Live-tweeting can be a great way to build your audience on Twitter – if you do it right. Turns out, there’s a lot more to live-tweeting than just sending a few tweets during your event. To help you make your next live-tweeting event a success, we’ll be doing a series of posts on Research Labs with best practices and recommendations for live-tweeting before, during, and after events. The first is below – we hope you like it!
Before the Event
Setting yourself up for successful live-tweeting before the event is just as important as doing a good job with the tweets themselves. Thinking through a few simple things in advance will not only ensure that you can logistically do your tweeting from the event, but it can also massively increase the number of people who see your tweets. Here’s a list of quick tips to get you started:
- Follow the people you think will be interested in the content you will be posting and the people you know are going to the event. They may follow you back, helping you build an audience!
- Check the event location for Wi-Fi and/or mobile phone service. Some events held at hotel or conference venues have spotty reception or Wi-Fi. If you need a password to access the internet, make sure to find it out in advance!
- Find out the designated hashtag for the event and promote it to your followers before the event begins. This allows people to search for tweets related to the event — regardless of who posts them.
- If there is no designated hashtag, search Twitter to see what hashtag(s) other attendees are using and follow suit.
- If there is no hashtag already in use, choose a short but memorable combination of letters and numbers and start the trend yourself. For example, M+R’s annual Benchmarks event was live-tweeted under the hashtag #2011Bench. Before settling on a hashtag, do a quick search to make sure the hashtag isn’t already in use!
- Find out the Twitter handles of speakers/presenters at the event ahead of time so you can mention them in your tweets if you quote them. Those people may re-tweet your tweet to their followers, which could help build your audience! For example:
- Schedule tweets in moderation. Some Twitter applications (like HootSuite) will allow you to schedule tweets to post at a designated time. This can be useful, but shouldn’t be used too much. Live-tweeting is best when it provides actual new or interesting information. And that’s knowledge you might not have ahead of time.
- Decide whether you’ll be tweeting from a phone or a computer.
- If you’re tweeting from a non-smart phone, you’ll need to add your phone to your Twitter account ahead of time. Log in to Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/devices and follow the instructions on the screen.
- If you’re tweeting from an iPhone or another smartphone, download the Hootsuite or Twitter application.
- Bring a charger for your phone or laptop – tweeting can wear out your battery and it’s best to be prepared.
- Decide how you will archive all of the tweets from the event. Sign up for a free service such as twapperkeeper.com.
More recommendations to come on live-tweeting during and after events, so stay tuned! Questions? Comments? Leave a comment below. Thanks!