SMX London (Search Marketing Expo) is coming up next week and every year we tweet updates from the event which we then publish on our blog. With this in mind I began to think about how we could make the most out of this live tweeting opportunity.
Tweeting a running commentary when you’re watching Game of Thrones at home on the couch in your pyjamas is one thing. But how does that translate to live tweeting and networking at conferences? Or what if you’re the guest of a Twitter chat?
Multi-tasking the online conversation, getting the right hashtags, and managing real world networking can be quite daunting.
I’ve asked some of the experts in the Digital Marketing world to share with us their top 3 tips on live tweeting. Let’s see what they have to say.
Amanda DiSilvestro @HigherVis
Tip 1: Remember that general photos are your friends. In other words, you're going to have a lot going on that needs to be live tweeted immediately, but that doesn't mean you can't take a few cool photos from the event and then upload them a few hours later when you have a minute to breathe! Always be taking photos and videos so that you can have a steady stream of information coming to your audience.
Tip 2: I would highly recommend having a tool like Buffer open on your phone and ready to go. Furthermore, before the event starts make sure your times for scheduling tweets are a little bit closer together than usual. Instead of having a tweet post every hour, for example, set your times so that something is posted every 15 minutes. This will ensure that you aren't overloading your audience but you're still live tweeting.
Tip 3: Don't miss information at a conference or event just because you're trying to live tweet. The first few times I did this I found myself in the corner oftentimes hurrying up and trying to write something clever and put the tweet out there, but I was missing important networking opportunities. It's a tough line to walk, but if you make interaction your priority the live tweeting should fall into place!
Remember, live tweeting is all about the videos and images! Links are great and so is interesting content, but it's the images that people want to see.
Loz James @contentchampion
Tip 1: Before the event starts, think strategically about your messaging and what you want to achieve by using live tweets.
Tip 2: Again, before the event begins, choose a concise hashtag to use when tweeting all your live updates.
Tip 3: During the event, give someone ownership of controlling the messaging, and of interacting with Twitter users.
It's essential you remember why you're doing this, and ensure your tweets during the event stay on message inline with the business goals you set earlier.
Kevin Gibbons @kevgibbo
Tip 1: Try to schedule as much as you can in advance on upcoming sessions - it's more difficult to keep up to speed than you realise at first!
Tip 2: Assign one person the role of tweeting and setting alerts for hashtags/monitoring replies so that you can keep on top of things and engage quickly.
Tip 3: Encourage people to share at the venue - share the wifi details publicly, ask speakers to mention hashtags, use it on your promotional materials etc.
Jennifer Horowitz @ecombuffet
Tip 1: It doesn’t start at the event, you need to let people know they can expect live tweets and build up the event before. The live tweets will have greater impact if you have an audience that is anticipating them.
Tip 2: Don’t be too scripted and formal. The best tweets from live events capture the vibe, the fun and the “insider secrets” – share candid photos, funny moments and valuable insights. Make people feel like they were there (which will ensure they are excited to be at your next event!).
Tip 3: While it’s great to have one person that is designated to live tweet to ensure you have coverage, welcome other employees and most definitely guests to tweet as well – all using a hashtag that has been decided and announced in advance.
Live tweeting really isn’t any different than normal tweeting – be engaging, ask questions, have personality and offer value.
Eric Enge @stonetemple
Tip 1: Don't feel rushed! When you first jump on a live tweet event, you are probably going to feel like you need to answer every question really quickly. Take a deep breath, take your time, and provide quality answers. This will really serve you well, and make the event more valuable for the other participants.
Tip 2: Use a tool to automate the process of including the hashtag for the Twitter Chat to every tweet. Remember, to be part of the Twitter Chat you need to use the hashtag for it in each and every single tweet you mean to contribute. If you try to remember to do this manually, you will probably forget to do it at least some of the time. Don't let this happen to you!
Some tools that help you with this are:
Tip 3: Always include a "." in front of an @reply if you mean for the whole group to see it.
Follow up with people afterwards. One of the big reasons to participate in a Twitter Chat is to build new relationships and connections. It's an opportunity! To get the most out of it, make sure to connect further with people shortly after the chat, while their memory of what happened within the session is still reasonably fresh.
Mal Darwen @mald
Tip 1: Make sure you've got enough battery to last out the sessions, or make sure you get into the talk early enough to get a good seat near a power point, and get the wifi password!
Tip 2: If you're at a conference with multiple streams, plan which talks you're going to be live tweeting.
Tip 3: if you're quoting speakers, try to use their twitter handles with the quote - this will not only help them grow their audience, but will also let them know you're talking about them.
Bonus tip: Keep hydrated (sounds silly, but makes a difference to how sharp you can be) and use the breaks to seek out others live tweeting or live blogging the event - it makes it much less lonely!
The final word
Thanks to all our experts for sharing their tips. It's definitely going to make SMX a more enjoyable exprience for me, and our followers as well!
I would also add that you can now retweet with a comment straight from the Twitter interface.
So retweets used to look like
Now look like this:
The main takeaways are to plan for the event and use the right tools to schedule if possible. I’m sure I’ll be wishing I had done more of both these things next week!
Taking photos and videos is a great point as well from @HigherVis. Tweets with images are a great way to encourage people to retweet and they set the scene for followers who couldn’t be there themselves.
And a crucial point from @stonetemple is to follow up with people afterwards. This is where LinkedIn shines, so don’t let those networking opportunities slip away.
I’ll be sure to share my experiences with you all after #SMX London. Keep your eye out for our daily updates which will be published right here on our blog.
And as always, please share your live tweeting experiences with us in the comments below.