Social media at the National Conference

Nobody goes to a conference alone anymore.  Social media lets you brings your colleagues, friends and followers with you.  The Sustainable Communities Division would like to encourage you to actively use social media during the conference. This article provides information to help you prepare your strategy.

First  – there are three areas to cover: sustainability as a topic, the Sustainable Communities Division, and of course your own work.

Second – plan for your best channels, whether it’s Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, SlideShare, Instagram, LinkedIn, email, blogs, reports or articles you’ve promised.  For the division, LinkedIn is the most popular channel, though Twitter brings in important contacts like media and global audiences.

Third – Think about which times of day for posting are important; most instances are weekdays during work hours. Posting later in the day can be important for managers who are catching up, or for offices that block Facebook (colleagues will be checking personal accounts after work).

Finally – look at the sessions you plan to attend and see how to prepare ahead of time, particularly if you are presenting. Think about the best hashtags for your industry when using Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram ( e.g., #water will get more search hits than #stormwater).

Here are some tricks to get started:

  • Before the conference:  start advertising your sessions with industry hashtags and your panel’s Twitter handles (either personal or organizational). Contact your clients or stakeholders and huddle on what sessions are important to cover for your projects.
  • During the the conference: For the division use @APASCD. If you want to get re-tweets and engagement, mention the “big names” and big organizations – they will often retweet yours. social media has grown so big you often need more than one post to get to your audience.  Posts with photographs tend to get more traction so try to get a photo with a speaker, your office, an exhibitor, etc.. When posting or blogging try to link content from separate sessions and how they fit to tell a larger sustainability story.  Quotes are incredibly newsworthy, so plan on getting a quote for posts and articles.
  • Sustainable Community Division awards: winners will be announced for these first ever awards on Sunday April 27. Follow @APASCD to retweet or plan on live reporting from the awards. If you are an award winner, we will have a press release but consider writing your own for your local or industry media.
  • After the conference: Thank you’s are always important and amplified when posted socially.  For articles, think of writing about lists, for example, the top 3 new ideas or top 5 new tech tools.  Make sure you compile information for your office or grants reporting while material is fresh in your mind.
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