Twitter is the pulsing life blood of live events. Whatever’s going on around the world, whether it’s an election or a surprise development in Game of Thrones, you’re likely to hear about it first if you’re looking at your Twitter feed. That way you’re not experiencing the event alone, but with an almost limitless supply of interested people (and most likely some trolls. We’re going to ignore those.). So, if you’re going to a live event, or running one, the logical place to shout about it is Twitter.

I recently attended MarketEd Live in Derby, a conference for professional marketers, and I will be using examples of tweets from #MarketEdLive in this blog.

Why Use Twitter For An Event?

Twitter’s audience is huge but it’s also of the moment. People are interested in what is happening NOW, so a live event fits the bill. Live Tweeting helps to raise awareness of the event, of your brand, and also increase engagement. It needs just as much strategy and experience as a longer term marketing campaign to do it right though, so take note of these tips to run a successful live tweet campaign (and avoid becoming an emotional wreck).

How To Prepare For Live Tweeting an Event

If you’re planning to live tweet from an event, or you’re the event organiser and you’d like to encourage your attendees to live tweet, you need to do some preparation beforehand.

  • Publicise the event beforehand on social media so your audience knows it’s going to happen. Prepare them for a Twitter onslaught!
  • Twitter moves fast but events can move even faster. Make sure you know the order of the speakers/performers in advance so you always know what’s coming next. The organisers will usually have created some artwork showing the order.
  • Write down all the Twitter handles of your speakers and any relevant mentions beforehand. If you are following them on Twitter the handles should autocomplete making it quicker for you to @mention them and get the right person.
  • Be prepared with all the equipment necessary for audio, video and photographic recordings of the event, whatever you may choose. For instance, you may need a tripod, microphone or extra lighting.
  • If you’re the organiser, predict any questions that might be asked on Twitter and prepare answers for them as much as possible.
  • Create image templates in advance (in the right size for Twitter – 1024 * 576 pixels) using the logo and event hashtag.
  • Create a Twitter list of all speakers and of all attendees at the event.
  • Next create streams in something like Hootsuite for the event hashtag, and for the Twitter lists. This way you won’t miss anything that’s said and can easily retweet.

The All-Important Event Hashtag

If you’re the organiser, when you launched the event, you will have carefully chosen your event hashtag, and quoted it on all artwork or copy published. Now is the time for that hashtag to do its job.

Use the official hashtag in all tweets, and monitor that hashtag so that you can comment or retweet easily.

You may also want to piggyback on other important hashtags – if you do so, make sure it will be relevant to that audience and is the correct hashtag. Doing this can increase your social reach dramatically. Here is a tweet using Madalyn Sklar‘s #VideoReplyDay hashtag.

Obviously, the aim is to get that hashtag trending!

Tweet Relevant and Useful Content

While you will want to tweet something about every speaker if you are live tweeting an event, you still need to exercise the editorial control you would normally use and only post content that your audience will want to see. Use different types of content (quotes, images, video, questions) and pick out relevant stuff that’s worth a tweet.

Get behind the scenes video or images if you can, and retweet or engage with humorous content other people have tweeted under the event hashtag.

Give Value to Followers Not Attending The Event

Remember all your followers may see your tweets if they are online, not just those following the event hashtag. Make sure your tweets have some interest for them too. Rather than just tweeting images use a quote or something that may be interesting or make people want to follow the speaker.

It may even make them want to attend the event next year, or if the reader is someone following the event hashtag they may now want to follow you.

Repurpose your content

If you’ve sent lots of tweets during the event you now have lots of content to repurpose. This might be into a blog – make sure you tag the event organisers when you post it on your social media channels, and they may include you in their own blog round-up – or into content for Facebook or Instagram.

If you are the event organiser your work is not yet done. Hopefully you  are now rushed off your feet checking all the notifications from the event!

As the organiser you should encourage attendees to blog about the event, and both publicise all the blogs and include links to them in your own blogs. They will provide useful pre-event content for your event next year.

For great examples of how to do this, check out CMA Live and Soulful PR Live.

Whatever event you are organising or attending, remember to have fun!

For more tips on social media for events, have a look here for tips on Instagram Stories, and here for preparations to make for attending an event.

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