Tweeting from an event: The pros and cons

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As we wrote in last week’s blog, social media has become an imperative marketing tool for businesses of all shapes and sizes, and none more so than when organising an event. But what about using social media at an actual event? What are the pros and cons of getting online and fervently tweeting and posting comments as an event is taking place?

Build a sense of excitement

One of the greatest components of social media is its immediacy and the fact it is carried out in real-time. Unlike the six o’clock news or tomorrow’s papers where we have to wait for the news to be delivered, social media enables news and events to be published to a global audience as they happen.

At an event, this immediacy can help build a sense of excitement and make you wish you were there, which the savviest of event organisers are capitalising on.

One example of event organisers generating excitement through tweeting live can be found at a TEDx event. According to marketing and social media expert Rachel Foster, many of her friends, clients and tweeps were interested in what was taking place at the event so she told them she would send live tweets for the TEDx event.

“Thanks to all the live tweets, the TEDx conference jumped to the #1 trending topic in Canada the day of the event,” wrote Rachel Foster.

A lapse in concentration

Despite posting live content augmenting excitement and interest in the event, it can have its downsides. Naturally, if you’re fervently typing away on a device desperately sending out engaging posts, you are not concentrating fully on the content being presenting to you.

By encouraging event attendees to make live comments from an event, it will naturally hamper their immersion in the message of the event.

If a company is ensuring it has a team present at an event or conference to help exhibit and promote products or services, the general rules of effective communication are naturally called upon, including eye-contact with attendees and maintaining an approachable manner. Twitting live could significantly hamper this approachability.

As Mark Bowden, President of TruthPlace Inc, warns:

“If typing into a smartphone causes you to hunch over and frown, narrow your eyes or furrow your brow as you quickly input data into a tiny keyboard, this can look uninviting to people around you. A universal signal that you’re approachable and friendly is openness in the body, eye contact and the eyebrows lifted slightly when you catch someone’s eyes. This is almost impossible if you’re hunched over a handheld device.”

Use Tweetboard

Instead of merely tweeting amorphous live tweets from an event, which are here one minute and gone the next, the Social Media Examiner recommends adding a Twitter widget to your website to leverage your live tweeting skills.

Using the likes of Tweetboard will automatically create threadable discussions of all your tweets, meaning a 140-character post is turned into an easy-to-follow discussion forum about a live event.

Drive targeted traffic to your website

Another key advantage of tweeting from a live event is that it can be a great way to, not only get new followers, but drive targeted traffic to your website.

Though as the Social Media Examiner notes, in order to make the most of the live tweeting, a company’s Twitter profile should resonate with the visitors of the event who are likely to be tracking with the event hashtag.

“For example, if the event is about social media marketing, mention this in your bio and include the event hashtag,” writes the Social Media Examiner.

Another major plus point of tweeting live from events is that social media platforms such as Twitter can be used to involve people who are not physically present at the event with the event. One effective way to do this would be to have a Q&A session on Twitter.

Encourage your followers to ask questions on Twitter related to the event that can then be passed on to the presenter during a live Q&A session, the perfect way to generate interest, engagement and excitement and involve people who may not have been able to attend the event.

There are many reasons why making the time and effort to post on social media live from an event makes shrewd business sense. However, make sure you don’t fall into the pitfalls of ensuring the dedicated tweet team miss out on key elements of an event by having their heads burrowed in their devices!

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If you are hosting an event in West Yorkshire and are looking for a modern, well-facilitated and conveniently-located venue to host the event, get in touch with Weetwood Hall. We provide first-rate contemporary event and meeting room facilities in Headingley on the outskirts of Leeds. 

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