After my first attempt at live-tweeting during an event last week, I realize I have not completely mastered the practice. I think it is a really beneficial practice for professionals, celebrities and top TV personalities, but not so much for the average college student. Not only did I find myself having a hard time multitasking listening to the speaker and trying to tweet relevant information at the same time, I also did not connect with any new tweeters. Perhaps my problem was that I chose to live-tweet during a relatively small event (an Ohio State PRSSA meeting) in which the tweeting audience was mostly fellow PR students. After my experience, I think that most successful live-tweeters choose large conferences or other popular events as their topic of choice. This way, there is a greater chance that there will be a greater number of fellow tweeters at the same event who will be more likely to respond to your live-tweeting.
Although, the most successful live tweeters tend to be celebrities, their success stories with the art prove that it can be a successful social media practice. In an article titled “Live-tweeting Best Practices,” celebrity live-tweeting success stories are analyzed. Popular personalities, such as Kyra Sedgwick, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Trey Wingo and Lea Michele, have more than doubled and tripled their number of followers and mentions through tweeting at grand events, such as The Emmy’s, NFL Football Sundays and season finales of their respective TV shows. While being a celebrity helps, I believe than anyone can have success through live-tweeting by giving your audience access to current and relevant information that they, otherwise, would not know.
So what do you need to know in order to live-tweet an event? Here’s a 12-step guide to the art of live-tweeting: choose a hashtag, pay attention, know your audience, use attribution, use rich media (i.e. multimedia), link back to earlier tweets, follow others during the event, keep the conversation going, bring in diverse viewpoints, follow back other live-tweeters, reconnect with you new followers and take note of the most interesting conversations.
“Twitter co-founder Evan Williams live-tweets on stage at the TED conference.”
I know this seems like a lot to take in; my mind is spinning right now. But the potential positive outcomes of live-tweeting outweigh all of the preparation and work involved. Especially in the PR world, live-tweeting could potentially boost your credibility as a professional. So the next time you decide to live-tweet during an event, remember the 12 steps to follow and try not to become too overwhelmed. Oh, and remember to bring your laptop; it’s much easier to live-tweet from a computer rather than a smartphone.
Happy live-tweeting! I’m looking forward to joining in on your conversations.