You’ve made it: your company booth is in place, your colleagues are in meetings, and you’re heading off to the keynote session at an industry event that you’ve been looking forward to all year. The speaker is a big name and the topic sounds promising. Time to sit back, relax… and get your phone out. Unlike rush hour traffic or your kid’s dance recital, presentations are an opportunity where you should be encouraged to message on Twitter for a while.
Perhaps once considered rude, tweeting on your phone during an event is now viewed as beneficial to all when used to broadcast innovative lessons or best practices. Live tweeting your experience, whether by your company’s handle or a personal account, is the perfect opportunity to engage with peers, companies, speakers, sales prospects, and the industry at large.
By all means: please pay attention to the speaker, take notes for your own interest, and snap a photo of the slide to remember some figures. However, it’s just as important to approach these forums with live tweeting in mind.
Whether you’re new to live tweeting or are looking for better results, consider these points:
Facts & Figures
When faced with live tweeting, the first reaction is usually: “what should I even tweet about?”
The rush of information during a presentation can be overwhelming. This can be further compounded if the speaker tends to ramble into personal stories or doesn’t use slides to outline his or her ideas.
Try to listen for opening or concluding sentences. Short phrases also lend themselves well to being directly quoted. Stated facts (even if you paraphrase) or listed figures are also helpful “nuggets” of information that are best suited for tweets.
Include an Image
Now that you’ve found a piece of content, it’s often beneficial to include an image. Twitter recently updated its platform to allow users to include images without eating away at those precious 140 characters, so you have no excuse now! Ideally, every tweet should include a visual representation of the topic being discussed. This could be material on a slide, a view of the expo hall, a logo of the presenting company, or a public domain image that relates.
Just be careful – sometimes the content on the slides is marked proprietary or there are notices about sharing visual content. No matter how tempting, you must respect the presenter’s wishes and remain within the bounds of your rights to share media. This generally isn’t an issue if you’re at an educational session related to a trade show or industry event, as the content on those slides has usually been preapproved for public consumption (it’s beneficial for companies to get their thought leadership out to their target audience, after all).
Use Handles and Hashtags
Finally, your live tweet should always include a handle and/or a hashtag. Include the hashtag of the event (often found in the event’s brochure or session description). The twitter handle of the speaker or the company they represent is also usually available. At the very least, use a hashtag or two relating to the topic or industry about which you’re tweeting.
This step is crucial for increasing engagement as you’re putting your tweet in front of audiences who will be excited to hear the ideas you’re writing about.
By tweeting a small piece of memorable content, including an image, and tagging some points of connection you can directly reach out to the speaker or demonstrate your own interest in the event and topic being discussed. Live tweeting can lead to extended conversations or you might make connections with a company you didn’t even know was at the event. Event organizers may also notice you and share your content as well.
Live tweeting is valuable as it positions both you and your business as engaged members of your industry. As few as 140 characters can build your reputation, share your thoughts, and make new connections. Seize this opportunity the next time you settle into a presentation. You might even be surprised at how much fun you have along the way.
Caroline Haley authors the column “Caroline’s Cloud” and is Vice President, Outreach & Operations for Milldam Public Relations.