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social media how toDo you want to get more out of the events you attend?

Have you thought about live-tweeting them?

Live-tweeting events is a great opportunity to build an audience of targeted followers and increase influence in your industry.

In this article you’ll discover six ways live-tweeting can benefit your business.

What Is Live-Tweeting?

Live-tweeting is about sharing what people are saying at an event, as it unfolds. It’s very different from regular, everyday tweeting.

Just like tweetchats, live-tweeting requires participants to be focused on the event hashtag. So anything you tweet during this time has the potential to get attention and make an impact.

live tweeting to help your business

Discover how live tweeting can help your business.

Listen to this article:

Here are some benefits you can gain from live-tweeting events.

#1: Drive Targeted Traffic to Your Site

Live-tweeting events is a great way not only to gain new followers, but also to get people to your website. To do this, your Twitter profile needs to resonate with event attendees who are also tracking the event hashtag.

Here’s how to set up your profile to encourage people to click the link to your website:

Rewrite your Twitter bio to align with the event. For example, if the event is about social media marketing, mention this in your bio and include the event hashtag.

Create a landing page for the event with a free download that complements the event. For example, offer a top-ten list of ways small businesses can master social media marketing. Or if you’re at a trade show, provide a code that attendees can use to collect a free prize at your exhibition stand. Put the link to the landing page in the website area of your Twitter profile.

twitter bio with hashtag

Use your Twitter bio to give your hashtag exposure.

Make sure you pin to the top a tweet that provides a link to the free download. Include the hashtag for the event and an eye-catching image so the tweet stands out to attendees.

On your website, create a Twitter wall of all tweets generated from the event. You can do this with tools like Tint, TweetWall Pro, Postano, Twitterfall, LiveTweetApp or Wall of Tweets. Embed the Twitter wall in a page on your site and include a sidebar with relevant information about what your company does and how people can contact you. Then tweet that link to other attendees.

Live-Tweeting Tips

  • Keep tweets concise.
  • Avoid splitting a thought into two tweets.
  • Remember to use @[name] when starting a tweet with a name.
  • Tweet your own content—photos, quotes and commentary.
  • Link to books or films mentioned.
  • Monitor other attendees who are tweeting. Retweet, favorite and reply to tweets and direct messages.

#2: Showcase Your Services

There are a number of ways you can live-tweet about your services without spamming the event hashtag. I like to call this method the “sideways tweet.”

sketchnote slideshare deck for smmw15

Share valuable information about the event with other attendees.

Anne McColl used the sideways tweet effectively during Social Media Marketing World 2015. She took valuable nuggets from the event and packaged them in beautiful sketchnotes for each session. She then collated all of these sketchnotes in a SlideShare called Social Media Marketing World Sketchnotes – #smmw15. This SlideShare generated interest for her and her business.

#3: Generate Product Buzz

Use live-tweeting to generate interest for a contest or make an important announcement during an event. But make sure you’re not spamming the event hashtag.

In the tweet below, i3DCreatives announced the company was giving away a free 3D printer during an event and made sure to include the event hashtag.

giveaway tweet with an event hashtag

Live-tweet to publicize a giveaway.

Startups frequently benefit from live-tweeting at big technology events. You can build interest from people tweeting about your products and services throughout the event. For example, this tweet touts Meerkat, which broke out at South by Southwest Interactive this year.

product launch tweet with an event hashtag

Live-tweeting can build interest in a new product launch.

#4: Capture the Attention of Journalists

Before the event, find out if any journalists or bloggers will be attending. Often, you can get a list of these people from the event organizer. Request this list a few days before the event.

Make sure you note their Twitter handles before the event and keep an eye on their tweets. Create a private Twitter list so you can track their tweets more easily. Be sure to retweet them when it’s relevant.

twitter list creating

Use a private Twitter list to monitor journalists at an event.

If you’re launching a product or announcing important news at the event, let journalists know that you’re available for follow-up questions during and after the event. Create a digital press kit with high-quality photos and your press release and provide a link to your announcement page.

Then create a Google alert to track whether any articles are written about your company. If you find one, live-tweet a link to the article with the event hashtag. Don’t forget to also share the article on other social networks to get the most mileage from the coverage.

#5: Connect With Influencers

One way to create relationships with influencers is to live-tweet their speeches. Make sure you’ve noted the correct Twitter handle for the speaker and then start tweeting important nuggets from the presentation. This provides valuable information not only for people at the event, but also for interested people who weren’t able to attend.

Your tweets also make speakers aware of you and your brand, and they may retweet them to their audience. This helps create a connection between you and the speakers.

You can even take it a step further and interview speakers to generate rich content for your followers and establish rapport with influencers. Forming meaningful connections with influencers can be a game-changing move for your business.

If you develop rapport with speakers at an event, ask if you can interview them. In the video above, I interviewed with Kelsey Ramsden at Off The Charts Live 2014.

To make a lasting impression, think about why you’re connecting with an influencer and what interests that person. If you’ve interviewed him or her on camera or recorded the audio, share the end product after the event. This then gives that person the opportunity to share it with others.

#6: Establish a Reputation as an Expert

Depending on the event, you may be able to get transcripts of presentations ahead of time, as they’re sometimes included in press kits. If you maintain a blog that is relevant to the event, you may be able to get access to the press kit.

The information in this kit can help you plan tweets that complement the presentation, such as relevant quotes, links to books, videos, movies or even images that you’ve branded with your company logo. Preparing tweets ahead of time helps you build your reputation with both attendees and non-attendees using the event hashtag.

Because visually compelling images can go viral at events, creating branded visual content in advance can capture more attention for your brand. Also create blank-quote Twitter templates with your logo to capture important points from speakers.

branded image tweet with an event hashtag

Have a branded image template ready to go.

Remember that graphics need to meet Twitter’s frame guidelines, so you’ll need more than one person to execute them quickly and effectively at an event.

How to Create a Brand Presence When You’re Not at the Event

You don’t have to physically attend an event to make an impact. If you’re unable to attend, you can still actively participate by reacting and responding to live-tweets from the event. Retweet, favorite tweets, ask relevant questions and create your own content, such as graphics of interesting quotes from the event.

If you’re lucky, most events are live-streamed over the Internet in real time, so you can follow the presentations as if you were in the room. This is a great option if you don’t have the budget or time to travel to the event.

Conclusion

Live-tweeting is the main vehicle for information at events. So if you go to events prepared with a tweeting strategy, you’ll likely increase your visibility with your target audience and also make valuable business connections.

What do you think? Have you live-tweeted any events? If so, how did that benefit your business? Please share your experiences live-tweeting in the comments below. I’d love to hear your tips, too!

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  • Great article Liz! I’m curious if anyone has turned this into a business model? I’v thought through the idea of coordinating live Twitter and Social Media at a conference on behalf of a sponsor or the conference itself. I think it could be extremely viable I just don’t have the time to do it!

  • Hi Liz, great article! I regularly live-tweet events and have never thought about half the things you mention. The one thing I’d disagree with is keeping your journalist/ influencer list private – for one, it’s nice to share on social (and people are only going to come across your list if they directly search for it or trawl through your profile) but – mainly – if you add anyone to a public list they’ll be notified and hopefully be flattered, so it can be a nice way to get noticed.

  • Nice post Liz, I’ve live tweeted at events and conferences in the past and it’s hard work!

  • Vicki Corson

    Really great and useful article Liz. What tool/s would you use to pre-write tweets and/or FB posts so I can just publish on command not a scheduled time. I’m writing the tweets in Word (helps with the character count) and then copying and pasting into Twitter. Seems like there must be an easier way.

  • Thank you @janetkennedy:disqus ! I actually used to do live tweeting for companies when I was still studying. This type of business model would work well if you are specialized and knowledgable in a niche area. For example, when I did this myself, I was a specializing in digital government matters. This way you are not only charging for Twitter and social media services, but also your name and credibility in that niche. And you’re absolutely right, it is very time and energy intensive. But the rewards are absolutely amazing for a business because you get to meet and network with your exact target market in real life, while also expanding your online network with them. Hope this helps!

  • Hi @jemimagibbons:disqus! Thank you for the lovely feedback. Glad there were some new nuggets in there, hope they will become useful in practice. I understand why you would disagree with keeping the list private. This is mainly my personal preference because I don’t want the journalists to feel ‘targeted’ at an event, which might have the opposite effect to my goal. You could potentially give the list a different label other than ‘journalists’ and keep it public — that would work too. As for influencers at the event, I would definitely create a public list. 🙂

  • Thanks @Martin_Black:disqus! I definitely agree that it is really hard work live tweeting at events. What people don’t realize is a lot of preparation goes into the before and after the event too. Probably explains why I don’t do this exclusively anymore! 😉

  • Hi @VickiCorson:disqus. Thank you for your feedback. Really pleased that you’ve found it useful 🙂 I actually use my own tool (due to launch soon), where we can store tweets in draft mode. Before I had this tool, I used to use excel sheets with a column that automatically counts the character count. Does your word doc auto count the characters?

  • Vicki Corson

    Sounds like a tool I could really use. Keep me posted on its availability. Just use the Word Count on the Review menu of MS Word. However, doesn’t take into account characters used for photos. How many characters should I substract for a tweeted photo?

  • Will do. I usually try to keep tweets to 100 characters (to be on the safe side) before adding links or photos @VickiCorson:disqus.

  • seventyninepr

    Lovely timely post Liz. We have done a number of live event tweets and we say you need 4 people to really make it work.

    We treat any projects we win for live-tweet conferences like a real newsroom would do. we plan the entire day according to the event schedule and this works brilliantly.

    You can pre-plan some stuff in advance especially twitter handles of attendees but to take it to the next level we recommend 4 members. 1. Roving reporter- live tweets as they in the conf including the nuggets of speeches. 2. Videographer- take real time videos and interviews with participants and spread on your networks 3. Photographer- taking images and publishing using hashtags and twitter handles. Finally, the most important job role is that of the Editor. Their job is to ensure everything runs according to schedule and directing others and where they need to be In addition, we have also added a blogger who blogs real time for some events. It means you capture a tonne of content for the event.

    Its real hard work, lots of pressure and stressful but fun at the same time especially when everything goes according to plan. The biggest trick is to be flexible and get a good editor who has a good news sense and willing to work hard!!

  • Hi @seventyninepr:disqus . Thank you for your comment. I do agree that you do need a team to make this work really well. I used to actually do all of those tasks you mentioned all by myself, from blogging, live-tweeting, interviewing people on video and taking pictures. I love how this role now has evolved. If I do do an event these days, I tend to hire professional photographers, videographers and additional live tweeters and graphic creators to keep the standard on par to a newsroom, exactly like you mentioned.

    Sometimes, for international events they actually have a newsroom with a livestream of talks with desks and dedicated internet connection. That’s a huge plus if you have an editor and blogger at hand, like you do.

    It’s definitely hard work, I totally agree with you but I do love the rush and excitement that comes with it. 🙂 There’s a real art to doing something like this and I love hearing your experience doing this. Will definitely have a look out for your upcoming events 🙂 Thank you so much for sharing!!

  • seventyninepr

    Hi Liz,

    We have two upcoming events in Aug in the UK and one in December in Turkey so will keep you posted and share best practice! In fact, I love the idea suggested by @janetkennedy:disqus to do this a separate business and may actually set up that division within our company. Watch this space!! Anas

  • Hi Anas,

    Excellent. Please do keep me posted. @janetkennedy:disqus is a smart cookie! I’d love to know how you guys get on. Good to know that you’re in the UK too, I might need your help one day 😉

  • This is useful, and definitely something that should be talked about. I had a stint for a couple of months where I was live-tweeting at a couple of very large events on behalf of brands, and one of the most important lessons there was that if you’re using the live event to push your product – people are going to tune you out. I understand it’s an idealistic category to have, but it’s the fastest way to tune people out to what you’re saying.

    People are at live events to connect, to network, to learn (at least the kind of events I was going to) and they’re looking to form actual connections rather than be sold to. It’s most importantly an opportunity for you to showcase who you are as a brand and what your share of voice at the event is to help people form a relationship with you. There’s plenty of time to push products to these people later. 😉

  • dadul

    hi liz, thanks for the great article. i live-tweeted once but sadly didn’t know half the things you mentioned. also, i feel most tweets, if not every should be accompanied by pictures/video of the moment to make it come alive.

  • Hi Liz

    This is a good read.

    First of all, I think that businesses, especially the smaller ones, can be helped by live-tweeting. Almost every big business does this. That alone should push everyone to do the same.

    Second, I agree with your tips. Those will all shape up your brand to a bigger and better one. Driving targeted traffic, showcasing products, talking like an expert, etc.

    Good job on this, Ma’m. Thumbs up!

  • Hi Avtar Ram Singh. Thank you for your comment. I agree, talking about products is a quick way to get tuned out. But most brands tend to take the ‘in your face’ type of approach to this method, which mostly can get under people’s skin. The best way to do this is to wait for the right time, where it can be relevant to the discussion. Which is why pre-planning is key. Knowing what topics are going to be talked about and finding the right time or opportunity and presentation can make or break this method. If brands can manage to weave in the message about their product and still make it useful and adding value to the event, then can create the right impact.

    Sometimes this opportunity doesn’t quite present itself, so you’d have to increase the activity on the other tips in this article. But sometimes you could also create the environment with your tweets that actually makes people ask you about your product (get them intrigued about what you do with insightful comments on the event and the talks) instead of you pushing it to them. A great deal of strategic planning and ‘thinking on your feed’ goes into orchestrating this, but it can be hugely successful when this happens.

  • Hi @dadulseido:disqus, thank you for your comment and kind feedback. I hope this will become useful at your next event. Whilst video and pictures are a great way to getting noticed, I also feel just text tweets can be equally powerful. A great tweet with insightful comments at an event won’t go unnoticed. 🙂

  • Hi @wogteam:disqus, thank you for your lovely feedback and comment. I completely agree that small business can benefit hugely from this.

    This is how I started my small business myself! It fast tracked me into the market I was in then and I would often get a new contract/gig every time I did this.

    Great to hear your feedback. Thanks for taking the time 🙂

  • This ROCKED!!!!!

    Tons of great ideas taken away. Never thought of changing up the bio, pinned Tweet or possibly even the header to go along with the conference. The idea of changing up the URL also to bring them back to something relevant is HUGE.

    We’ve had great success Tweeting at live events and even recently participating on Twitter for events we couldn’t make. Our startup is looking to run a contest for an event coming up in September and we’re definitely going to implement all these tips. Extremely useful!

  • Hi @SocialQuant:disqus! Glad you liked the article. So happy to hear there were some useful nuggets in there. Sounds like you guys are having fun tweeting at live events. A contest sounds like a great idea. Would love to know how it goes!

    All the best! — Liz

  • Thanks Liz 🙂 I’ll share the landing page when it’s up. Would love feedback. Enjoy the weekend ~ Mike

  • I really liked this post Liz! Live tweeting has many benefits and am very curious to try it out. Have a fun Friday! 🙂

  • I’m glad you liked it @stevehedstrom:disqus! Hope you’ll get a chance to try it. It’s my favourite form of generating leads using social media. Wishing you a fun Friday too! 🙂

  • Thank you Mike! Enjoy your weekend too 🙂

  • Kerry Rea

    Great insights
    — one thing we’ve found is the online networking that happens via live
    tweeting can lead to real-time meet-ups at the event. You start a back and
    forth with someone on Twitter and next thing you know you are meeting up for
    coffee between break-out sessions. As you point out, live tweeting is not just
    something you think about while at the event – but it’s something that you plan
    for leading up to the show. Researching and making note of journalists and
    other influencers ahead of time is a huge time saver and can make your efforts
    so much more effective.

  • Amazing tips Liz. Didn’t know live-tweeting was a thing. I will definitely try it out. Thanks.

  • Hi @kerry_rea:disqus, thank you for your feedback. I totally agree with you. One of the best things that happens at events at the real-time meet-ups that transpire because of live-tweeting. This is where amazing things can happen and seeds of future collaborations and partnerships can be sowed.

  • Hi @cyphermp:disqus, glad you enjoyed the tips. You’re most welcome! Yes, live-tweeting is definitely a really untapped resource of lead generation. Glad you’ll be trying it out. Would be lovely to hear your experience. Please keep us updated 🙂

  • MalikaBourne

    Thank you and big No Non-cents Nann a hugs. This is a briallant plan that I must incorporate very soon fo rmy biz.

  • This is a pretty amazing article Liz! I certainly learned a few things (bookmarked and added the useful ones to my knowledge base). Looking forward to your next article in a few days’ time!

  • You’re most welcome @MalikaBourne:disqus! *Hugs back!* 🙂

  • Hi @JasonHJH:disqus, thank you so much for the lovely feedback! Glad that it will come in handy for you. Hopefully the next article will be useful too! 🙂

  • Hi Liz, thanks for including my sketchnotes in your article. Live tweeting (and sketchnoting in particular) takes an incredible amount of focus. It is more successful when you can work as part of a team. But it has been an excellent way to highlight others in the industry and give back.

  • Hi @annecizekmccoll:disqus , it was my pleasure! Working as team can definitely help reduce the burden. 🙂

  • The company I am with has several national conferences and produces 2 festivals each year. Live-tweeting sessions and panels has been a huge hit with our audiences across platforms. We even give people a heads up via visual content of what we’re either live-tweeting or streaming so they can save the date. Seeing which content from your live tweets get the most engagement is also a great way to develop additional content for your audience as well.

  • Jonathan Paxton

    Hi, great article Liz. I’m trying to convince my managers that twitter is a great platform for us to be on and how live tweeting from our seminars helps us to interact. I understand how much hard work it is to plan and organise to live tweet an event but I’ll definitely take away some of these tips. Thanks so much.

  • Jonathan Paxton

    I’m also reminded of the time I attended an event at which they invited us to live tweet along, with a hashtag. The only problem was they hadn’t factored in that the location was in a basement 40 feet underground and there was no wifi!