Social Media for Business: How Can Live-Tweeting Events Help?Anita Kirkbride
It’s commonplace now for conferences and awards shows to be “live tweeted” by attendees and for that activity to be encouraged by the organizers. Sure it’s fun for those of us stuck at home to follow along as friends and colleagues win awards or heckle a speaker, or maybe pick up a few wise words from a great sold out speaker, but have you considered the benefits to your business or event? As I get ready to teach a group of conference attendees how to tweet, so that they can live-tweet their conference, I thought this might make a good blog post discussion, too. Gotta recycle your content!
What is Live-Tweeting?
The term refers to a person who attends an event and tweets about the event, during the event. Yes, they are the one(s) huddled over their cell phones, clicking away every time a pithy quote comes out of the speaker’s mouth, or when the Halifax Mooseheads get a goal, or when Jacks Teller kisses his old lady. Yes, people live-tweet TV, too.
How to Live-Tweet
The first thing is to figure out what the event’s hashtag is. For example, the old Atlantic Interactive Marketing Conference used #AIM2013. This allows the event organizers to track the conversations about the conference, see if there are any concerns to tend to, and follow along with events we may not be able to sit in on. If you’re going to live-tweet the AIM Conference, you need to append the hashtag onto the end of each tweet (or, if you can, place it within the tweet… that’s ok, too.)
So it might look something like this:
“Forget about the future. Be awesome NOW!” via @unmarketing at #AIM2013
Pretty simple formula: Quote + Attribution + Event Hashtag = Live Tweeting
The second step is to RT things that you missed. Look… unless you are Mavis Beacon you’re not going to be able to type every single pithy quote that comes out of someone’s mouth. Especially if you’re on a smartphone. I’m still much, MUCH faster at typing on my laptop, so if I know I’m going to be live-tweeting a conference, or workshop, I still take my laptop with me. Of course, I open up my Hootsuite and create a stream just to capture all the tweets using the event hashtag and then all I have to do is scan that stream for other great quotes from the event. Maybe from the session I’m attending, or maybe for the one down the hall that I couldn’t attend.
What’s in it for the Business?
Encouraging your event attendees to tweet lets them off the hook. They don’t have to feel bad (if they even did) about taking their attention away to look at their phones. So now, you’re one stop cooler than the event that tells them to turn their phones off.
The more you encourage participants to tweet, the more your event is mentioned, obviously. Maybe you’ll even get the distinction of “trending” on Twitter. The more your event is mentioned, the more people who will see your name. The more who see you have something of value to offer, the more followers you get. The more followers… well… POTENTIALLY the more business you’ll do.
There’s also the added benefit of being able to track feedback about your event. If you’re watching during the event, you might find out that the speaker isn’t working in one corner, or the washrooms are unclean, or the coat check personnel were unfriendly. This gives you the opportunity to fix the issue while the attendees are still there… which will no doubt impress them.
One more thing to think about. If your business gets to go to super cool events like the big CES show or movie premiers, or event big fundraising dinners, you can be the one sharing that information with your fans who aren’t there. It doesn’t have to be just about your business. Chances are, if you get to go to CES, your followers are probably interested in electronics and new gadgets coming down the pipe… so show them what you’re seeing. Have fun with it. Go ahead… this is probably the one and only time I will ever tell you to make your customers jealous!
Do you see any other benefits to encouraging people to live-tweet your events?