How to live tweet an event (and still actually talk to people)

 
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Tweeting from events and updating Instagram can be tricky, especially if you want to make the most of your time there and actually talk to people. Happily, we’ve become rather good at this over the years and have lots of tips to share…

When you attend a business event, you have to keep up with what’s happening, hold your ground on the social media madness, and still be present enough to have real life conversations with people around you. It sounds a lot like what I’d imagine parenting to be.

You don’t want to neglect social networks, so you’re frantically managing your Twitter feed. But staying on your phone all the time will make you unapproachable and you’ll miss out on making potentially invaluable connections.

So how can you find that sweet spot and feel like you totally got this?

Take quick snaps with your smartphone, but make it fashion

I asked my marketing friends what’s the biggest challenge they deal with when tweeting from events.

The number one response is always the same – pictures! Trying to take quality pictures with a simple phone camera, editing pictures on the go, rubbish lighting making it impossible to take good pictures.

We know you’ll be taking quick snaps with your smartphone and posting them on the go. Chances are the place is badly lit, you’ll struggle with finding a satisfactory angle… Looks like you’ll have to work with what you’ve got.

Nobody brings a Canon EOS M100 and a light reflector to a networking event. So how can you give your pictures that ‘oomph’ factor?

This is where a handy little photo editing app comes to the rescue. You need to enhance the picture on the go? Sure thing. You only have few seconds to make it pop? No problem.

Our Communications Manager Marisa rounded up a selection of tools to help you win in digital. These include email, project and team management apps, but right now we’re interested specifically in photo editing tools.

I share a favourite with Marisa – Snapseed ticks all the boxes for me. It’s free, easy to use, and has a hefty selection of tools that do the job of making your photo look good.

Bonus points if you download it few days before the event and play with different effects and intensities to choose your go-to combination.

#HashtagEverything

I’m guessing you want to be part of the conversation and get your tweets noticed. Whether it’s an optometry expo, an e-learning conference or a networking evening, it’s safe to assume that a hashtag will be in place at most of these events.

Doing a quick check before the event will save you time later when you’re ready to send that tweet. If it’s not a straightforward one, it’s worth taking a note of it on your phone. Plus, you can quickly copy and paste it.

It will also give you an idea of what to expect before the event, see what others are talking about, and maybe even inspire your posts. We have lots of tips on this in our Digital Marketing for Events course.

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Prep some tweets

“On my way to the #XYZconference – looking forward to hearing @ABC’s thoughts on social influencers“

You won’t know exactly what the day brings but let’s be honest, there’s a common denominator between all these events. You can identify topics you want to comment on, such as the venue, the turnout, speakers, or even the food available.

Copying and pasting a chunk of text, even a bite size one, will save you time later. It will also mean that your tweets are less likely to suffer from spelling mistakes, rushed thoughts, or lack of relevant mentions and hashtags. And it might give you an idea for pictures you can take.

Take notes like a Hermione in Transfigurations class top pupil at school

The keynote speaker is exploring the role of creativity in digital. He’s now delving into the reasons why brands are struggling with their creative strategies, so how about tweeting about the link between creativity and sales quickly… wait, what was that about measurable ad spend? Oh, rats! He’s onto the next thing and you’ll never know.

Instead of desperately trying to fish out key thoughts and ideas and madly typing them into a spelling mistakes-filled tweet, take quick notes.

Whatever insightful, controversial or visionary thought you hear, scribble it down. You can tweak it, add your own view and double-check things later.

You’ve got the original thought to work with, you’re keeping your focus on the speaker, and you’re not giving yourself the anxiety of missing out on the actual event.

Use breaks like it’s your personal time machine

Once you’ve got your notes down, you just need that little gap between speakers to form them into tweets.

Whether you’re waiting for the next speaker, sticking around for questions or shuffling between the rooms, these are the perfect moments to edit images, type a quick message and post the whole thing on social media.

This is what Sue did when attending usability conference Camp Digital recently; she took notes as she went, then threaded 2 or 3 tweets at the end of each talk. It meant she could summarise the discussion much more effectively, and led to lots of shares of the posts too.

Don’t stop ‘til you post enough

Hopefully you’ll find that the event attracts lots of lovely people to talk with, but networking happens online as much as offline.

There’s no such thing as a quiet moment at an event, even when the talk is finished and you’re on top of your social media game. Get involved in the conversation by following the hashtag; like, retweet, add your own thoughts and be active! Your digital efforts won’t go unnoticed.

At the end of the night…

The evening is all wrapped and everyone’s heading off. Your voice has been heard on socials and your face isn’t unfamiliar. You made it! The social media buzz takes a while to die down.

Grateful comments and positive feedback will sure be present and adding your own to the pile has become an expected courtesy.

Contact our team of digital experts. We promise we won’t expect you to take hurried notes or tweet about it. We’ll be nice and offer you a cup of tea and a biscuit.