defined as “forceful.”
Forceful and intentional are not the same thing.
Intentional sharing of something you put time, work, and money into, is not a bad thing.
That’s why Joshua Kim says, “To the sin of Academic Twitter self-promotion, I plead guilty as charged. I use Twitter in exactly one way: to promote my writing.”
Here’s the greater impact.
Not everyone to who is interested in your talk can attend the conference.
Some people may have wanted to be at your talk, but had another engagement at the same time. Maybe they were even presenting themselves.
Using social media to announce your talk, can give your audience a chance to find you.
Even when talking about the dangers of tweeting at conferences, Noah Berlatsky says, “Even small sessions on obscure topics now can speak to, and connect with, an audience all over the world.”
Benefits of announcing your presentation on social media
OK let’s break down the reasons why you need to be promoting your event on social media.
People like to plan in advance
Many conference attendees plan their schedules days, or even weeks in advance.
Others decide on the plane ride over.
Some scroll through Twitter checking the conference hashtag. What if we missed something in the program?
Larger conferences tend to have apps or websites where you can have the schedule, get reminded of panels, even RSVP.
Let people know about your talk a week in advance. And a few days before.
That way people have time to choose yours.
There’s a hashtag for that
The conference hashtag is there to help create conversation.
Sharing information about the conference using the hashtag is not self-promotion.
It’s sharing the details a specific audience needs to make a decision: choose your talk. Or at least be aware of it.
You should use the conference hashtag advertised even if there aren’t a lot of people using it.
Chances are if there is a hashtag, there are people checking to see if a conversation has started.
There are a whole slew of people who can’t make the conference.
Those can’t-attendees should still be aware of your talk.
People may reach out for a copy of your talk if they couldn’t make it but it’s specific to their field, or research.
Acquisitions editors often look through conference programs, but they’re also on Twitter.
Your audience already cares
You already have an audience that cares about your work. They’ve connected with you, likely for some time.
People are interested in what their friends are up to. Not in a creepy way.
In a genuine – Oh, that’s cool! kind of way.
You’re right that they don’t want to hear self-promotion all the time.
That’s why it’s important to speak to the right audience (keywords and hashtags).
It’s also important to tell your audience why they should care (“This conference is important because…”), especially on Facebook.
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Here are your next steps to announce your conference on social media
The best way to reach your audience is by announcing your talk a few times. Why? People are busy. They aren’t on social media all the time. And even if they are, some algorithms make it so not everything shows up.
Posting multiple times is a good communication practice. Just be sure to space them out!
Good luck sharing your next conference presentation!
Want to learn how to use social media for academics? Join my online course.
Jennifer van Alstyne is a Peruvian-American poet and communications consultant. She founded The Academic Designer LLC to help professors build a strong online presence for their research, teaching, and leadership. Jennifer’s goal is to help people feel confident sharing their work with the world.
Jennifer’s personal website
The Academic Designer LLC