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I love Twitter and I love Tweeting from conferences. I even “live” Tweet my own presentations. But there’s a difference between sharing meaningless blubber and sharing interesting, meaningful and unique content. Doing the latter can be very engaging and rewarding for the Tweeter and his or her followers.
Here are my best practices when Tweeting from conferences.
Tweeting from conferences: Use the correct hashtag
Many conferences now do a good job publishing the conference-specific hashtag. Make sure to use it with your posts so others at the conference can see what you are sharing. Make sure to monitor the hashtag to see what others at the event are saying. If you have a thought on somebody else’s post, feel free to reply to them. I’ve made great and meaningful connections this way and am still connected to people today I met years ago.
Bonus tip: If you quote a presenter, make sure to tag him or her with their Twitter handle.
For presenters: Make sure your Twitter handle is on every slide so audience members can accurately quote you.
Tweeting from conferences: Unique posts
Publish unique thoughts or observations.
Many people Tweeting from conferences do play-by-play Tweeting. Some of this is fine and there might be a place for you to do this. But do we really need 100+ (or even dozen) people doing this. It seems repetitive to me.
I once attended a conference with a CEO friend of mine and we knew the audience was unlikely to Tweet much. One of us decided to do the play by play and the other was doing commentary. It worked very well. Hardly anyone from the conference was following our Tweets, though, but a number of our combined 6,000 followers were. Some Retweeted what we said.
That brings me to the next point. Sometimes Tweeting from a conference isn’t about connecting with people at the conference, though it can be. But it can also be about sharing what you learn and hear with your existing social network.
Tweeting from conferences: Don’t retweet too much
Retweeting other conference goers’ Tweets too much can unnecessarily clog up people’s streams. Let’s say a lot of people are Tweeting from the conference using the conference’s hashtag. Every Retweet from that hashtag will show up again.
When multiple people Retweet, we can end up with a lot of repetition.
With that being said, there could be valid and useful reasons to retweet something. An example would be if you believe your own personal network would enjoy seeing the update. If you are worried about the hashtag stream getting clogged, one option would be to remove the hashtag for your Retweet.
Tweeting from conferences: Follow people to stay in touch
Remember that you are probably not already following everyone who is Tweeting from a conference. Make sure to follow the people that inspired or whose message you connected with to stay in touch virtually even after the conference is over and its hashtag has gone silent.
Tweeting from conferences: The great tool
Tweeting from conferences can help us connect with people we otherwise might not have met, offer knowledge and information to our networks and can be a lot of fun.
I’d encourage it and love to Tweet from conferences. Keep in mind that some people sitting at your table might not know that you are Tweeting about the conference.
For all they know, you are checking email. When you notice this confusion, perhaps try to explain what you are doing.