Live-Tweeting 101

12 Nov Live-Tweeting 101

Last week, I was tasked with live-tweeting an event for one of our clients. I’ve done this many times in the past; however, I found this specific event extra challenging. With several different types of speaking sessions and complex topics, I often felt myself scrambling. Live-tweeting can often feel that way, but it can also yield great results and be well worth the effort. So, with all that said, I wanted to offer a brief look at the benefits of live-tweeting, plus some tips for optimizing its effectiveness.

Twitter defines live-tweeting as:

Live-tweet (v.): to engage on Twitter for a continuous period of time—anywhere from 20 minutes to a few hours—with a sequence of focused Tweets. The focus can be a big live event that everybody’s paying attention to (e.g. a TV show or an award show) or it can be an event you create yourself (e.g. a Q&A session with your fans).”

That all sounds simple enough, yet I can clearly remember feeling overwhelmed when I first live-tweeted. (And I can often see that same “deer in the headlights” expression on the faces of my new co-workers as they try live-tweeting for the first time.)  So why go through the trouble of live-tweeting?

  • Extend reach – At any event, there are bound to be folks you haven’t met yet.  Establish yourself and/or your business as a thought leader and increase your following.
  • Engage conversation – Get people talking about the issues and topics that matter to you and your company (or client). Take thought leadership a step further and really establish yourself and your brand as influencers on a certain topic or industry.
  • Encourage networking – Live-tweeting provides the perfect outlet for introducing yourself and your company to possible new business partners. Retweet, respond and favorite other tweets (with the same event hashtag) to get a conversation started.
  • Show speakers/sponsors some love  – If your company is hosting the event, live-tweeting is a great way to show appreciation to your speakers and sponsors for their support. Promote profound quotes or simply thank participants.
  • Document great moments – Take advantage of speakers and presenters (especially non-company employees) saying awesome things about your products, company, service or solution.

 

So, how can you make it easier on yourself and get the most out of live-tweeting?  Here are some suggestions:

  • Prep beforehand – If you have access to the agenda, look up speaker Twitter handles and relevant hashtags beforehand, and have the info easily accessible. Most importantly, don’t forget to use them. Include the event hashtag in each tweet..
  • Use the buddy system – Events often have multiple sessions or panels happening at once. If possible, have more than one person assisting with the live-tweeting. This allows you to cover more ground (and also gives you two sets of ears for important talks, like the keynotes).
  • Retweet and engage – Take some of the pressure off and avoid hogging the feed by interacting with others’ tweets.  Miss something big? Don’t make it a habit, but don’t panic. See if someone else took note and retweet it.
  • Tweet photos – Tweeting photos is a great way to break-up a monotonous feed, and sometimes you can stockpile photos in advance. Take advantage of networking time to snap a few pics of the event space or speakers.
  • Don’t be afraid to be casual  – The tweet I remember most from our event last week compared one of the speakers to Captain America. It was relevant yet witty. Don’t be afraid to break away from the seriousness of the event topic and have some fun. Whether it’s noting the delicious lunch spread or pointing out that one the panelists’ chairs look incredibly uncomfortable, personal interjection is often appreciated by your followers.

 

These are just a few tips to get you started in your live-tweeting adventures. Just keep in mind that every event will be unique, and your social goals may change from one live-tweeting undertaking to the next.

Kate Nesbitt
knesbitt@speakerboxpr.com
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