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10 tips on how to live tweet an event

November 4, 2010
(The tips below are largely intended for event organisers, but can apply to those attending events.)

Source: Creative Commons

If you’re about to host an industry conference or charity event, then live tweeting is a great way to help publicise your event, discover other Twitter contacts  and grow your audience.

Below are 10 tips to help you live tweet an event you’re hosting:

1. Build up your follower numbers

Before live tweeting any event, make sure your account has a sufficient number of relevant followers to make your event tweeting worthwhile.

2. Develop a hashtag

A dedicated event tag makes it easier for both you and your audience to follow a certain event. Hashtags allow people to aggregate tweets and make it easier for people to search for related tweets.

Make sure your tweet is short and memorable as you don’t want it to take up too much space when you’re tweeting content from the event.

3. Seed the idea

If your event is in a few weeks time, then you should start seeding it at least two weeks before to get it on your followers’ radar.

Tweet about it once every so often at different times of the day as a gentle reminder that the event will be in 10 days/ a week’s time.

4. Alert your followers

There’s no point live tweeting an event if people don’t know about it. DM your followers to let them know about your hashtag.

If they are attending, you can ask them to use the same tag to amplify your event to their followers. If they are not attending, you can invite them to follow that hashtag on the day.

5. Be prepared

Make sure you have the right equipment and applications on the day to let you live tweet. I like using Tweetdeck because you can set up a dedicated search column that allows you to track all tweets containing your conference hashtag.

Also, remember to bring chargers. Live tweeting can drain the battery on your laptop or smartphone, so it’s always handy to have travel charger in your bag.

6. Use hashtags sensibly

Don’t use more than 3 hashtags per tweet, otherwise it will look like you’re trying too hard and make your tweets look like spam.

7. The Goldilocks rule

Don’t tweet excessively and don’t tweet too infrequently. You need to get the balance just right to live tweet effectively.

If you tweet too often, then it might be annoying for your followers to see a block of 5-6 consecutive tweets about an event they’re not attending.

Tweet too infrequently, then you might as well not bother with ‘live’ tweeting.

8. Ask questions

Live tweeting is a great time to engage with others. Ask questions during the event and connect with other participants in the conversation.

9. Be selective

Remember live tweeting is not the same as transcribing an event. Not everything that is said has to be tweeted. Highlight the ones that you think are most relevant and interesting for your audience.

10. Use quote marks

To avoid confusion between what you think and what guest speakers at the conference are saying, be sure to use quotation marks and attribute these to the speaker or company speaking. Also useful if you refer to their Twitter handles as well so others can find out more about their bios with one click.

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