Twitter tools for Academic Institutes: the “What to Tweet” Academic Event Calendar
Tweaking the corporate “marketing calendar” to build community on Twitter
As a communications consultant for small interdisciplinary research groups and institutions, I’ve been working hard to improve and coordinate their communications with their larger, multi-disciplinary communities.
Today, I’d like to share a helpful tool: shared, collaborative academic event calendars that lay out the relevant accounts(@) and hashtags (#) for major events throughout the year.
Here’s a sample of such a calendar. It is an event calendar I’m building in collaboration with journals, conference organizers, and institutes related to the history and philosophy of science (currently biased towards philosophy of biology and philosophy of scientific practice) [full calendar here, a work in progress]:
A calendar like this can build community. Institutions can use this calendar to cross-amplify and co-promote each others’ events. Individuals can also make use of the listed hashtags to track and follow live tweets (and plan their activities accordingly).
Importantly, this calendar can enable institutions to cross-link content (a journal account following a conference hashtag can tweet about relevant publications; an institution account following a journal account and tweet about its relevant members), which can help increase the visibility of early career scholars. For example, an ECR tweeting about their work at conference A (marked by #) can be amplified up by a journal account (who then tweets about their publications) and by their institutional accounts (who can tweet about their work at the institute).
The “What to Tweet” Academic Event Calendar is a twist on the classical marketing calendar for social media campaigns. Take a look at Twitter’s suggested marketing calendar for 2020:
This calendar lists the main events, holidays, celebration months, etc., that businesses can use to design marketing campaigns that connect with predicted public trends. An example:
However, the academic version is different in two ways. Instead of promoting or marketing a product, it is a collaborative tool meant to increase collaboration.
First, it is the product of collaborating institutions within a larger community. We’re using the calendar to help lift each other up and provide relevant information to our own audiences.
Second, this calendar can help institutes and individuals think about their social media strategies and plan how they can collaborate with other institutions to spread their news (minimally, by coming up with a hashtag and providing an account for others to tag and mention).
Overall, the intention of building such a tool is to help co-create a joint community and ecosystem.
Hopefully, managers of academic accounts will find this idea useful! On my end, I’ll be building calendars for the other groups I’m managing, e.g., an event calendar for major birthdays and celebratory events in evolutionary biology (Darwin Day, Lamarck Day, Evolution Day, etc.) for @EES_Update, a calendar on major Earth Strikes and sustainability events organized by philosophers for Philosophers for Sustainability @Phil4Sustain.
Feel free to share your calendars!