Tweeting at conferences and events. It seems to be a love-hate relationship with some.
Some say it’s become passé. Others see it as a way to spread information.
Some conference organizers, mostly those outside of social media events, are beginning to see an uptick in the backchannel chatter. Their attendees are just starting to discover the value and usefulness of Twitter at a conference.
10 Tips For Better Conference Tweets
Regardless of where you stand on the issue, here are ten tips to for more successful conference tweeting.
1. Use the conference hashtag.
It seems obvious but often overlooked. Make sure that every conference tweet you share has contains the conference hashtag. Use a program like Tweetchat to share your tweets that automatically includes the conference hashtag so you don’t have to retype it each time.
2. Announce that you’re tweeting from a conference.
Give some context to your followers so that they are aware you are live-tweeting from a conference. Invite your followers to use Proxlet, TwitBlocker or Twalala to temporarily remove your tweets from their timeline if the conference chatter is too much for them.
3. List the name and topic of the session.
Not only should you announce you are tweeting from a conference, you should also list the name and topic of the presentation or session in one of your first tweets. Context is critical so that your followers have a better understanding of the situation.
4. Give proper attribution.
When tweeting quotes from speakers, try to include their Twitter username. This helps the reader know who is making the statements. It also gets you out of trouble if the quote is controversial. Then you don’t have to defend what the speaker says.
5. Boil statements down to the main point.
Paraphrasing the speaker’s main points takes skill and practice. Rephrase the main ideas into short, succinct bite-size chunks. Not only does this help with your personal retention, it also helps the reader comprehend the meat of the matter.
6. Share information that both you and your followers would find interesting.
Imagine being the eyes and ears for your followers as you tweet. Share compelling information that they would enjoy knowing. You may be the only source of content from the conference for some of your followers.
7. Add links to speaker resources.
Capture resources and references that the speaker gives. Do a quick search and provide the shortened link in your tweets. This is extremely useful for attendees and followers.
8. Share a photo or two.
Give your followers a sense of the onsite environment and crowd. Take a picture or two and share in your tweets.
9. Ask your followers if anyone has questions for the speaker.
Give your followers the opportunity to participate in the experience.
10. Announce when the speaker or session has ended.
Just like a good story, your conference tweeting should have a beginning, middle and end. Each time you start tweeting from a session, start with the announcement, fill with good content and state when it’s ended.
What tips do you have to add to this list? What pleases or annoys you aboutconference tweets?
Julius Solaris says
Glad to see your input on such a hot topic. As you know I am not a fan of Twomiting and I really believe these tips will help in avoiding it even more
Jeff Hurt says
Thanks for commeting and for reading. I’m a believer is the concept of many to multitudes…allowing many conference attendees to share what they are learning from the conference with the multitudes. It’s a way to set the conference content free and have it spreadable outside of the four walls, especially if the content is not being live streamed.
Sarah Vining says
Jeff, thank you for this. It’s a great guide to tweeting from conferences. We often blog about social media strategy from a planning standpoint; this is resourceful for attendees wanting to learn the etiquette of how to “properly” tweet from a conference. In terms of annual conferences, hashtags are wonderful marketing tools to boost attendance for the following year, but teaching attendees how to successfully tweet from conferences takes that marketing to the next level.
Jeff Hurt says
Thanks for reading and commenting. It’s also great to know the name of the person behind the great content, blog and avatar for the conference center.
I’m with you that helping attendees improve their conference tweeting helps all of us in the long run. Keep the good stuff coming!
Robert Barnes says
Event websites should have this on a page as the definitive guide to getting the most of the conference experience and sharing it with others who couldn’t make it.
Michael LEahy says
Tweeting from conferences benefits everyone: the Tweeter (through reputation), the speakers and the event (the latter two through worldwide broadcast of the event’s content). There is also a very good case to be made for opening up the event’s content anyway, as it effectively promotes it for the next year. However from having covered dozens, I’ve noticed that there are still huge differences in terms of uptake across different sectors. The media-related events such as MIPCOM etc obviously are very busy, whereas petro-chemicals not so much. Know your audience and your client. They might not be overly amused if they are spending money for yo to Tweet to two dozen people.
Thank you for sharing these tips. Personally, I never tweeted from a conference, but some of the conference tweeps I have need to read this article. I think the most important tip is to attribute quotes to s/he who says it or else it ends up looking like you said that yourself.
Joan Stewart, The Publicity Hound says
As a speaker, it galls me to see people in the audience glued to their mobile phones, texting like mad. I want their attention on me, and what I’m teaching, not on their phones. I have stopped suggesting that audience members tweet my tips using a special hashtag. When I attend conferences as a participant, I don’t text. I don’t tweet.
I pay attention, get my money’s worth, look for joint venture partners, and give the speakers the same courtesy I expect from my audiences. If the tips are so good that I just have to share them, I’ll do so that evening, at my blog, written from my hotel room. And always with attribution.
Jeff Hurt says
Thanks for reading and adding your view point. We obviously see things differently.
Wow, those are some harsh comments. Sounds more like a command and control approach than one of allowing people to do whatever is necessary for learning.
Do you also tell people that they are not allowed to take notes or write anything down? I happen to take notes with my mobile devices.
“I want their attention on me,” is a strong statement. When I speak, it’s not about me. It’s about them, the audience. I want the attention on their learning, not me.
Kate Kinsella says
Great list! I like to check in with the presenters before they begin to ensure they are ok with me live-tweeting their session. That way, they know that I am not just emailing or texting, and am engaged in their session.