Live tweeting your event: Tricks and tips from a social media manager

Live tweeting an event is a great way to give people serious FOMO (fear of missing out) and encourage lively conversations around your event or brand. It has the power to turn a room of 50 delegates into a conversation of 5000+ people from around the world. A trending hashtag can reach people who may not have otherwise heard of your brand. Live tweeting can also add value to your event sponsors and capture the story of your event.

Live tweeting can be an adrenaline-fuelled experience and is one of our favourite parts of the job. These tips will ensure your event is the talk of the town.

Preparation is key to helping your day run smoothly.

Schedule as much content as you can in advance. If you have a list of speakers and times — why not pre-schedule tweets welcoming them on stage? Even better, get hold of the slides, save screenshots of interesting quotes or stats from the slides as drafts. Most social media management platforms will allow you to save tweets as drafts (we use Sprout Social). But do make sure you always keep an eye on what scheduled content is being sent out in case of last-minute changes to the schedule.

Choose your hashtag wisely.

Make sure it’s not already being used by doing a quick search on Twitter. Descriptive hashtags work well — hashtags that show exactly what it does on the tin. If your conference is about ice cream — try to have a hashtag with ‘icecream’ in it, people who like ice cream are more likely to notice and engage with it. Make sure your hashtag is simple, easy to remember and short. The key is to encourage your attendees to want to use it. Once you have your hashtag, put it on EVERYTHING! The presentations, promotional images, posters on the walls, tattooed on the speakers’ forehead.

Listen

Prior to the conference make a public Twitter list of the attendees and anybody tweeting using the hashtag. During the conference, keep an eye on this list as well as the hashtag (we use TweetDeck). This will make it easier to see any tweeters that have used the wrong hashtag or no hashtag. Retweet and engage with as much as possible on the day — tweets from the attendees are more important than tweets from the host. We recommend creating your Twitter list a day or two before the event, this will give users a notification that they have been added and remind them of the hashtag and get them excited about tweeting.

Listen to your attendees! Photo credit to the Digital Leadership Forum

Make use of Twitter polls

Polls are a great way to open out the event to more people. Why not have a few polls running throughout the day, encourage attendees to vote and then announce the results at the end of the event. Twitter polls help to cross the boundaries of the online and offline world.

Another way to do this is to gamify your event, award prizes to the best tweets of the day. A physical prize for someone who is there in person and a virtual prize for the best tweet from somebody who didn’t attend. Event apps are a great way to gamify your event — we recommend CrowdComms for event apps.

Tweets mean prizes! Photo credit to the Digital Leadership Forum

When things go wrong

Don’t let poor internet ruin your efforts — some venues may have bad wifi signal, or none at all. Invest in a dongle or the ability to use your phone as a wifi hotspot. Come with full phone and laptop battery and a portable power pack in case you can’t find a power point.

Congratulations, your event is trending! Here comes the spam…

When your event starts trending, bots will pick up the hashtag and suddenly you find yourself with a constant spam feed. Be really careful when deciding what content to retweet, some bots are very clever. Instantly block or mute any obvious spammers.

*Our personal favourite was a bot that replaced the word ‘blockchain’ with ‘Beyonce’ and copied all of our tweets from the event.

Controversy

Maybe something one of the speakers said was controversial and people don’t agree with them? Great! Allow real conversations to happen, that’s the whole point of Twitter. Unless somebody has caused genuine offence; engage and retweet opposing views, you can’t beat a lively Twitter debate.

It doesn’t stop there…

The conversation will often carry on days or weeks after the event. Turn the best tweets into a Storify or a Twitter Moment. Engage with people who couldn’t make it and let them know when the next event is. FOMO is a great way of promoting your future events!

We wish you the best of luck at your next event and hope these tips will make sure everything goes smoothly. If you would like our social team at your next event please get in touch as we’d love to help!