Live tweeting is a great way to stimulate interest in an event as it’s happening, and it also offers multiple, interlocking opportunities for branding and exposure. Let’s have a look at some basic principles for live tweeting several different kinds of events: a business conference, an art show and a music festival.
Live Tweeting a Business Conference
You’re sitting in the house during major presentations or plenary sessions. The speaker is delivering a talk, or perhaps moderating a panel discussion. If you’re live tweeting, then your goal is to deliver brief, summary statements that capture key elements of the speaker’s message, mood or intention. Your goal, is to deliver some fascinating tidbits that will make readers wish they were there.
But that’s only half of it. You also need to make sure you brand that speaker and the event using a combination of hashtags and twitter handles that will be recognizable to other event attendees as well as people not in attendance who may be interested in both. These days, many forward thinking conference organizers and presenters will provide both twitter handles and hashtags before and even during a presentation. But if you want to do some serious PR damage, prep beforehand and come up with a list of event and presenter hashtags as well as handles so you don’t have to waste any time looking them up and miss key moments. Wherever possible, include pictures!
Live Tweeting an Art Show
When you report from any art exhibit, you have the opportunity to share some personal insights, albeit brief, about work that impacts you, and the artists who create it, along with some compelling images. If you’re lucky enough to be present for an artist’s or curator’s talk, as I was this past spring during FLUX Art Fair, then you’ll be able to channel their thoughts directly to a wider audience.
Keep in mind that when reporting from an art exhibit, just as in the conference presentations I mentioned above, your best guide is going to be the ideas that excite you the most. Social media, and platforms like Twitter in particular, run on the strength of personal connections. If your messaging is generic or salesy, it’s likely to be overlooked in the flood of posts flowing through the average viewer’s page. But first hand observations, jokes, or messages that carry a measure of emotional authenticity will more likely connect you and the subjects of your tweets to your readers.
And BTW. Instagram. This is a great platform to consider for anything visual. Starting with posting a photo, Instagram also works with hashtags, and these days, most smart branders use the same hashtags across the board in all platforms.
Live Tweeting a Music Festival or Gig
The same rules apply to a musical event as they do to any arts event. Connect with your followers, and try to expand the audience for your tweets by using recognizable handles and hashtags. If you do a good job at conveying the awesomeness of the experience in real time, you may even draw in more attendees!
If you have been hired directly by the event organizer as their official voice, then chances are you are functioning via the back end of their platforms as a mouthpiece for their messaging. However, if you are freelancing, for any live tweeting that you do, by sharing your own impressions, you stand to gain followers and forge some nice connections with the folks about whom you are tweeting.
Whether you are tweeting for a fee or for fun (hopefully both!), know that any time you drive online traffic to specific people or events, you are also generating good will. Think about that as you create your messages, and make sure to follow up appropriately (i.e. not spammy) with folks afterwards. You’d be surprised at what kind of new relationships you may begin to develop.