How Social Media Can Enhance Your Congress Experience
By Matthew Cormier and Pedro Las Casas, M.D.
Last year, the thrombosis and hemostasis (T&H) community was thrusted into a routine different from what had become the norm: the transition to a virtual ISTH 2020 Congress. Although researchers from around the globe missed opportunities to meet colleagues, network, and listen to the most up-to-date science in person, the shift to online allowed content to be more widely accessible, particularly to trainees and those from developing nations.
Although social media use at conferences has always occurred to some degree, the move to a virtual ISTH 2020 Congress underscored its looming presence in the T&H community. Many researchers may now decide to share their newest science online with the others, often prompting discussions about the work, the formation of interdisciplinary collaborations, and allowing the researcher to stay up-to-date with the inherently fast-paced and ever-changing scientific landscape.
Among the greatest benefits to using social media is the potential to craft your own scientific ecosystem (through the control of who you follow), allowing you to communicate and discuss science with others around the world and easily take in large amounts of relevant information.
“Whether you attend a physical or a virtual conference it is impossible to watch everything that is being presented,” said Michael Makris, M.D. (@ProfMakris), a well-known Twitter user in the T&H community. “By following people with similar interests to you on Twitter, you are likely to get to know about all the important information presented. It is surprising how often a single tweet that includes an image of a single slide can summarize a whole presentation.”
In addition to consuming social media content at conferences, there are also immense benefits from creating it as well.
“Often tweeting about a session can help you organize your thoughts on the topic and consolidate that knowledge for yourself,” said Angela Weyand, M.D. (@acweyand), another prominent social media presence within the T&H community.
Another major advantage to use social media during the ISTH 2021 Congress is to advocate for your work. The personal benefit one gains from disseminating one’s own science online has been demonstrated through many scientific studies and has been summarized nicely in a recent editorial at Research and Practice and Thrombosis and Haemostasis (RPTH).
Talking about your work may ultimately act as a bridge to personal and career opportunities. Weyand describes the many opportunities that have come from using Twitter, whether it be meeting new people, initiating collaborations or publishing manuscripts.
“One of my favorite examples is when Paula James, [M.D.], won my donation tweetorial contest and requested the topic [of] sexism in bleeding disorders,” Weyand said. After posting the tweetorial, “Mary Cushman, [M.D.], the editor of RPTH, reached out and asked if I would submit it as a manuscript. From tweetorial to publication was less than three months!”
In the end, we hope to see you online and promoting your work during the ISTH 2021 Congress with the hashtag #ISTH2021. Whether you are new to social media or a savvy tech user, there are some tips below to help you get your presence known before, during, and beyond this Congress. Connect with us on Twitter at @_matthewcormier and @pedrohlascasas or follow another ISTH 2021 Twitter Ambassador from this list.
Matthew Cormier is the RPTH Social Media Associate Editor and Pedro Las Casas is an ISTH Congress Twitter Ambassador.
Top Tips for Tweeting on Twitter
New to Twitter?
· Create a Twitter profile. Be sure to use your correct name and title in the biography so people can easily find you.
· Follow the main research societies, journals, and advocates within your field(s) of research (i.e. @isth, @JTHjournal, @RPTHjournal).
· Share your thoughts on the science you see, whether that be in your own tweets or on the tweets of others that land on your timeline. Feel free to reply, share and like as many posts as you want. The more interactive you are, the more you will connect with new and relevant peers.
· Be sure to use relevant hashtags to group and summarize your thoughts (i.e. #ISTH2021, #COVID19, #bloodclot). Exploring these may help you connect with more people.
Been using Twitter for a while?
· Make a tweet thread summarizing posters / talks you may have at ISTH 2021 - provide pictures to enhance the reading experience. Include where others may find it!
· Tag other researchers or institutions in your field to initiate discussion when you have questions.
· Have a healthy balance of scientific and non-scientific posts - crafting an online presence does not necessarily require you to make 100% of your content science-related.