Case Study: Social Media at the CAST Symposium
December 2, 2014
The MIT Center for Art, Science & Technology hosted “Seeing / Sounding / Sensing,” an intensive two-day symposium that invited creative artists to join with philosophers, cognitive neuroscientists, anthropologists, historians and scholars from a range of disciplines in an open-ended discussion about knowledge production. The event took place September 26-27, 2014, and the main focus of our social media coverage was to live-tweet the event.
Live-tweeting can be very stressful, but it’s a lot easier with good preparation. Before the event, I created a content schedule for each platform I planned to use. I wrote as much content as I could beforehand, and a good portion of it was scheduled. I also collected images, website links and videos that might be relevant to the material discussed in each panel. This saved a tremendous amount of time. Instead of writing something on the spot, I already had everything ready to go. It allowed me to focus my energy on the live-tweeting and follower interaction.
I also prepared by publicising the event hashtag and our social media handles, which was crucial for successful engagement. It wasn't enough to tweet out the hashtag for a few days before the event. Our audience needed to know that social media interaction was encouraged and have our account information readily available. We printed signs and business cards with the hashtag and our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram handles. Everyone who walked in the door got a card. This information was also in the programs and on the projector before the presentations started. It worked really well. We had great engagement. We received over 100 new Instagram followers in two days and the hashtag reached over 205,000 accounts with over 845,000 impressions.