The Dos and Don’ts of Twitter and Conferences

When it comes to events and conferences, Twitter is one of the best social media tools out there. The way it is designed, with short updates, hashtags and the ability to interact with people who aren’t already in your following, is idea for the conference environment.

Twitter can be used in the lead-up to your event to promote it, but it can also be used during the conference itself as a way for attendees, speakers and followers around the world to interact. It is also a great way to build community, encourage networking and much more.

Here are a few things to keep in mind for what to do and what not to do when using Twitter before, during and after your conference.

  • Do use hashtags correctly. They are a powerful tool and they can make Twitter more effective, but only if used strategically. A hashtag will let you monitor what other people are tweeting about your conference and allows your attendees to follow the conversation. Typically a conference hashtag will be the name of the conference or an abbreviation, as well as the year and sometimes also the location.
  • Don’t make your hashtag too long. People only have 140 characters in every tweet, so they won’t want to use a hashtag that takes up a big chunk of those already.
  • Do make sure to check online to see if any other event has already used your hashtag before. Also, check whether or not the abbreviation already has a “dirty” meaning. For example, if you are hosting the Manchester International Literature Festival, you might want to think twice about using the hashtag #MILF. (It’s a good thing that the real event is simply called the Manchester Literature Festival.)
  • Don’t wait until the conference at Carden Park begins to start using the hashtag online. Use it for several weeks beforehand, so that it will start to build up attention online.
  • Do print the conference hashtag on every piece of advertising material, including business cards, your website, brochures, posters and tickets.
  • Don’t be afraid to repeat your tweets. All of your followers aren’t going to read all of your messages, so you can send out the same messaged worded differently so that it can be seen by the people who didn’t catch it last time.
  • Do re-tweet and share content from the blogs and websites of the speakers who will be featured at your conference. This will get your followers interested in what they have to say and excited about seeing them at your event.
  • Don’t spam your follower’s feed with too many tweets at once. Consider using a service like Buffer or Hootsuite that allows you to set up a “queue” of tweets that will be sent out at regular intervals throughout the day.
  • Do retweet news stories that are relevant to the conference, such as stories about the speakers, sponsors and the host city.
  • Don’t be shy – interact with people! One of the best things about Twitter is the ability to interact with users and build rapport. Reach out to your customers and start conversations with them. You could probably do that on your virtual conference platform as well, especially if you use one where you can create exclusive breakout rooms for the attendees to discuss their views on the subject of the conference in. However, as the host, it might benefit you to start engaging with them from the very first step to establish some credibility.
  • Do share photos and short videos from your event on your Twitter stream. These tweets are more likely to get noticed and shared.
  • Don’t forget about the people who were not able to attend the event, but may be following along at home via Twitter. Encourage your speakers to share their slides and their insights through their Twitter accounts and then retweet them. This way, the people who are following along at home can get some of the insights that are being shared at the conference. They might be so intrigued and inspired that they decide to book a ticket for the conference next year.
  • Do use the Twitter account of the conference to broadcast important information regarding the conference. For example, this might include changes to the schedule, an announcement of a special guest speaker or the details of a networking event. Encourage your followers to retweet the information so that it will be seen by as many people as possible.

Last but not least – consider setting up a large live video screen at the conference which will show the hashtag in real time, so that everyone can see and follow along with the conversation. This is a great way to use the power of Twitter at your event at a Cheshire conference venue.

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