Are you attending a live or virtual social media event this year? Twitter is your best friend. Use these 3 Quick Twitter Tips to get noticed and rock your next event.
I am speaking at and attending a real live Problogger Training Event (that's #PBEvent in hashtag speak) in a few days. Then a panel at Social Media Week in Sydney. And then a “virtual event” Social Media Success Summit (#smmss14) in October.
It got me thinking about hashtags, Twitter and all the great things that happen at events – and I wanted to share with you what I have learned about Twitter at events (and a few visual content ideas that will help you to rock your next event, even if it is your first!).
These tips work for any event – whether you are an attendee, a speaker or an organiser. They work whether it is a live event, virtual event or a launch.
Twitter literally rocks. Especially with the added fuel of some of the tips I have for you below. I am a big fan of LIVE social media and blogging events. Huge fan. But it wasn't always that way.
3 years ago I was a Twitter newbie and had no idea how to use the platform effectively. I dabbled. I didn't get it. I wasn't a fan. Then I went to a blogging conference. Twitter was the first language at the conference so I was forced to immerse myself in Tweets.
I learned. I participated. I grew my fledgling following. I made connections. I had fun! Since that time sooooooo many ah-may-zing things have happened from Twitter.
Now please note. I don't even have a massive following. It's growing steadily, but even at the size it is, I can honestly say it has brought me more opportunities and income than Facebook. And don't get me started on the connections, speaking engagements, clients, program sales, webinar buzz and lifelong friendships I have forged because of 140 characters.
3 Ways to Rock a Social Media Event Using Twitter
#1 Get into the Hashtag Action
Every event worth its price of entry has a hashtag to promote the event – before, during and after it is over. I say “before, during and after” because the buzz precedes the event and continues after the event…if it's a great one. Tips for before the event:
- Grab that hashtag. Commit it to memory and enter it into your Twitter tool (even if that is just Native Twitter which is perfectly fine!). Start using it.
- Start to follow the Twitter Feed. Do this before the event to touch base with other people attending and say hi. Announce your excitement for attending!
- Check out the Twitter Lists for (a) Speakers and (b) Attendees (or both). Follow the lists! Or if you are really keen, be the person that creates the list for others on Twitter. Lists are a way to keep track of who is going and to reach out to other attendees or speakers to say hi, arrange meet ups or (if you are a podcaster or blogger) arrange interviews.
Tips for during the event:
- Use the hashtag during the conference. Make sure your Twitter tool (be it native Twitter or another tool like Hootsuite or Sprout Social) has the hashtag set to stream. It's much easier to follow the conversations if you can see a designated hashtag stream – even if you have to flick between tabs on Twitter.
- Actively tweet quotes and “takeaways” from the speakers. This is not only great for getting noticed, but the speakers truly appreciate it. It is also awesome for creating your own “mini-summary” of tweets. Often the most memorable tips are the ones that are tweeted out.
- Take photos of slides that you love and tweet them out. Speakers (and other participants) love it.
Here is an example of tweets made on the hashtag #SoMeT14AU, during my session at the Social Media Tourism Symposium in Australia: As you can see, participants love to share content “in the moment” at a conference… and Twitter is their weapon of choice for doing so.
- Take note of the screens in your sessions (most decent social media conferences will have a big screen showing tweets).
- Retweet tweets by others that you love or those that are useful to you and worth keeping keep track of (or “Favourite” them). Retweeting is a great way to meet other attendees. It's like a little “wave” from you to the other person across a real or virtual room.
- Show your funny side. A little humour and fun can go a long way to making you stand out at a conference – and meet likeminded people!
- Skip to #3 for how to then engage in real life!
Hashtags are super powerful and every event that is worth it's weight in tweets will use one. If you are not getting into the hashtag action you are missing some of the best content of the conference. And did I mention that it's a great way to meet people?
#2 Tweet Visual Content
At any event, be it a paid online event like a summit or a live conference, visual content stands out. With so many awesome “in the moment” image-creation tools available like Canva and WordSwag it is easier than ever to contribute “visually” to the Twitter conversation. And the best part? Your Tweets stand out. Here are some examples from recent conferences I have been at: Lisa Monks used an image of Social Media Marketing World Speaker, Marcus Sheridan and overlaid a quote using WordSwag (nice way to stand out and say hi to Marcus, Lisa!). Zach from Canva turned my session into some awesome quotes: Twitter will show the middle third (roughly) of square shaped images as the “default” that you see on the newsfeed. It is worth noting that sometimes your content will get cut off till someone clicks on it (and then it opens up to full size). In the following example Blake created an awesome image about my session (thanks Blake!): When you open the tweet you see the full sized image: Again – this is a great use of Canva for designing live in the conference! Here is another live tweet at Social Media Tourism Symposium. Capturing the slides is a great way to easily create a highly shareable piece of content : … and efter the event, attendees were still tweeting the love with awesome visual content: The tools are such that you can, with a little effort, produce a great summary image like this one from Sos Mattsson from Tourism Queensland at the recent #SoMeT14AU (Social Media Tourism Symposium): If you want the tweet to show up natively in the Twitter Feed, I have a tip for you. Size it to fit the preview image exactly. Here are a few images that I posted during Social Media Marketing World that were “sized” to suit the Twitter Preview: Quick Tip: The images above were created on a template within Canva. I kept the template “open” after creating the first image, then just changed out the text and some images to create a second and third image – Voila! Easy and Quick! …and ready to post right there live while the speakers were still talking. When you post a quote or photo live during a session, it's the best time for your content to be shared! Now…I could give you the dimensions, but as they may change, I am going to do something even better. Go to Canva – and use their Twitter Template … it is perfectly sized for Tweet sized images. That way, you never have to worry about keeping up to date with what is what!
Some Visual Content Twitter Tips for Speakers For the speakers out there, the bar has been raised people. Raised! …in a super fun way. I had a few minutes to spare recently and I dropped by #BlogChat. I love doing Twitter Chats and I wrote about them here. Basically they involve a group of like-minded people getting together to chat under a particular #hashtag on a common topic of interest at a regular weekly time. There is often a guest and a moderator who adds questions and helps the guest respond. I love them but they can be very busy with a lot of conversations going on. Enter Mr Problogger, Darren Rowse. He was the guest “blogger” at this particular #BlogChat. Oh my. Darren came prepared. Here are just 2 of a dozen or so visual tweets he prepared earlier: Darren's tweets stood out. Got noticed. Drove the conversation. Helped people to follow along. If you are holding a tweet chat or event, and you are a speaker or guest, consider pre-preparing some tweets that will start the conversation. Even text based tweets will impress your guests but if they are images, you will blow them away. What about if you are actually on a real, live stage? Mari Smith has the answer. Like a magician while on stage, she still manages to tweets at the perfect time…in the middle of her presentation. Yes a little automation (or personal assistant) time is involved here, but people know immediately that it's a point that Mari wants to get across, because she tweeted it out! Then she engages with them the minute she gets off the podium. Her tweets are always shared a lot when she does this. It's almost as if the audience feels like they are chatting with her:
#3 Follow up after the Event
The event doesn't stop when the event stops. There is plenty more interaction to be had, especially when it comes to Twitter. Here are some things you can do post-event:
- Post a blog post about the event. Give your top takeaways or even do an embedded tweet post like this one where you showcase some of the best Tweets. I truly believe that if you want to find the best action steps from a conference, you should check the tweets. The “tweetables” contain the very best of the messages over the course of an event. We don't retweet stuff that isn't useful to us.
- Reach out to your new “connections” via Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook (Retweet their blog posts)
- Keep engaging in lists and groups
- Remember to offer valuable content and not ask, but to give your help, expertise, content without expectation of anything in return. The most fruitful event experiences have come out of giving, not seeking to “get” something.
- If you don't write a post after the event, be sure to share the posts of others.
- Keep an eye on the main event hashtag for a few weeks after – the buzz will continue!
Over to you. Have you been to a social media event, either real or virtual. What was your experience of Twitter at the event? If you haven't really “dived” into Twitter, what's your plan for your next social media event. Will you take the plunge and get well versed with Twitter while the action is happening?
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