Tuesday 10 July 2012

How to Live-Tweet from an event

Just in time for ALIA Biennial in Sydney, but hoping this might be a useful piece for other conferences, I would like to share this post I recently came across.

If you need somewhere to blog, contact me via aliasydneygroup@gmail.com


Vikki Bell
Principal, Bellinform Research

 How to Live-Tweet from and event

As well as managing live event Twitter aggregations for our clients, we've been known to attend the odd conference ourselves, and - as @blaisegv someone once put it -  "tweet the cr*p out of it".   

More seriously though, live-tweeting is a skill - how to add to the experience for those within the event; inform non-attendees monitoring the event hastag; twapplaud good speakers; avoid typos - and (very importantly) not annoy your followers by flooding their stream with tweets which don't interest them or don't make sense. Intelligent live tweeting helps you make a positive impression up there on the big conference screen and may well make you make contacts and friendships.  Accidentally using the event hastag when asking your partner to order a curry tonight won't.

Here's the advice we give to those out to represent eModeration at an event.  Hope you find it useful too.

 Before you start

 1. Tweet out in the days preceding and try to link up with any of your followers who will be there.

2. Announce you will be tweeting from the conference. It’s a nice idea to offer people the option to mute your hashtagProxlet offers a solution for Google Chrome, and you can also filter out from Tweetdeck>settings.

3. Bring your charger(s). And charge your device(s) up beforehand. You’ll be pleased you did.

4. Find out if there is wi-fi access and the code if one is needed.

5. Research speakers’ Twitter usernames beforehand. Keep them on a piece of paper or notepad for easy reference.

6. Confirm the event hashtag. Find out what the official hashtag for the event is, and make sure you use that (watch out for typos). If there’s isn’t one, make a nice short one up (check it's not in use first).

7. Set up an automatically-updating search for your hashtag in your Twitter client. Since you are most likely on a mobile, an app like Hootsuite, Tweetdeck or Seeismic is really useful as they allow for you to save columns for individual searches.

8. Check whether your client allows you to automatically add a hashtag to tweets. It’ll save you some time and aches in your fingers.  I use the Twitter app on my iPhone, which does this when you tweet from the search screen.

9. Introduce the event to your followers so they know what’s coming. Here are some  examples:

 10.  If you need to hand over the keys to your company Twitter account to someone else for an event, Grouptweet is a good tool to use.  Other staff can tweet on the account (signed - see our pictures above) and you don't have to disclose the login.

During the event

 1. Find a spot where you won’t distract other people. Make sure you are close enough to hear clearly, but in a corner where your typing/tapping won’t bother anyone. And remember to turn any notifications sounds off on our device.

2. Quote speakers or other people at the event – people love to retweet good quotes. Use quotation marks and attribute the quote. (Twitter app gives you the choice of that) Here are a couple of examples:

3. Be discerning in what you tweet. Don’t go crazy posting everything the speakers say. As a rule of thumb, a tweet every 6-9mns is comfortable. You can do a bit more if you need to, but think of those following you. Stick to valuable content, and forget unimportant messages.

3. Cite your sources! Remember you looked up speakers’ Twitter usernames? When you post a quote, specify the Twitter handle; if you didn’t find one, then identify them by name.

4. Post other media if it’ll jazz things up. Don’t be shy about adding photos to your tweets.  But do respect others' privacy - no embarrassing shots of fellow delegates mid-sandwich.

5. Interact with other conference attendees on Twitter. Retweet other people’s posts if you see anything worthwhile which will save you typing something out. Do try to stick to a ratio of 3 tweets you create to every retweet though.

6. Watch out for replies and make conversation. Keep an eye on your replies tab and acknowledge and interact if necessary, especially if someone has asked you a question.

7. Watch out for any names/avatars you know, and if you get a chance try to meet them in the flesh: ”Hey @Blinking1 – didn’t know you’d be here. I’m third from left, back row ..”

After the event

 1. Be sure to thank the speakers, organizers and other attendees via Twitter as the event is winding down.

2. Write a blog post. Use your and others’ tweets to write a blog post as a permanent and readable review of the conference. Storify is great for this.

3. Look out for publications of slides etc (keep the hashtag open for a few days on your twitter client) and RT and/or add to your blog post.

4. Follow Twitter accounts who interested you and thank them for their contribution.

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