Saturday 24 February 2018

Friday Five: Live Tweeting from an Event

You might have seen articles about how to plan for your event using social media like this one from Mashable’s @BenParr. But what happens once you’re actually at an event? Live tweeting and lots of it. Although Twitter has become an almost instant news service, its original purpose was to be a micro-blogging tool for sharing short updates to a group of friends. These days your “friends” could be thousands, and “what’s going on” could be a global concern or local event. Before you put a corporate or branded account into your smartphone, this week’s Friday5 suggests best practices for live tweeting an event on behalf of a company, a brand or on your own.

1. Use a Hashtag on All Live Tweets

Hashtags are essential when tweeting from a keynote or a conference. A hashtag will set the context and tone for your tweets. But, as a fair warning: try not to #go #hashtag #crazy – can you even read that? Use hashtags in moderation, maybe one – or two at most – per tweet. The hashtag will also allow other Twitter users to aggregate tweets from an event, follow along and engage using the same hashtag. Many conferences offer an official hashtag for events, so make sure you include it.

2. Tweet Consistently, but Not Too Frequently

Live tweeting means that your volume of tweets should increase, but it should NOT be the only thing people see in their Twitter streams. If something big happens, it is good to tweet that immediately. If you are live tweeting about a speech, identify key quotes to tweet – not every topic or every issue covered. Quoting is an efficient way to build credibility and generate discussion. It allows people to see that you are there in person, that you are participating, and that news is being created. Flooding your followers with too many tweets, no matter how interesting, will annoy them and could cause them to unfollow or mentally disengage with the account.

3. Review and Validate Before You Publish

It can be hard to keep up with the live conversation, but take the time to review each conference-related tweet to ensure it has purpose and direction. Remember that when you are live tweeting, your audience is likely unaware of the exact moment that a statement occurred (unless some of them are at the event or it’s being aired live). You can afford yourself the extra 30 seconds to review tweets for clarity, spelling and value. I can’t emphasize enough the importance of editing. Don’t get sloppy just to be quick.

4. Be Prepared

Make sure that you know the Twitter handles of those who are speaking and/or presenting. This is important for adding context around your tweet. So, instead of “Sarah Bernstein just said…,” you can say, “Great quote from @Sarah_Bernstein!” This allows speakers to see that you’re referencing them, which helps build authentic conversations. Consider that a person typically doesn’t search their name on Twitter – rather, a user checks their @ mentions.

5. Have Fun!

While it is good to be disciplined in what you tweet, remember that your followers are real people. As such, the occasional fun tweet is fine. A Twitpic of a celebrity or a humorous tweet can be a welcome change of pace from the steady stream of information. If possible, post photos, quotes from attendees and any observations that you truly think will be useful to your followers. Content, as always, is king.

Have you tweeted from an event? What was the most important lesson you took from the experience?

Image Credit: Peter Lambert

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