Twitter for Events

In a turn of fate I don’t totally understand in the last 4 years I have found myself paid to manage social media accounts and advising not-for-profits, local government teams, research groups and businesses on their social media presence. This summarises some of the things I have learned over the last few years.


Liza’s one sentence summary

If you’re running an event, Twitter can be a great way to promote it, engage with attendees during it, and make connections afterwards.


General social media advice

  1. Have a consistent voice and tone. I’ll often use “we” and “our” for organisations. Light and enthusiastic.
    a. That said, LinkedIn and Twitter are a little different. LinkedIn is more traditional professional voice. Twitter is shorter and sharper and often better for quick updates and a more funny or irreverent tone.

  2. Pictures really are worth a 1,000 words – include them whenever possible and appropriate.

  3. Use Hootsuite to schedule posts as well as keep an eye on new followers, mentions and even relevant hashtags.
    a. Free plan
    b. You can also connect LinkedIn and schedule LinkedIn posts

  4. Make a ‘content calendar’.
    a. Have a sense of the busy and quiet times of year.
    b. You’ll want to do more finding of interesting articles and news items during quiet periods to keep the presence alive.

Twitter things to know

  1. Handles are people’s Twitter usernames and let you mention them in Tweets in a way that links that Tweet to them
    a. Put a “.” in front of a Tweet that starts with “@” for the Tweet to be seen by all your followers. Starting with “@” seems to still make it register as only a reply and not appear for people as easily.

  2. Hashtags make your Tweets more discoverable and help you get more followers interested in the type of stuff you’re Tweeting about.
    a. A little effort searching which types of hashtags are commonly used among the audience you’re seeking can be really helpful

  3. Threads allow you to string together related tweets. This comes in handy to tell a longer story or provide live commentary on an event. They help group together Tweets on a topic and make it easy for people to follow an event.
    a. An example of an event thread I’ve done can be found here.

    b. To add to a thread, you can click the “Add another Tweet” button below your Tweet.

How to add to a thread

4. Retweeting is sharing other people’s Tweet. At time of writing you could do two types of Retweets:
a. A pure Retweet that will appear in your followers feed, looking like the original Tweet but with a note that they are seeing it because you Retweeted it (signified by the square arrow)

Example of a pure Retweet
b. A quote Retweet is when you make an additional comment on the Tweet.

Example of a quote Retweet

5. Pinning Tweets lets you keep announcements, events or other popular Tweets appearing at the top of your profile.

6. Moments are a feature that let you group together Tweets from a range of users and showcase highlights from an event or on a topic.
a. Here is an example of a moment I made after an event

Twitter for events

Twitter benefits: it’s free, it encourages connections among attendees, allows people who could not attend the event to follow it, and gives you another quantifiable measure of engagement.

If you are attending an event: If you’re at someone else’s event you can “live Tweet” if it is a topic that is relevant to your audience and brand building. Reply to your previous Tweets to make a Thread because:
a. You don’t clog other people’s timelines, and
b. It makes it easy for someone to see everything you’ve said in one place.

How Twitter sits alongside your event timeline

Before the event

  1. Pick a hashtag.
    a. Short but memorable is the goal!
    b. Search it first to make sure it isn’t being used for something else already
    c. Does this event needs its own hashtag, or is it part of a series of events that will all share a hashtag?
    d. Does the year need to be included? (usually only for annual events, and I’m not sure they’re always necessary there)

  2. Include the hashtag along with event promotion (e.g. emails, posters etc.). a. Get Twitter logos here.

  3. Find out if any of the panelists, speakers etc. use Twitter

  4. your event on Twitter and introduce the hashtag, tag any Twitter using speakers – it seems speakers often appreciate this promotion and will help share it on, but now in a way connected to you with your hashtag

During the event

  1. If possible have someone monitoring Twitter through a dashboard like Hootsuite. Good streams include: your hashtag, your mentions and your new followers

  2. Retweet great Tweets, like other Tweets and follow people engaging with you if appropriate

  3. If you can have someone taking photos to Tweet live, even better!

  4. Have all your commentary in a Thread.

After the event

  1. Keep an eye on your hashtag, some people will only make a comment at the end of the event.

  2. Collect any useful comments or advice that arose, this can be a useful way to get feedback on your event.

  3. Consider creating Moments with yours and others Tweets. This helps create a summary of the event.

Other things to consider

  1. Make a Twitter list of researchers, staff, collaborators or something, so people can follow them.

  2. If one person is going to take on the Tweeting, some accounts include a “Tweets by @soandso” in their bio.
    a. You can use Hootsuite to schedule Tweets to go out at a later time.
    b. Having a consistent presence helps people decide whether you are worth following.
    c. If you write and schedule 2 – 4 Tweets for a week, you can set and semi-forget for a while. It is still worth monitoring a little in case anyone is asking you questions/being inappropriate/doing something that otherwise needs attention.

  3. Have you looked at Twitter analytics?

So, will you be using Twitter alongside your next event? Come continue the conversation on Twitter and judge my social media game. And get in touch if you would like a social media audit or consult.

Written on May 23, 2018

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