5 tips for effective “Live Tweeting”
Does this sound familiar?
You find out about a cool, interesting, educational, industry related local event.
You check your schedule and are free – yay!
You RSVP to the event.
You show up at the event.
You have a great time and learn a lot of great information at the event.
So, who gets to hear about it? Who gets to learn from it?
Only the people at the event? (Noooooo….)
“Live Tweeting” has always seemed to be a worthwhile use of my neglected, Instagram-heavy twitter account. Yes, I’ve “Live Tweeted” in the past but never to the level or caliber I believed was necessary.
I think this is because I am always busy at industry events, feverishly taking notes in my spiral notebook with my trusty ball point pen (gasp!). I guess I’m old school and I have had so many questions about how, why, where and when to “Live Tweet.” I needed a set of rules, tips, tricks and insider information on how to do it.
Remember, we all start somewhere and asking questions, observing and taking a risk and doing new things is what makes social media fun. So, in that spirit I’m writing my own “Live Tweeting” rules.
What does “Live Tweeting” even mean? Does a quick status update count or do I need to relay every fact and figure I learn into a perfectly executed 140 character snippet?
Alert: Social Media users of all kinds – you too can “Live Tweet.”
In fact, by following a few simple guidelines it can turn your old school note taking habits into a networking tool that shows you are “with it” and care about the subject matter. You might even make some great industry connections, meet potential clients and have fun along the way. (eeek!)
Here are my five simple “Live Tweeting” rules:
1. Location, Location, Location
Like with real estate, your location (especially when “Live Tweeting”) is key
- Don’t be in the back of the room (bad for Twitter photo ops) but don’t be in the front of the room as it may look like you could be texting, which appears disrespectful
- I like sitting near the front, seated at the outside of a side table – #idontmessaround
2. What tweeting platform should you use?
What app helps propel you from handwritten notes to ReTweet glory?
- It goes without saying that a smartphone or a device that you can Tweet from is a must
- At work I use HootSuite to manage Twitter conversations for multiple clients but when live tweeting I like to tweet right from the Twitter app
- Make sure that if you are managing multiple accounts you have access to the account you want BEFORE the event. You don’t want to spend precious “Live Tweeting” time looking for a password or logging onto an account. #yourtimeismoney
3. Set the Stage
A little Twitter love ahead of time goes a long, long way
- The day before you “Live Tweet” an event make an announcement on your Twitter feed Something like“Don’t miss my live tweeting adventure tomorrow morning at ________ with _________.
- It might seem like a no brainer but set the stage with times, dates, @mention who will be there, where it will be held, sponsors, etc.
- This way people can expect it the live tweeting in their stream and folks will appreciate the twitter love in advance. #BuzzBuzzBuzz
4. Introduction and Conclusion
Tweetiquette is important so don’t forget to say “hello,” “goodbye” and “thank you”
- Like any good communications stream, a simple introduction and conclusion helps as a guideline. In the world of twitter with so many voices it is nice to have an official beginning and end of your live tweeting session.
- Introduction: “Hey Friends: In 10 minutes I’ll be Live Tweeting the _______________ . Thanks for your RTs!”
- Let people know you are done, “That was fun! My poor fingers hurt – too much great info. Did you learn anything new from ___________? #HNGhiandgoodbye
5. “Live Tweet”
This is your time to shine – make a splash in your Twitter feed!
- With all the build up to you “Live Tweeting” now is the time to deliver the goods
- Share facts, figures, quotes, photos and more! This is your time to shine; you have an audience so play to your crowd!
- DO NOT FORGET to use hastags (#)and @mentions in every post– super important.
- Figure out how many tweets you are comfortable with for a live tweet session. I think anywhere between 5 and 20 tweets is a great place to start.
- Tip: You can even prewrite some tweets to use during the session. Cut and paste from your “notes” in your phone. Being prepared will pay off in spades. #livetweetinglikeimkatiecouric
BONUS: Go the extra mile
You go the extra mile at your job, why not go the extra mile with your live tweeting?
- Introduce yourself to your table and say you are live tweeting, not texting – I repeat live tweeting, not texting
- Hand out your business card to new contacts and make sure your twitter handle is on there. Remember to highlight your twitter handle or physically write it on the card.
- I’ve started to wear a “I’m not texting , I’m tweeting button” at events so there is no mistake about what I am doing. I’m present and I care about the speaker and their information. It is funny and wearing the button makes me accountable for my tweets. #besttwittericebreakerever
I’ll be the first to admit that “Live Tweeting” used to intimidate me. Use these steps to make “Live Tweeting” easy, interactive and fun.
*Heads-up: I will be Live Tweeting at the Microsoft Accelerator Demo Day on Thursday, January 17th. Follow me at @WeAreShowPony to see me in action!
Molly puts the "social" into her role as ShowPony’s social media manager. She is likely to be found buzzing around on coffee dates or speed walking around Green Lake. Molly loves perfectly executed tweets, color-coded calendars and cat videos.
Email Molly if you want to grow your audience, expand your reach, or recap the latest episode of Mad Men.