Here are some ways to make the most of your presence at your next event using twitter:
1) Know the event #
Almost every event has at least one # associated with it. For example, when LivePerson hosts their annual Aspire events, the event # is #LPAspire. A quick visit to any event’s website should immediately showcase the assigned #. Once you know the #, you can tap in to conversations happening about the event - before, during and after. Don’t know what a # is? Here’s a quick tutorial: Twitter Help Center | Using hashtags on Twitter
More and more frequently I am seeing multiple hashtags in use for an event. The overall event # and then #s that are specific to tracks or specific presentations. This helps attendees have even more specific online conversations with each other which can lead to great opportunities.
Advanced tip: if you are a hootsuite user, create a column specific to the event’s # for easy reference. If you are not a hootsuite user, suggest you check it out!
2) Follow fellow attendees
Once you have tapped into the event #, you can see who else is talking about the event. This is a great opportunity to follow people in your industry who have similar goals/interests... especially potential partners or customers.
Advanced tip: Referencing the event’s agenda, search twitter for user accounts for all the event speakers. Follow them before the event starts to be ahead of the game.
Don’t be a wallflower. The trick to twitter success is engagement-- and by actively participating in the event conversation you can raise your own social brand, attract new followers, find networking opportunities and help expand the reach of your (or your company's) social presence. But don’t forget - every tweet you send in reference to the event needs to include the event #!
Here are some suggestions:
- Re-tweet something interesting someone else tweets-- especially if that person is highly visible or a key-influencer at the event. Or, quote something interesting that was said in a presentation (and attribute it to the @AccountName of the speaker).
- Frequently speakers are using twitter during their presentations to invite Q&A or to keep the conversation going after the event. If the speaker has a twitter account send them a tweet asking a pointed question or thanking them for their time.
- Be a thought leader - if you have information to share with the twitter community in reference to the event, feel free to share it. For example, if you are at an eCommerce event, you can share an interesting customer success story or other collateral that the audience might find both relevant and useful.
- Reference your brand at relevant points in the conversation and invite users to follow the brand. But don't overdo it - if you are crossing the line into annoying self-promotion people will keep their distance. Keep those references to a minimum and choose when you make your brand mention wisely.
- Take it offline - Put the social in social media and reach out to people via twitter you think are worthy of a face to face. When you can see who else is participating in the event’s #, perhaps you’ll see an opportunity to connect with someone IRL (in real life). Send them a tweet inviting them for a coffee or martini for further conversation. If your company has a larger presence at the event, this is also a great way to encourage individuals to visit the booth or attend a session you're hosting.
- Have happy feedback? Tweet it to the organizers, speakers, etc. People love to see positive mentions on twitter. Be judicious about tweeting negative feedback - it can come back to bite you, though it can be very effective in getting a resolution, especially if you have a strong following.
- After the event, follow up with interesting people you met via twitter - “Thanks for taking the time to meet with me about your business goals @AccountName. Look forward to further conversations.” Or people you didn’t get a chance to meet, “Sorry @AccountName we didn’t get a chance to collect during #eventname. When is a good time to reschedule a call?” Good manners go a long way on social.
I recently attended a content marketing event and by following these steps gained 150 new, relevant followers to my twitter account and made several face-to-face connections. These connections will continue to pay off well beyond the event itself.
If you need help understanding these tips or need to have further conversation about an event you are attending this year, please feel free to schedule a conversation with me. Have you had a positive experience using twitter at an event?