Reporting live events on social media is becoming more popular, especially when the tools we use to create and read content are in the palm of our hand. It might be intimidating to try and fit an entire event into snippets of 140 characters, so here’s a guide on how to strengthen your live-tweeting skills.
Before the Event:
Promotion: It’s important to promote the event you’re going to be covering and the fact that you’ll be live tweeting it. By letting your followers know what you’re covering, you’ll pique their interest and let them know you’ll be temporarily taking over their timeline.
Schedule: Scheduling posts in advance is going to be a real time saver, especially if you’re covering a large event. Writing a few tweets and drafting them will be very convenient, especially because you can post them while you focus on other important things.
#Hashtag: Creating a hashtag is essential for live-tweeting. It can be a simple acronym, an abbreviation of the event, etc. Afterwards, it’ll be easy for you to track all the posts you created and tweets from other people using your hashtag.
Following: Before you arrive, find out who will be at the event. Follow speakers, the host, notable attendees, journalists, etc. & send them a shoutout! Knowing their Twitter handle beforehand will prevent you from scrambling during the event. Also, noteworthy people will most likely have a lot of followers. If they engage with you, your exposure will skyrocket.
Seating: Get there early and try to sit as close to the front as possible. A simple tip, but definitely worth noting. You don’t want to mishear quotes or even worse, not hear anything. Sitting close to the action will also make for better pictures.
Practice Makes Perfect: You only have so many characters per tweet, and quickly paraphrasing big ideas can be tough. To prepare, watch your favorite TV show or movie and practice live tweeting it. It may be difficult at first, but as you get used to it, it’ll take some of the pressure off. Remember, no pausing!
During the Event:
Media: Photos and videos are the most consumed content on social media platforms, and that’s exactly why you should use them. Your hands might get shaky going from quickly typing to holding your phone camera steady, but your engagement count will thank you.
Be Prepared: The trick to being a good live-tweeter is being quick on your feet and prepared for any surprises. Whether a speaker says something controversial or the power goes out, a good live-tweeter never misses a beat. Remember to charge your device!
Engage: Don’t be afraid to engage with your followers, attendees, and other live tweeters during the event. If you just focus on creating posts, you may miss the chance to directly interact with your followers.
Quotes: If you quote someone, it’s essential that you copy exactly what they say. Only make a quote if you’re confident it’s accurate. If you have any doubts, paraphrase it and move on. Misquoting someone can land you and the speaker in hot water.
Devil’s in the Details: When you’re focused on covering every detail of the event, it can be easy to overwhelm your followers with a large amount of tweets. The key is to not retell every detail, but to be present and consistent. Because every event is different, there’s no magic number to stick to. However, know your audience and tweet accordingly.
After the Event:
Interact: The event may be over, but the work isn’t! Send thank you’s to speakers, host, etc. and for the next couple days, invite your followers to check out some of the highlights. Keep using the hashtag to keep all of your tweets organized.
Blog: As soon as you can, write about the event. Live tweeting is great in the moment, but it can lose it’s luster even hours after the event. That’s where your blog post comes in. You have all the information you need in chronological order to recap the event. Once your blog is posted, you can promote it back on Twitter. Don’t forget to use the hashtag and tag the attendees to get some high profile eyes on your blog.
As you jump into the world of live-tweeting, remember to have fun and take advantage of the opportunities it provides. Reporting on events and interacting with your followers and fellow attendees can lead to introductions and potential networking opportunities. Happy tweeting!