Tweeting your event is a great way to get exposure, build followers and strengthen your brand. It can open up key learnings to people far beyond those attending your events. But it takes more than just showing up and sending off a couple of tweets. Here are some simple, common sense tips:
Before the event:
Make sure there is one “official” #hashtag for the event. Publicise it prior to the event. (Hint: Short and simple #hashtags are easier to type and use up fewer characters than something like, #TheGreatestOneDayWorkshopInTheHistoryofSouthAfrica)
Publicise the event and engage with your Twitter audience beforehand.
Create a cheat sheet with tweetable bios of all the speakers complete with: names and their twitter handles, organisation, position/title, relevant links. You might even prepare something like this before hand: “Joining us today is Jane Smith, Exec Director of That Great NPO, thatgreatnpo.org.za” @Thereal_JaneSmith. Keep this in a Word or text document that you can copy and paste from.
Schedule, or at least prepare some of your tweets in advance that will go out during the event.
Obtain speeches and presentations beforehand if possible. Besides preparing quotes or lifting charts to tweet during the event, learning about sessions in advance will give you context and improve the quality of your tweets.
Arrive early. Get settled and have your “crib notes” at the ready. Take the time to assess and address any technical issues.
Plan for things for go wrong – wireless not working, phone battery dies, no power source – and have a back up plan.
During the event
Display the official #hashtag prominently during the event, and use it for every event related tweet.
Use a platform like Tweetdeck so you can follow your hashtag and people who are tweeting from the event.
Be aware of unofficial #hashtags. Then monitor those rogue #hashtag feeds so you can retweet under your brand and otherwise interact.
Quote speakers with their twitter handles if possible. Try and capture the essence of the conversations with the “telling quote” or sound byte. This is easier said than done! It may be easier for someone experienced with the sector to glean the important points. Don’t simply assume that anyone who can tweet can also live-tweet an event.
Move the conversation along. Retweet. Comment upon other participants’ tweets. Tweet throughout the event to keep a steady tweet stream.
Don’t forget pictures. You may want to have an easy to use photo editing app at your disposal. Tweet interesting pictures (people eating or pictures of people's backs are not interesting!). For branding purposes, try to get your organisation’s logo in the shot.
Compile photos and the best tweets from the session for a blog post.
Follow up with attendees by tweeting them "thank you" notes and take the connections beyond the event.
In our experience, live-tweeting events always brings us several new, engaged followers to our feed! Don't forget to follow @inyathelo on Twitter!
Lindsay Kolowich, "Everything You Need to Know to Successfully Live-Tweet Your Event," Hubspot (3 July 2014).
Juraj Holub, "10 Easy Tips for Live Tweeting at Events," Slido (8 July 2014).