Live Tweeting as a Networking Tool

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Last week on the #TwitterSmarter chat, we spoke about why and how you should live tweet at events. We had a productive conversation and learned how to go about live tweeting at an event, but a new question cropped up: does live tweeting really help you build your network? So we invited digital storyteller, Brittany Reese, to talk about how you can use live tweeting to build your network. Here’s a summary of our chat.

Guest: Brittany Reese
Topic: Live tweeting as a networking tool
Format: Eight questions directed at the guest. Everyone’s welcome to share.

Q1: How does live tweeting help build your network?

Live tweeting introduces you to new people, cultures, and languages. As our guest pointed out, it’s an excellent way to broaden your worldview.

Julie from Nimble added that live tweeting is also an effective way to include your existing audience in whatever you might be doing—whether it’s attending a conference, watching a game, or actively participating in a workshop. It allows your audience to be there with you in spirit.

Q2: What kind of online events should you live tweet at?

That depends on what you’re interested in and what your audience wants to hear about. You could live tweet any kind of event—from webinars and virtual watch parties for your favorite shows, to live chats. The goal is to be more interactive and all of these events achieve that goal.

Maiko also told us how she live tweets her Spaces conversations. It’s a great way to help people follow your discussion in real-time.

Q3: What benefits do brands get by live tweeting online events?

A lot. For starters, since you’ll be sharing to an audience currently online, you’ll get a lot of real-time interaction. You’ll also have the opportunity to showcase your brand and tell your brand story. And importantly, when you’re live tweeting an event, you’re likely posting many small tweets. That’s a lot of little chunks of content, and you can reuse them extensively.

Doug from M10Social shared a range of benefits brands get from live tweeting, such as exposure to other industry events, credibility as a cooperative team player, recognition of your efforts to improve, and potential business growth because you’re offering value through your live tweeting.

Q4: How do you find the right people to engage with while you’re live tweeting?

There are a few different things you can do. Start off by searching for and scrolling through the event’s official hashtag. Then find other attendees who’re also tweeting and start a conversation with them. If you’re at an in-person event, your host may already be telling people to tweet out their experiences—but if they don’t, feel free to remind them. Doing so will encourage more people to live tweet. Once you find fellow attendees, send them a message and say hello.

Madalyn reminded us the most important thing about live tweeting: engaging with others. It’s not enough if you tweet five times in ten minutes and not read others’ tweets at all. If you see something you resonate with, like, retweet, and/or reply. You don’t always have to be the conversation starter—sometimes, all you have to do is keep an existing discussion alive.

Q5: Does limiting who can reply to your tweet impact its reach during a live event?

Indeed it does. Sometimes restricting who can reply to your tweet can be a handy way to avoid unwanted tangents. However, when you’re live tweeting at an event, it limits who can engage with you. The purpose of live tweeting at events is to meet new people and grow your network, and if you limit who can reply to you, you’ll also be limiting the conversations you’ll likely have.

Alyx made a good point about limiting who can reply to tweets. Remember that even if you don’t allow people to reply directly, they still can retweet or quote retweet you as a way of replying to your message.

That said, for whatever reason, if you do limit who can directly reply to you, then pay special attention to those who go the extra step to quote retweet you—they’re the people who really want to network with you. It might be worth engaging with them.

Limiting who can reply to your tweet is a relatively new feature on Twitter. You can learn more about it here.

Q6: How do you find the right balance between tweeting and engaging during a live event?

Summarizing events is a good way to balance tweeting and being engaged in a live event. There’s always a lot going on, and it’s important to find out what works best for you. Sometimes you can tweet out every 10-15 minutes and still be actively engaged at the event. Sometimes you can’t do that—that’s when you can do one or two tweets, summarizing what you learned at the event.

There’s no one right way to live tweet at events—how you tweet and how often depends entirely on you and the event you’re attending. Remember, the goal is to network with others—it’s not a competition about who tweets the most.

Jim told us about the way live tweets at events. His priority is to engage and learn from the event. So he takes notes and photos during the session and posts them on Twitter during the break. That’s a great way to make sure you’re giving your full attention to both activities. Retweeting others’ tweets is also a good way to be part of the conversation, even if you don’t necessarily post a new tweet.

Q7: When live tweeting at an event, should you address other attendees or those who’re not attending?

Addressing both is ideal. However, while you’re live tweeting about a specific thing at the event, focus more on addressing other attendees. They’re already tuned into the hashtag and the event, so they’ll resonate more with what you’re saying. It’s also easier to engage with them and encourage them to connect with you—whether it’s signing up for your newsletter, connecting on LinkedIn, or just starting a conversation on the DMs. This way, you can always follow up with them and broaden your network.

Our guest also pointed out that when you address other attendees, they’re always going to revisit and engage with your tweet, which will keep your tweet evergreen and relevant even for the people in your audience who weren’t at the event.

Q8: Share some tips for live tweeting during an online event.

Keep it short and snappy. It can be tiring to read text-heavy tweets during an event. If you find yourself overwhelmed by information, slow down and try to combine similar ideas into one tweet or a thread—focus on quality, not quantity. And most importantly, use the drafts feature. If you’re using the mobile app, you can save tweets as drafts. Have some pre-written content in your drafts that you can pull out whenever you need them.

Our friends from VirtuDesk also shared some great tips including, researching extensively beforehand and planning your tweets, browsing through the agenda and preparing a tweet schedule, and highlighting key takeaways from an event/session.

Well folks, that’s all from me this week. Thanks a lot for reading through and for more great insights from our chat with Brittany, have a look at this Twitter Moment that Joana put together for us. If you think this summary is pretty good, you’ll love the real-time chat. Join us every Thursday at 1pm ET on #TwitterSmarter. We also hang out on Twitter Spaces at 5pm ET to continue our chat. Catch you there!

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About me, Narmadhaa

I write all the things—marketing stuff to pay the bills; haiku and short stories so I feel wholesome. A social media enthusiast, I hang out with the #TwitterSmarter chat crew, and am always happy to take on writing gigs.

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