If you’re not an avid Twitter user, you may scratch your head, wondering why people bother with a platform that only allows 140 characters. The truth is, though, Twitter is one of the most useful social media tools for business I know of.
I too used to scratch my head and wonder why all the fuss about Twitter. Then one day, I signed up for an online conference and the benefits soon became clear. I jumped on and started tweeting away about the event, and before I knew it, others were tweeting back and retweeting my posts. I started following other tweeters and they followed me. We’ve since connected at other events and over other conversations.
Tweeting during an event is the ultimate ice breaker. It enables you to network with other businesses in a way that you probably wouldn’t if your networking was confined to catching up with others over tea and cake during the 15 minute breaks.
Here’s the magic
Have you ever been to a conference and been tempted to whisper to the person sitting next to you or write funny commentary on your notepad during a presentation? Although it’s the height of rudeness to talk during someone else’s presentation, there are times when it’s difficult not to comment to the person sitting next to you, particularly if the presentation is dull, or you disagree with aspects of what the presenter is saying.
The thing is, if it’s a fantastic presentation, you’re less tempted to comment, unless you’re on Twitter that is.
So, here’s why I think tweeting during an event is the ultimate ice breaker.
1. It’s instant feedback for presenters.
I’m not saying people don’t tweet opinions about a presentation. They definitely do, but a lot of people tweet great one-liners and share their positive commentary as well. Later on, presenters can do a search on their talk and get instant feedback and testimonials on their presentation, rather than relying on the 5 % of people who will bother to fill out the evaluation form at the end of the conference.
2. It’s helpful for others listening in
Sometimes it’s hard to keep up with the commentary and the presenter. Tweeting helps you to catch points you might have missed and if you’re fast with your fingers, your tweets may well be retweeted a bunch of times too, which increases your reach on Twitter but also gives you the opportunity to connect with someone new.
3. It’s a great note taking tool
Instead of waiting for the transcript, you can simply do a search on the event hashtag (which looks like this #NAMEOFEVENT) and you’ll be able to screen capture or print out all the highlights from the event.
4. It’s a fantastic networking tool.
If you’re at a live event, tweeting and connecting with other tweeters during the event, helps you break the ice so that you can really make the most of the breaks. If you’ve already been sharing highlights and comments with others during the event, you can find each other during the breaks for a laugh and to continue the conversation in the flesh, put faces to Twitter profiles.
So, what’s the etiquette for Tweeting during an event?
The most important thing to keep in mind is that your event tweets should stay on-topic and not distract from the event.
If you’re tweeting using an event hashtag, you don’t want to be having a conversation with just one person from that twitter stream, organizing a date and giving them your number. That’s just rude.
Make sure whatever you tweet adds value to the conversation.
Also, be sure to thank people who retweeted your posts and who interacted with your Twitter profile.
Lastly, be sure to warn your followers to expect a large amount of Twitter traffic from you during each session. That way they’ll see you’re not over-tweeting on a regular basis.
Have you ever tweeted during an event? If not, give it a try next time you listen in to an online (or real life) conference. I’d love to know how it works for you.