Quick tips for live tweeting

Live tweeting has become extremely popular in recent years. From sporting events to conferences and summits, we have seen a rise in live updates and minute-to-minute tweets. Nonprofits can benefit from live tweeting and can use the different events to engage with their audience.

Live tweeting is definitely a realm that is intimidating if you don’t know where to start. Let’s simplify it.

Types of Live Tweets

  • Commentary live tweeting: used to engage with your followers on Twitter for a continuous period of with a sequence of focused tweets.
  • Report live tweeting: giving your followers in depth news or highlights of the event in question.
  • Verbatim Live Tweeting: using the the same words as were used in the event

Why Live Tweet

  • Helps in tracking a long-term story
  • Increases the popularity and reach of your Twitter feed
  • Promotes community engagement
  • Saves time writing for various formats
  • Easy way to build up social media content
  • Helps staff communicate

Before the Event

  • Create your hashtag in advance: Instead of frantically attempting to come up with the perfect hashtag on the day, plan them ahead of time. This way you can research trends, and come up with something that will catch on quickly. Remember your hashtag is necessary because it ties your event together and centralizes the conversation.
  • Plan, plan, Plan: Make a list of presenter names, titles, Twitter handles and anything else important – keep this in a place where you can copy and paste with ease. This will make it easier to keep up with tweets during the conference.
  • Gadgets: Use a laptop or iPad with Tweetdeck or Hootsuite. Using a smart phone can be tempting because of its portability, but they don’t have the customization that a larger computer has. It is also can be difficult to type fast enough with your phone to keep up with the event.
  • Helpful Tools: Using a tool like Tweetdeck or Hootsuite will help with monitoring hashtags, shortening lengthy web links and scheduling tweets ahead of time. Hootsuite is a good second choice for monitoring especially since you should have a backup site ready in case one site is uncooperative.

During the Event

  • Get Help: Enlist a partner — have another person with you to write down anything you may miss. They can also make sure quotes are correct and can take pictures while you’re tweeting information. If a partner is going to take notes, and you have the assets, consider enlisting a third person to take pictures at the presentation.
  • Don’t Overdo It: Don’t tweet constantly during the presentation – only pick out the most insightful items that each person presents. Give your audience enough time to digest each update instead of flooding them with too many tweets. Remember that you are not transcribing the event, just capturing useful points.
  • Content: Your updates should be a combination of quotes, comments and insights. Don’t forget to also add pictures.
  • Context: Try to make sure your tweets make sense out of context, i.e. they should stand on their own as much as possible.

After the Event

  • Track and thank: Track your tweets and evaluate their quality and reach. You will learn a lot for your next event. Thank your audience for engaging with you.

Livetweeting Tools

  • Chirpstory: A great tool to take interesting and insightful tweets that you or someone else may have written, and structure them in a storytelling format. This helps with the redundancy that can occur when too many people are tweeting at a certain event.
  • Twitpic: Use Twitpic to add pictures to your tweets and make your audience feel closer to the action.
  • CoveritLive: A live publishing tool favoured by many media houses.
  • Tweetreach: Find out how far your tweets travel
  • Paratweet: Another Twitter client designed for live experiences
  • Live Tweet App: This allows you to search, moderate and display your tweets on a large screen.