Connect in real time through the power of social media
Photo by Paul Hanaoka on Unsplash
Return on investment can mean many things beyond dollars and cents. On social media that might be hard-to-measure data such as influence and awareness.
In fact, that is where social media trainer, speaker and consultant Anita Kirkbride claims her niche.
“Always be watching what others are doing,” she said. “For instance, TikTok seems to encourage ‘copying,’ but it actually also inspires me to be more creative.”
With in-person events once more coming into the norm, Kirkbride’s awareness has turned to engagements such as live tweeting.
“Live tweeting at an event has several benefits for me,” Kirkbride said. “It helps me remember some of the most important points of a presentation.
“Tweeting live also lets other attendees know you’re there,” she said. “It shows your general audience what kinds of events you attend, which all helps build your personal brand.”
There is also the added benefit of building a relationship with the event organizers or the speakers.
Together with digital marketing expert Madalyn Sklar, Kirkbride noted the virtues of tweeting as it happens.
“Live tweeting at an event can help you connect with others who are in attendance since they’ll be able to find you through the event hashtag,” Sklar said. “You can also provide valuable content for those who are not able to attend.
“I’ve met so many amazing people at events just by live tweeting,” she said. “It’s an excellent networking tool that can help you connect with lots of interesting people in attendance.”
The return on that investment is almost immediate.
“When you live tweet at an event and share valuable content, you will get noticed,” Sklar said. “You’ll be seen as a valuable resource of information. Two people who do this well are marketers Christine Gritmon and May King Tsang.”
For general information, Sklar offered ways to improve social media marketing efforts:
- Invest in the right social channels.
- Experiment with different content formats.
- Be aware of algorithms.
- Focus on value first.
- Engage with others often.
One of the first steps at an event is to find others who are tweeting about the same conference.
“Simply click on the event hashtag and scroll through the tweets,” Kirkbride said. “It’s always interesting to see who’s there you might know.
“The conference or other attendees might also create a list of people in attendance you can follow or check out,” she said. “The hashtag is always there.”
As Sklar pointed out, the hashtag is the key.
“Make sure you’re tweeting with the official event hashtag,” she said. “This will help people discover you. Plus, you can search the hashtag to see who else is attending the event and posting about it.
“Before the event, search the hashtag regularly on Twitter so you’ll get to know who’s also talking about it,” Sklar said. “In the search, click on ‘people’ to see who put the hashtag in their name or bio.”
Twitter accounts can be modified before live tweeting, but Kirkbride tends to plunge right in.
“I don’t do anything special to my account for live tweeting if I’m just attending,” she said. “I might add the conference hashtag to my bio or pin a tweet to the top of the profile so I’m easier to find.”
Sklar gets more involved.
“Take some time to update your Twitter account before live tweeting an event,” she said. “Since you’ll likely see an influx of new visitors to your profile, you’ll want to make sure it has all your most recent information, working links and so on.
“You can also let people know beforehand that you’ll be live tweeting an event,” Sklar said. “This tells them to expect more tweets than usual from your account.”
Tweets during conferences will vary, depending on the event. Kirkbride has these suggestions:
- Quotes from presentations
- Photos of slides
- Video thoughts
- Threaded recaps
- Back and forth with other attendees
“Share your most valuable takeaways from the conference,” Sklar said. “Not only is this a great reminder for you later, but it gives you the chance to share tips and tricks with others who couldn’t be at the event.
“Don’t be afraid to share videos and selfies, too,” she said. “Be visual.”
Conference tweets need not be on a schedule.
“Tweet as much as you can or want,” Kirkbride said. “You don’t want to give away an entire presentation, of course, but three to five tweets from a one-hour speech is not unusual at all — and not very much for some of us prolific tweeters.”
The important thing is content.
“Tweet whenever you feel you have something valuable to share,” Sklar said. “Make sure you’re educating and entertaining your audience with your tweets from the event.
“The more you tweet, the more attention you’ll get,” she said. “It’s wise to share a heads up with your community first.”
Kirkbride gave best practices when live tweeting from an event:
- Include the event hashtag in every tweet.
- Know and use the appropriate usernames.
- Have quote templates and apps easily accessible if you want to keep it branded.
“Always remember to use the official hashtag for the event so your tweets can be discovered by those interested in or attending the event,” Sklar said. “Don’t make up your own hashtags. Don’t forget to also tag any speakers you mention.”
She has a guide that will help anyone become a pro at live tweeting at events.
“Tagging the presenter and using the hashtag is an excellent way to get on the radar of presenters,” Sklar said. “I always appreciate those who live tweet my presentation at an event. I will connect with them and thank them.”
Action after events rests largely with your role.
“As an attendee, I haven’t really done much with tweets afterward,” Kirkbride said. “I might write a blog post and embed tweets, or add them to a newsletter or upcoming video.
“As the organizer of Social Media Day Halifax, I will save all the tweets, maybe make screenshots to use in future marketing efforts,” she said.
Sklar usually creates a recap of the event on her blog.
“You can embed some of your favorite tweets into the post,” she said. “I’m a fan of creating a Twitter Moments with a recap.”
Sklar has her ideal devices for live tweets.
“If you can, use your laptop or a tablet with a keyboard,” she said. “It’ll be easier to type out a tweet quickly. However, your smartphone will do just fine. Do some finger stretches first.
“Don’t forget your chargers and — bonus tip — bring a power strip,” Sklar said. “Hang out at the back of the room with it. You’ll make tons of new friends who need to charge their devices.”
In some instances, large keyboards are better.
“I would have my laptop in front of me because I can type much faster there than on a phone,” Kirkbride said. “Also, it’s easier to have a dashboard up with the event hashtag open to see everything coming in.
“If I am just using my phone to live tweet, I’m going to be slower and tweet fewer times,” she said “However, I have the advantage of being able to add spontaneous photos to the tweets.”
About The Author
Jim Katzaman is a manager at Largo Financial Services and worked in public affairs for the Air Force and federal government. You can connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.