Using Twitter at veterinary conferences is a great way to network and connect with other veterinarians, vet techs and practice managers.
Not only that, but using Twitter can help you find exhibitors, lectures & events you want to check out at the veterinary conference.
The best part? This can all be done from your smartphone or tablet. Just search for “Twitter” in your device’s app store.
This quick Slideshare will show you the basics, but there’s more details below!
1.) Use the designated conference hashtag.
Hashtags, which are created by putting the “#” symbol before a word or phrase, are a key part of Twitter at any conference. Hashtags help to categorize tweets, quickly allowing you to find other people who are tweeting about the conference.
Some typical hashtags might be: #AVMAconv for the AVMA conference, #NAVC2015 for the North American Veterinary Conference, #WVC2015 for the Western Veterinary Conference or #TheCVC for any of the CVC conferences.
Include the hashtag in your tweet like this:
Then use Twitter’s search feature to find other people who are tweeting about the conference!
- Click the magnifying glass at the top of your screen
- Type the hashtag into the search bar
When you do this, you’ll be able to find the most popular tweets (Top Tweets), or click All Tweets on the right to see what everyone is saying!
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If you happen to be on a laptop or tablet, you can also enter the hashtag into TweetDeck.
2.) Follow the conference on Twitter.
Most conferences have their own Twitter handle, or username. From there, they will be tweeting a lot of great updates about the conference, so make sure you follow them!
Some handles to follow:
@The_NAVC – The North American Veterinary Conference, annual January conference
@WesternVet – The Western Veterinary Conference, annual February conference
@AAEPCE – The American Association of Equine Practitioners, various conferences
@TheCVC – The CVC Conferences, various dates throughout the year
@WWVC – The Wild West Veterinary Conference, annual conference
3) Follow the speakers and vendors on Twitter.
Finding any of the great speakers at a veterinary conference on Twitter is a great way to keep up to speed. Many will be tweeting their speaking times or exhibit hall booth numbers.
Some of my favs – though it’s very hard to make a list – would be:
@DrAndyRoark – Veterinarian who can usually be found talking about social media & management topics… and making some jokes along the way.
@CAPCvet – The Companion Animal Parasite Council often has multiple parasitologists speaking.
@MeganAtDove – Vet tech that can often be founding talking shop at major conferences.
@OnTheFloorDove – Find this online veterinary training team in the exhibition hall.
@karyngavzer – Consultant usually talking about communication & compliance topics.
@EricGarciaFL – Tech, SEO, digital marketing & social media are topics you can find him discussing.
@shegeevmc – Sheila from VMC, Inc. speaks about a plethora of practice management topics.
@smartflowsheet – Check these guys out in the exhibition hall.
@Lifelearn – These guys do great website & marketing work, so find their booth!
I could keep listening forever, but you get the idea. If you look through the conference’s hashtag, you’ll definitely find more great options to follow. Feel free to comment below with any of your favorite tweeters to follow at conference.
4) Tweet facts and tips that you learn in sessions.
Find out something interesting in one of your sessions? Tweet it! Every attendee can’t make it to EVERY session, so people appreciate seeing what’s going on around the conference.
Remember to use the conference’s hashtag and tag the speaker, when you can. Even better? Add a slide photo, like Dr. Marty Becker did in his tweet.
5) Be social & responsive!
I love Twitter because you can so easily interact with others. In addition to following attendees, speakers and exhibitors, remember to actually be social.
You can tweet directly to someone else on Twitter by starting your tweet with their handle, which is @+Their Username.
Here’s an example where @MeganAtDove is thanking an exhibitor for having great candy:
Remember: If you start a tweet with the “@” symbol instead of adding something else before it, only that user and your mutual followers will see your tweet. If you want everyone to see your tweet, write something before the “@”, like Megan did!
[RELATED] The Dos & Don’ts of Twitter for Veterinary Business
You’ll want to make sure you check your notifications frequently to see if anyone is trying to socialize with you! A notification will pop up along the bottom of your app when you have a tweet.
6) Manage who you follow.
A lot of veterinary professionals will use Twitter during conferences, but then their accounts go dead for the rest of the year.
I like to make sure I’m following people who are going to be active on social media consistently. Try using the free tool Manage Flitter to find those who stop tweeting once the conference shuts down.