What is live tweeting?
Live tweeting is the process of posting tweets continuously at an event to connect and engage your audience in real time.
What are the benefits of live tweeting?
Live tweeting gives entrepreneurs and brand managers a chance to interact with their audience and gives followers a glimpse of your brand in action. As you lead the conversation surrounding your event, you are able to guide the social media narrative and become an influential voice in the online community.
If you are going to live tweet an event for your startup or brand, use these three simple tips:
1. It’s all about preparation
The most important thing you can do before live tweeting an event is be prepared. First, you should have all of your devices fully charged with an extra battery or charger packed with you at the event. Whether you will be using your phone, iPad or laptop, it is crucial to make sure you don’t risk your devices powering down while you are at the event.
Make sure you add/follow everyone who you know will be at the event and/or who are involved. This helps to create pre-event momentum as you should also be buzzing the event on your Twitter page one to two weeks before it happens. You will want to monitor any pre-event buzz by checking Tweets sent to you, doing searches for your brand name and searching blogs for any posts about the event. When buzzing the event, come up with a simple yet specific hashtag for the event.
For example, at the Pacific Edge Hotel Bungalows launch party on May 2, the hashtag #bungalows was used.
It’s also useful to have a social media center and/or table at your event, with marketing collateral clearly listing all social channels you monitor (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, etc), along with your event hashtag. If you are extending the Twitter hashtag onto Instagram, mention that on the marketing collateral as well.
2. Post post post (Don’t forget to share all the small details!)
Post about interesting happenings at your event and include photos taken on your phone, as well as commentary and tagging. Be sure to use your brand’s “voice” consistently and don’t be afraid to throw in some fun (but appropriate) humor and playfulness. Monitor new followers, replies and retweets throughout the event to check for activity during the event. Make a point to meet and speak with followers at the event to put a human face to your brand.
At times you might find yourself thinking “There’s nothing going on so there is nothing to Tweet about right now.” Wrong! There’s always something to post if you put on your “social media glasses.”
Just think about it: you’re the average social media user browsing Twitter, looking for something interesting to click on. With the right kind of use of your 140 characters, you can find something to say or comment on. Is there some kind of cool decoration hanging about? Are there awesome libations being passed around? Is there a musician jamming out to some rockin’ tunes? Is there some cool art to scope out?
Take a photo and tell people what’s going on! In the end, think of yourself as an events reporter: You are the eyes and ears of the party. Tell your audience what’s happening and try to make it something that can be shared.
Use your caution and tact though–don’t tweet anything to the effect of, “Wow this party needs some energy, where all the party people at?” That is not effective and, in fact, it’s pretty embarrassing. But let’s be honest here: not every event is lively every second, so you are going to have waves of sedentary moments. You might just have to fluff it up a bit in the meantime. There’s no shame in it as long as you can find the fun in it and give your audience a reason to be intrigued and ask themselves, “Why am I here and not THERE right now?”
3. Don’t get overwhelmed.
With all of the talk surrounding social media strategy, at times one thing is left out when discussing effective execution: being social! Don’t feel like you have to do it all. Limit yourself to a certain number of messages per hour so you can fully experience the party. Meet people, have fun and make sure you are still networking and getting to know the people around you so you can create meaningful connections.
Also, be prepared for tech issues in the process. There may be times when you have bad reception and cannot post when you want to, so the best thing to do is to save the Tweet as a draft and mingle with people around the party. You never know what will happen. Maybe you’ll find yourself in the middle of an impromptu karaoke session of “Livin’ on a Prayer” or a event-goer popping the question to an unsuspecting partner. Not only are these great things to witness, they will also be a perfect topic for your Twitter feed…but you will miss it if you’re too preoccupied with your device’s temporary malfunctions.
Enjoy yourself and share your experiences because that’s what social media is really all about!