#IOCprev2017 social media campaign: What it’s all about, and why YOU should be a part of it


twitter nirmalaHello! My name is Nirmala Perera (@nim_perera) and I coordinate the #socialmedia (#SoMe) campaign for @IOCprev2017 on twitter and LinkedIn (http://www.linkedin.com/groups/10306029).  My role is to develop and facilitate an integrated and sophisticated approach to the #IOCprev2017 campaign – to benefit both individuals and society as a whole.


We know conferences are a great way to disseminate latest research, but many existing conference social media strategies fail to harness the full potential of engagement. Conference twitter accounts mostly consist of announcements and conference updates to drive abstract submissions and registrations. Inevitably these accounts are somewhat active leading up to a conference, highly active during the conference and usually dormant post-conference. The @IOCprev2017 team aims to go beyond being simply a promotion tool for the #IOCprev2017 conference and engage you all in a conversation, and provide a legacy of networks that reaches beyond the event itself. This is an ambitious strategy. However our organic growth of the twitter follower base (approximately 50+ tweeps a week),  and many retweets are indications that the #IOCprev2017conferences has a strong #SoMe strategy that works.


Our approach

Scoping out our target audience of the #SportsMed and #BJSM community, I realised that most of you are clinicians and/or researchers with an interest in sports #injuryprevention. We all advocate for sports safety. We are time-poor and often use twitter and social media to keep up with the latest news in the field and connect with the #SportsMed community.

With this in mind, the @IOCPrev2017 account serves three distinct audiences:

  • those hoping to attend the conference
  • those unable to attend the conference
  • ‘influencers’ (which in reality is all of you who engage in the community) who can help us gain momentum

Figuratively, the @IOCprev2017 twitter account is a virtual water cooler, a place where followers can go to exchange ideas, be part of the team, have some fun…

We use  our dedicated LinkedIn group to expand on and compliment what can be achieved by our tweeps. We can continue conversations started on Twitter in more depth, and post more comprehensive content in relation to a single subtopic. Additionally, LinkedIn allows you to gain a perspective of others in the #IOCprev2017 group, their background and their work.

Curating – finding the best for you at one convenient site

Our team is committed to curating content across social media platforms that is relevant and engaging. Links to journal articles, photos, podcasts and videos that enhance the knowledge base of conference sessions.  As an aside, you may be interested to know that Tweets with a link AND an image lead to 70% more link clicks and retweets than a tweet with just a link.

The 1-tweet-conference pitch was a challenge to our conference speakers, and it is a great way to give you a sneak peak of some of the symposia/keynote content (https://storify.com/Nim_Perera/iocprev2017-1-tweet-pitch).

It engaged the speakers and the wider audience, and generated some more social buzz.  By continuing to cater to those who can, and those who cannot physically attend the event (watch out for future live tweets and broadcasting) and by showcasing the presenters/delegates, before during and after the conference, this is a conversation that CAN and WILL continue.

Being a #SoMe coordinator is much like being a stand-up comedian.

It is vital to promptly understand the audience. So, in real time, I need to know if the audience is laughing at my jokes and then adjust accordingly to keep them engaged.  I need to have my finger on the pulse, so I can tactfully capitalise on what’s trending, key hashtags and identify new stories to reach and connect with a global audience. A constant re-evaluation of every aspect of this campaign and the social network it generates forms the very cornerstone of what we hope will be a very successful social media campaign.

I have a pretty cool toolbox too, including Hootsuite (https://hootsuite.com/), TweetDeck (https://tweetdeck.twitter.com/), TweepsMap (https://tweepsmap.com/), Netlytic (netlytic.org/), SocioViz (Socioviz.net) and Mytweeps (https://mytweeps.com/) to name a few. These are all vital in gaining insight into what you, my audience, find interesting and what is going down like a lead balloon. Currently, we have tweep-of-the-week to acknowledge those who actively contribute to the campaign and encourage participation.

Have you joined us yet?  We have so many exciting plans coming up over the next few months so #WatchThisSpace.

At the end of the day success of the @IOCprev2017 campaign depends on the active contributions of you, the #IOCprev2017 community. So, from myself and all those involved, a BIG THANK YOU once again to each and every one of you for your active contribution to the success of the 2017 IOC World Conference: http://www.ioc-preventionconference.org/ !!!


Nirmala Perera (@nim_perera) has a background in health promotion and social marketing and is a PhD scholar at the Australian Centre for Research into Injury in Sport and its Prevention (@ACRISPFedUni), following in the footsteps of @CarolineFinch. She has always been an enthusiastic advocate of twitter, winning the #IOCprev2014 twitter competition for the most retweets by an individual. She is currently the #IOCprev2017 #SoMe campaign coordinator (And send thanks to @RoaldBhar and @fbendiks for the opportunity).

(Visited 236 times, 1 visits today)