Shelton Interactive

How to live tweet an event

Live tweeting is easily the most enjoyable aspect of Twitter. Shelton Interactive’s CEO, Rusty Shelton once called Twitter “the world’s largest cocktail party” and live tweeting certainly works like a cocktail party. Live tweeting is useful for attracting business, participating in large conferences and other events and for building up a brand, or connecting with those we want to network with. Here are seven valuable tips on how to live tweet an event.

Preparation

Chances are, if you’re at an event, there’s going to be a hashtag for the event. Start using it the week of the event. For example, if it’s a weekend event, start chatting about it Tuesday or Wednesday – it’s your call. If it’s at the beginning of the week, like a Monday or Tuesday, start tweeting about the event the Friday before, and maybe a few times over the weekend. It also doesn’t hurt to tweet something out two to three weeks ahead of time, and post the hashtag along with it, demonstrating your excitement for the upcoming event.
If you’re speaking at the event, start tweeting about it as early as you can and reminding your audience where they can find you. As you get closer to the event, send out frequent reminders and engage with those connecting with you on Twitter who are requesting information.

Networking never sleeps. Yes, that’s corny, but it’s also true and Twitter sleeps for no one. If you’re a speaker, engage with your audience. If you’re an author, there’s nothing more exciting for a reader than to receive a response from you with a simple thank you or any information you may have regarding your book signing, launch party, etc. Being an accessible writer, and actively engaging with your audience, can build your brand tenfold from what it was when you started.

If you’re going to an event as a participant start engaging with people you want to network or engage with. Build a list – you can make this an actual Twitter list, or just follow them on Twitter, and keep a keen eye on those relevant to the event, conference, etc.

Now, it’s time to live tweet

Have fun, and be mindful of the event’s audience. You’ve done great so far – I’m proud of you. You’ve either networked with your audience, or you’re part of the audience and you’ve engaged with various speakers or lecturers you’re interested in hearing speak. When live tweeting, use your own voice, of course, and be yourself. But if this is your first time live tweeting something, the trickiest part can be capturing the voice of wherever you are. It can come down to a number of things, like…

  • Quote correctly. Alright, the hard part’s over. When it comes down to actual game time, anyone can do it – you just have to be quick on the draw. As a hobby, I get to write and produce content on SBNation’s TCU site, Frogs O’War. Even though we do it on a voluntarily basis, a big perk is we get to play dress up every now and then and go to events like Big 12 Media Days in Dallas. My goal, no matter who is speaking, is to make sure I am quoting correctly. Most of us are not Olympic typists, so if you can’t get the whole quote, get as much as you can, but be sure to get what you’re quoting right.
  • Tweet pictures from the event. There’s real value in visual tweeting. It gives your followers a lens into a world they, for whatever reason, could not attend. It also gives more validity to your presence at the event, and your followers will especially love behind the scenes visuals that they won’t get from any major outlets.
  • In addition to tweeting images, tweet often, but tweet thoughtfully. A few jokes here and there never hurt anyone. But you have to remember your Twitter audience are following you to follow the event, not just your conscious stream of thoughts. And remember use the event hashtag on 90 to 95 percent of your tweets.

The Follow Up

Finally, like with anything in life: follow up. Post follow-up tweets after the event, thank the speakers, or if you are a speaker yourself: (a) thank your fellow speakers and (b) thank anyone who tweeted at you during the event, and (c) inform your audience of where they can find you next.

As a participant, speakers will have an email or some way to contact them that they (a) gave out during the event or (b) is located on their Twitter bio. If a speaker doesn’t have either of these, just tweet at them how much you enjoyed their presentation and you’d like to find a way to get in touch.