This post originally appeared on Newswire.ca

With a fresh crop of professional development events coming this fall, it’s time to stretch those texting fingers in anticipation of live-tweeting season!  More than 40 per cent of Canadians are actively using Twitter, and many, many more are just following along. As a social media manager, don’t discount the value of this crowd!

 

 

Live-tweeting encourages people to interact with your brand helping boost engagement and awareness. This is the case whether you’re hosting an event or simply attending. Either way, it connects you to all the smart things happening onstage and demonstrates your willingness to share these events with your audience. Here are a few tips to help you live-tweet like a pro.

 

 

1. Do your research

It’s easy in the moment to tag the wrong speaker amidst frantically trying to share what you’ve just heard within seconds of hearing it. Well-planned events should include the speaker’s Twitter handle in the invitation, or have it posted somewhere at the live event. If not, run a quick search before it starts to make sure you’re ready. If the speaker doesn’t have a personal Twitter account, tagging their company is still a great way to encourage conversation. James Rubec, Cision’s Global Content Strategist, live tweets for the brand at conferences. He likes to be prepared:

“For some events, like an awards show, I’ll keep a duo-tang of brand handles and expected speakers so when I share an image I can easily reference the right people,” said Rubec. “This way I’m not trying to search on my smartphone for someone’s Twitter handle while trying to write my tweet.”

If you’re in charge of choosing an event hashtag, be sure to research it first to see how it’s been used before. You don’t want to unintentionally associate yourself with a competitor’s event or worse, something completely irrelevant or offensive. Be sure to test what your hashtag looks like when it is written in lowercase letter, or conversely in all caps. Serious misinterpretations can certainly come from a poorly written hashtag.

 

2. Always use the hashtag 

Event marketers appreciate you using the right hashtag for their event. Don’t miss out on the right conversation by omitting or using the wrong hashtag. It’s always good when sharing anything on social media to give it check for spelling, grammar and accuracy before clicking send. Adding hashtags will certainly broaden the context of your message, but if there isn’t room for more than one in your tweet, stick with the event’s hashtag.

 

3. Monitor the stream to avoid duplication

Often during events (especially with PR folk), there will be lots of people joining in the conversation. Follow the hashtag constantly to avoid overpopulating the feed with duplicate information. Rebecca Lieb, analyst at Altimeter Group, strongly suggests only tweeting information that adds value to the conversation and to your specific audience. “Think more signal than noise.”

 

4. Stop and share

Live events provide great networking opportunities both on and offline. Don’t always feel compelled to do all the talking – give a retweet or reply with your thoughts on someone else’s opinion. Find a healthy balance between your own voice and curating the thoughts of others. It’s always a good idea to monitor the feed and be mindful of how much activity is happening; you don’t want to be the only voice on the hashtag, and nor do you want to drown your brand’s feed with too many messages about a single event. No one wants to lose followers!

 

5. Make use of multimedia

We know a picture can tell a lot more than 140 characters, so put them to good use! If your live event has presentation slides, snap a photo of a cool infographic and use the remaining space to share your thoughts. It’s also common for live-tweeters to share a pic of the panel or speakers along with their handles and event hashtag. Tweets including multimedia assets typically receive 30 per cent more retweets than text-only content. Including video has also become more common, but be mindful of sound quality.

 

6. Keep up the conversation afterwards

Take some time post-event to follow a few of your favourite attendees, including the speakers and the event organizer. It’s also a great opportunity to share relevant articles or a best practices post that relates to issues or topics stemming from the event. Who knows, it may even inspire a future blog post!

About Melissa Meyer

Melissa Meyer is a community manager for Cision. She has over five years experience in PR, writing and social media management and oversees Cision’s exclusive online customer community, Cision City. You can find her chatting about all thing PR, pop culture and basketball @_MelissaMeyer

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