On Twitter, you only have 140 characters to make a lasting impression. How does "live tweeting" help you build & maintain a loyal following?
Social media is a powerful tool for businesses and individuals. Deciding which social media platforms we use and how we use them reflects how we want to portray ourselves online.
When it comes to Twitter, we only have 140 characters to make a first impression. Users will judge your credibility and determine if they want to follow in a matter of seconds of viewing your Twitter profile.
Some people use Twitter for business purposes to generate leads, while others use it for personal use to share colorful commentary and personal photos and videos. The tweets coming from a CEO of a company will be different from tweets coming from a freelance photographer, a celebrity or a student. But anyone can get a feel of real-time journalism when using Twitter to share news and opinions about local, national and international events.
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By live tweeting an event, you can gain a large amount of quality Twitter connections in a short amount of time. Live tweeting gets people talking, literally. Engagement with other event attendees, or with those who wish they had gone, is likely. What you quickly become is another news outlet for the event. And all it takes is using the right set of tips and a fully-charged phone.
Image via Twitter
Before the Event
New Twitter profiles require some prepping before you are ready to live-tweet. Some of the most credible tweeters possess strong profiles that display daily engagement and posts involving content, visuals or links.
Questionable profiles that deter your audience have red flags like
- the use of improper grammar and punctuation
- following a large number of users while only being followed by a few
- not replacing the default egg account image or using a cartoon or avatar as an account image.
When you and your profile are ready to live-tweet, find an event that will attract your audience’s interest. For common courtesy, announce to your existing followers when and where you will be live tweeting and about which event. Announcing your intention to live-tweet will create buzz for smaller events, and at the same time, show your involvement in the community.
Predetermine the hashtag for the event or create your own. Hashtags should be specific, short and relative. Adding the hashtag to every tweet will enable you to contribute to social discussion and have your Twitter handle seen frequently by common users.
Regardless of the hashtag, every tweet can be seen by hundreds of thousands of users in seconds so it is also important to decide the tone of your posts. Do you want to sound serious and professional? Or do you want to take a humorous approach about the event?
Lastly, don’t’ forget to charge your batteries and bring backup devices. Prebuilding tweet templates or having graphics ready to deploy is useful to ensure you’ll be one of the firsts to post about anticipated outcomes.
Image via Twitter
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During the Event
Useful content and appropriate hashtags will eventually catch someone’s attention. Other event participants, or people who wish they could have attended the event, are checking their feeds to learn what’s happening. Soon enough, you will have users responding, retweeting or favoriting your tweets.
Engaging is all part of the social movement. Give credit where credit is due. Share your news, observations and questions with imagery, links and mentions. Retweeting another user’s post will provide a different perspective on your stream and show others that you are listening. However, refrain from replying to negative feedback. Participating with friendly connections and positive conversations will attract more and will maintain your professionalism.
Avoid angry tweeters by limiting the number of posts during the event. You shouldn’t crowd the feeds of your followers or hashtag users. National events don’t need a play-by-play if everyone is able to watch it live, instead add to the experience. If it is not a public event, properly time your posts for the highest possible impact and try to post quickly as events unfold. In a way, you slowly become a news source for the event.
You are technically first on the scene and have several advantages over those who are not in attendance. Go behind the scenes if you can to show an alternate view. Consider your senses and tweet about your surroundings including the event’s features, people, food and more. The more access to the event you have and are able to cover, the more users will follow you as a trusted source.
A fundamental rule of using Twitter is to break up your content with visuals. Share pictures and videos that you took for a more personable approach. Capturing moments that other media outlets were not able to catch can help your post go viral. The most celebrated thing that can come from live tweeting is when your post is retweeted from an established credible source or event personnel. This instant exposure can draw in a surplus of organic traffic and boost your title.
Image via Twitter
After the Event
Like all things, live tweeting takes practice. You must learn how to curate points from an event, add rich media, attribute the appropriate source, cited link or trending hashtag and then share it with everyone as quickly as possible. Some events won’t be as active as others so expect diverse reactions. With that in mind, don’t let little interaction disappoint you.
Never stop live tweeting an event while the event is still happening. All the hype and posts you have created that was cut short will be considered useless to your title and those who were following.
Critique your work after the event to see which posts had greater impact and tactics to use again the future. Be open to live-tweet other events to maintain your online presence and keep your audience entertained. The information gathered from a live-tweet session is great for a blog post later. When done with utmost care, energy and attention, live tweeting is a great way to boost activity on your page.
In closing, remember all tweets should possess value. Market yourself or your brand effectively, and you will have people coming back to your Twitter for more.