UCFB Wembley student Shannon Linnell recently completed a rewarding social media work experience role with the Isokinetic Medical Group’s ‘Football Medicine Strategies Conference’, allowing her to expand her understanding of events marketing within an industry closely related to her undergraduate degree.

A BSc (Hons) Sport Psychology student, Shannon’s opportunity to complete an internship with Isokinetic – a FIFA Medical Centre of Excellence that is dedicated to providing the best sports rehabilitation in the UK and Italy – saw her based at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre in London, devising and implementing the conference’s social media strategy.

Here, Shannon gives us an in-depth look at the responsibility that came with her position and her key successes.

Tell us about your role and the preparation involved before you began.

“I was in control of the Football Medicine Strategies English Twitter account, @footballmed and responsible for posting tweets throughout the duration of the conference with the task of raising awareness for the event. UCFB expressed how imperative it was to be well prepared for any opportunity that arose, so before attending the conference I researched the topics listed in the preliminary programme: football medicine, football orthopaedics, football rehabilitation and football science. This in-depth preparation enriched the quality of my tweets which were read by everyone from amateur sports fanatics to doctors and medical professionals.

As a conference attended by leading specialists from the world of football, how did you involve the high calibre attendees?

“I moved with pace around the facilities posting tweets and pictures about the FIFA 11 Programme for Health and the exhibits which had been set up by a range of companies in the Benjamin Britten Lounge. The calibre of attendees was high and so I had an obligation to represent the conference professionally and creatively. One particular talk titled, ‘The organisation of rehabilitation at top European clubs’ had professional medical specialist attendees from top football clubs including Real Madrid, AC Milan, Bayern Munich, Juventus, Chelsea and Arsenal. During a talk from Peter Ueblacker, Team Doctor at FC Bayern Munich, a tweet I posted mentioning @FCBayern was viewed by 5,000 people over a four day period. Engaging well-known brand like Bayern Munich, which has 2.16 million twitter followers, was important.

Are there any particular highlights that stand out?

“My proudest tweet of the conference was about the correlation between negative sleep patterns and chances of injury. This received over 7,000 views, which is quite significant considering the account had approximately 1,800 followers at the beginning of the week.

“By retweeting attendees’ tweets I gave followers an insight into a number of opinions from attendees which carried a lot of positive comments and as a result acted as a form of promotion.

Would you say that your work was a success?

By the end of the month, the @footballmed account had 2,144 followers, 279 more followers than when I had taken over the account for the conference. My tweets had over 133,300 views during the event, and a further 8,000 in the following 28 days.

“I am very pleased with my achievements during the conference especially given that this was my first professional social media experience. I accomplished the objectives in raising awareness of the event with a selection of interesting and informative tweets, which is evident in the number of views and retweets.

“I was privileged to be able to get this opportunity from the Isokinetic Medical Group and UCFB. Not only did it give me the opportunity to gain experience in handling social media, it also gave me knowledge that relayed to my own degree course and the profession in which I wish to work. I am grateful to UCFB for facilitating this opportunity. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and would gladly do it again.”