If you haven’t been keeping an eye on the #HIMSS15 hashtag, it’s been incredibly active and we’re still a little over 2 weeks out from the event. I have no doubt that #HIMSS15 will shattered past years records for tweets at HIMSS.
While I’ve always been a huge fan of social media at conferences, I think it’s going to be used a bit differently at HIMSS 2015 than it’s been used in years past. I believe this, because I’ve seen it happen at other conferences that literally blow up the twitter stream for the conference hashtag. You have to take a different strategy.
Here are a few tips you might want to consider as you approach your use of Twitter at HIMSS 2015.
Get to Know Twitter Advanced Search – If you’re not familiar with Twitter’s advanced search feature, now’s the time to get familiar with it. The #HIMSS15 Twitter stream is so voluminous that advanced searches can be a really powerful way for you to find interesting people. For example, do a search for #HIMSS15 and people that are near whatever city you’re from. There’s nothing like traveling across the country to bond with people in your local area. If you’re looking for other Epic users, do a search for #HIMSS15 and Epic. Simple little filters like that will help you extract value out of the #HIMSS15 Twitter stream.
Create a Twitter List – Spend some time creating a Twitter list of people that you trust and respect that will be at HIMSS. Then, you can just check out the tweets from the people on that list. I’d suggest you add @ehrandhit, @HITMarketingPR and @techguy to that list, but I am a bit biased. A few others I’ll be watching are @nversel, @healthcarewen, and @mandibpro to name just a very few. I’d love to hear your list of #HIMSS15 people we should follow on Twitter in the comments.
Follow @HITConfGuy – The man behind this account does a lot of work to filter through the #HIMSS15 stream, so you don’t have to. I’m pretty sure this year I’ll be relying on this account a lot more than I have any other year. He does a good job keeping it interesting.
Interact with People Directly – Gone are the days that you can just say something on #HIMSS15 and get tons of responses. If you want to get a response from people, then mentioned them directly. Plus, you can tag someone in a tweet as well. You can be sure there will be some side threads happening with a whole group of interesting people tagged in the tweet. While we can’t always watch the full conference stream, most people watch when they’re mentioned or tagged on Twitter.
Check Out the Subtags – Each year, a number of new hashtags come out of the HIMSS conference. In fact, HIMSS puts together their official hashtag guide with all of them. However, even their list can be a bit overwhelming. I think the two hashtags that will be most interesting are #IHeartHIT and possibly #HITWorks. I’m happy that the #HITMC hashtag was also listed by HIMSS for those interested in social media marketing and influencing. I guess this article would technically be appropriate for the #HIMSS15Hacks hashtag.
Shake Hands, Dance, Share a Meal – While I love social media as much as the next person, don’t forget to enjoy all of the in person stuff that happens at HIMSS was well. For me, social media often facilitates many of the in person meetings and events that I attend. However, the opposite can also be the case. If you sit down and meet someone over lunch or on the dance floor at the opening reception, share and connect with them on Twitter. I always love when a year or two later someone tweets me with “Do you remember when…” and then usually “I’ve been following you ever since and…” Twitter is a fantastic way to stay connected with people you meet throughout the show.
There’s a few tips or tricks to get the most out of your interactions on Twitter. If you have other suggestions or if you disagree, I’d love to hear it in the comments.