Social media has become an essential part of any company’s marketing toolbox, especially when it comes to major events – that’s when all the big ideas and huge campaigns come out to play. Today, however, it’s not only the pre and post-event campaigns that are important in engaging your target audience. Twitter has become the place where your event attendees will hang out even during your event – they will readily drop comments and questions related to your event throughout, with or without your encouragement. We'd love to share some best practices for live tweeting events so you can be a big hit.
If there’s any doubt about that, I refer you to Ellen’s record-breaking selfie during the 2014 Oscars that got an insane amount of retweets almost immediately:
— Ellen DeGeneres (@TheEllenShow) March 3, 2014
Oh, they’re out there, alright – in droves. The question is – why aren’t you? Live tweeting events would be a perfect way to promote your brand’s online presence and engage your event attendees even further. If you’re convinced, here are some best practices for live tweeting that you should bear in mind:
1Be sure to add on to the experience, and not make it worse
Don’t be fooled – live tweeting events is nothing like your daily tweets. Your event attendees are not going to be interested by the uninteresting minute details that you might usually post on a daily basis, such as your savoury meals (“Here’s what I’m having for breakfast. Yummy!”).
Here’s a good rule of thumb when deciding what to tweet about: does it add on to the event experience? For example, tweeting about the surprisingly long queue at one of your sponsor’s booths that extends all the way to the toilet would be interesting, because it offers your readers information that is both interesting (“Are you kidding me?”) and useful (“I’ll probably pass on that booth and visit it later then”).
Even better: offer your readers exclusive content, such as behind-the-scene pictures or interviews. They’ll love you for it.
2Use an event hashtag (and make sure it’s correct!)
If you don’t tell anyone that you’re live tweeting an event, no one will know, and you’ll feel rather silly tweeting to no one in particular. Let your followers know from the start by introducing them to your event hashtag. Even better – make it a part of your pre-event campaigns.
An event hashtag also helps to aggregate all your event-relevant tweets under a single thread, making it easy for your readers to refer to at a moment’s notice. It works to separate your tweets from the brand’s other non-related tweets as well.
Most importantly, make sure to keep your hashtag short and easy to remember, both for your followers and your own benefit. It would be disastrous and incredibly confusing if you ended up hashtagging with 15 different tags by the end of the day.
3Schedule important updates so you don’t miss them
If you’ve already gone through several rounds of rehearsals for the event – and I sure hope you did – you should know exactly when the important moments would be happening.
Free yourself up by scheduling tweets for these moments in advance. Chances are that you’ll be fairly overwhelmed keeping track of what’s what during the event, making sure every cool detail is being posted up, and responding to fans. Give yourself the chance to do all these things by timing your tweets correspondingly. That way you won’t accidentally miss out on sharing the guest speaker’s entrance, or the end-of-event fireworks display.
4Make sure your equipment has the sufficient support
Yes, low battery is a very real and scary situation in such a position - especially since you will be constantly using multiple apps in your live tweeting duties. And so the saying goes: "With great power, comes great responsibility…to manage battery."
Whether you’re tweeting from your laptop or phone, make sure to have a backup charger always on standby. What’s worse than low battery? No Internet connection. While wifi is ever-present in most buildings nowadays, it never hurts to be safe rather than sorry. If there is a wifi connection, chances are that you’ll be fighting with your own guests for bandwidth. Bring along a wifi card if you can.
What other best practices do you adhere to when it comes to live tweeting at events? Let us know in the comments below!