A Beginner's Guide to Live Tweeting an Event
One of the most accessible ways to generate buzz and make potential customers care about your brand is to live tweet events. According to medium.com, "Live-tweeting can increase your social media engagement, expand your network, build brand awareness and position you as an industry authority."
But before you pick up your mobile device and frantically start sending out 140-character messages, make sure you have a plan. Like all aspects of your event, your social media presence should be in line with your overall marketing strategy. Here are four tips for doing it right.
1. Choose a Unique Hashtag
Hashtags turn a string of tweets into a story. They give your followers and event attendees a way to converse both with you and with each other. Your hashtag should be specific enough to pertain solely to your event. Also, choose concise hashtags to leave enough characters for your actual message content. "Make your hashtag short and sweet so people have plenty of characters left to tweet takeaways and quotes," says blogger Lindsay Kolowich. "Think #USMNT instead of #USMensSoccer." Your hashtag should also be highly visible. Use it on your event signage, advertisements, name badges, email signatures and all of your social media profiles. Encourage your vendors and partners to use it as well.
2. Make Your Tweets Meaningful
By definition, live-tweeting is meant to flood your followers' feeds, but sending out useless information can alienate fans and lead to people clicking the dreaded "Unfollow" button. "When you live tweet events, add to the conversation by exposing something to the crowd they wouldn’t have known before," suggests an article on the website for Social Media Week, a global movement and conference to share social media best practices, innovations and insights. Behind-the-scenes photos, sneak previews and experts' quotes are surefire ways to engage followers and ensure that you are providing valuable information. When tweeting during event sessions and breakouts, don't pass along every minute detail; choose the most interesting takeaways to share with your followers.
3. Take It Seriously
Too many cooks spoil the broth, and too many tweeters can lead to chaos. To live tweet events effectively, designate a person or a select group of people to be the official voice of the event. "Expecting several people to straddle their main jobs with social media monitoring and publishing is not a strategic approach -- and it will lead to a heck of a lot of confusion," says Kolowich. Choose a team member whose judgment you trust and provide that person with guidelines ahead of time. Offering parameters to your tweeter will free that person up to candidly interact with your online audience while still maintaining the style and voice of your brand.
4. Use Your Tools
Keeping track of all of your hashtags, tweets, comments and retweets can be a cumbersome undertaking. Luckily, several aggregators exist to help you manage all of these elements and stay organized. Mashable suggests using tools like TweetDeck, SocialFlow and Hootsuite. "You can create different columns devoted to different hashtags and key people around the event. It's also the easiest way to see your own tweets, replies, mentions and direct messages all at once." Familiarize yourself with these tools ahead of time, so that on the day of your event you can use them fluidly and effectively.
Keep these best practices in mind for your next event to grow your followers and increase audience engagement.
Posted by Kristy Elisano | Request as a Speaker
Caffeine dependent Jersey girl. Northeast powder hound. Inspired by creative risk takers and underdogs. VP Marketing, Doodle owner and cocreator of my daughter.