18 Ways to Live Tweet an Event

Want to peek into the future of technology and entertainment?

Thousands of people got to do just that at SHAPE, the AT&T Tech & Entertainment Expo at Warner Bros. Studios.

I was one of them. And I wanted to share the experience. So I live tweeted some of the sound bites I heard from some of the spellbinding speakers. (Here’s where I say that opinions expressed in this blog are my own.)

Live tweeting – or snapping or gramming, depending on the social platform – is something you can do at every event you attend.

Why not share valuable content with your social networks? It’s an important part of any social media savvy strategy for your professional life.

Here’s a roadmap.

 

BEFORE THE EVENT: Get Ready

Get familiar with the event. Download the event app. Peruse the agenda. Plan how you’ll spend your time.

Learn about the speakers. Read their bios. Check out their Twitter feed or their Instagram presence or their Snap story.

Know the event’s social strategy. See what social networks the event is using and decide which one(s) you’ll use. Check out the event hashtags. Search them and view existing content.

Follow the event’s Twitter handle(s). In this case, @attdeveloper and @attshape had great tweets throughout the event.

Share your plans to attend. Post pre-event content in your social networks. You may discover friends who will also be there and other people you can take the opportunity to meet in person.

 

AT THE EVENT: Tell a Compelling Story

Curate your feed. Once the event begins, think of it like a story. Consider the story you want to tell and tweet accordingly. Don’t tweet content unrelated to the event until after it’s over.

Pick a good seat. Sit as close to the front and the center as possible. You’ll be able to get better photos that way. Chat with people sitting near you to see what they’re enjoying about the event and how they’re experiencing it.

Capture images. Take pictures of on-screen images before the speakers begin. You’ll have plenty of visual assets to create your story. And you might be able to use them in a collage.

Take pictures during the talk. Capture interesting visuals. Get up-close pictures of the panel and individual speakers. Capture speakers in action, making expansive and dramatic gestures.

Use photos that show people in the best light. Delete unflattering pictures, such as when a speaker’s eyes are closed or they’re in an awkward pose.

Edit photos for lighting and color. Crop them so they’ll show up well in your tweet. This takes a little trial and error. I’m still learning.

Vary the number of photos you include with each tweet. You can include 1, 2 or 4 photos per tweet. And don’t forget that video can accompany a tweet too.

Listen for sound bites. The AT&T SHAPE app had an invaluable section in each presentation to take notes. So I captured sound bites that grabbed me. It was easier to copy and paste them into a tweet as well as synthesize a number of messages into a single tweet.

If a friend asked you for the one thing you learned, or for 3 key takeaways from a talk, what would you say? Use that same line of reasoning for your tweets. Listen for the best content from the speakers and share the most valuable information.

Use the hashtag(s). In every tweet or post, use the event hashtag. That makes your content more discoverable, and therefore more likely to be liked and shared.

Mention people. Give credit to speakers and panelists by mentioning them in tweets and posts. Use their Twitter handle. If they don’t have a handle, use their name with a hashtag, e.g., #FionaCarter, so the content is more discoverable.

Mention organizations. If a company is involved in some way, weave their Twitter handle into the tweet. By mentioning @Tribeca, one of my tweets was retweeted by the organization. That generated 5,000 impressions!

Keep tabs on the event’s Twitter handle and the event hashtag(s). Look at what the primary event handle is tweeting. Search on the hashtag during the event to see what people are sharing. That leads to the next strategy . . .

Engage with related content. Like and retweet content that adds to the story you want to tell. Use the “quote tweet” feature to include your perspective on the original tweet. Here’s one from my colleague Brooke Hanson.

However, if the “quote tweet” feature eliminates the image from the original tweet (i.e., if it becomes text only), consider a straight retweet so you get the benefit of the visual appearing. Why? Tweets with images get 150% more retweets.

Build relationships. Promote the content and ideas of speakers you know or want to get to know by tweeting about them or retweeting their content. Do the same for people attending the event who are sharing their experience of it.

Look at the Twitter feeds of people who followed you as a result of the event. Follow back the people whose content you want to be associated with.

 

AFTER THE EVENT: Extend the Experience

Tweet a close to your story. What tweet will put the right finish on your event story? It could be the final tweet from the event’s Twitter handle. Or it could be your biggest takeaway from the event.

Analyze your analytics. Check out your Twitter analytics to see which tweets got the most impressions and the most engagement. Create a hypothesis as to why. This will help you create more engaging tweets, whether it’s the next thing you tweet about or the next event you attend.

Extend the experience. What did you learn at the event? What made the biggest impact on you? What will you change or do differently as a result?

Think about ways you could share those learnings with your social networks. Maybe it’s a final tweet or a maybe it’s a blog post that you share in a tweet.

Apply what you learned. Find at least one thing you’ll do differently as a result of attending the event. Commit to putting it into action right away.

For me, it was sharing how I live tweet an event in this post. This caused me to reflect on the process I use and how it’s evolved over the course of several events.

What I thought was simply an intuitive process actually has several concrete steps. It was a surprise to unpack it and think through each step in the process. And analyzing the analytics from live tweeting will help make it better the next time.

How do you live tweet an event?

To Respond or Not to Respond

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Our incoming messages are exploding.

LinkedIn messages. Facebook and Twitter notifications. Emails. Texts. Snaps.

Just reading and responding to everything could be more than a full-time job.

You need a strategy for when you do and don’t respond.

And I don’t subscribe to the philosophy that no response is the right way to say no.

In our hyperconnected world, our humanity and good manners can too easily go by the wayside.

Sometimes it’s because we can’t help the person and we need to say no. In those cases, have a standard professional response you can copy, paste, edit and send to say you’re not interested at this time, but you’ll keep the info for future reference.

Some messages are easy not to respond to:

  • Automated sales pitches, usually via LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Connection requests immediately followed by a sales pitch, again, usually via LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Connection requests in LinkedIn from people you don’t know and that aren’t personalized to explain why they’d like to connect with you
  • Tweets that mention you as a way to draw you into an issue for which you can offer no meaningful response

Some messages deserve a response. And while it would be easy enough to ignore them, giving a response can set you apart and enhance your company’s reputation:

  • Customers of your company who need help getting an issue resolved. Respond to that customer right away.  Be a friendly, helpful, human face and voice. Connect them with your company’s customer care team for a rapid response.

Interesting stat: 78% of people who complain to a brand in Twitter expect a response within an hour. Another one: 77% of people feel more positive about a brand when their tweet has been replied to.

(This is where I remind readers that opinions expressed are my own.)

  • People from your alma maters, past and present employers and other professional groups who ask for your advice or an introduction to a colleague for networking purposes.
  • Connections, colleagues and friends who post valuable content. Read their link, give them a “like” if the content is something you want to be associated with, and leave a short and upbeat comment that adds a constructive observation to the dialogue. Social media is all about reciprocity.

And some messages fall in between.

An example? A request to connect to one of your connections, without a clearly stated reason.

Recently a LinkedIn connection asked to connect to a colleague, to invite her to an event. I suspected it was a sales pitch and didn’t want to spam my colleague. I asked the requester for more info. Never heard back. End of story.

Suppose you do decide to respond to a message to decline a request and you get a response asking for something else.

What then?

Here I take my cue from a wise colleague, Tina Morefield. She’ll send a response. One response. And after that, no more.

Unless, of course, it’s from a customer who needs your help. In that case, keep responding until the issue is resolved to the customer’s satisfaction. Because our customers are the lifeblood of our organizations.

When do you respond? When do you not respond?

How is Social Media Changing Language?

A  = 1K wds

And ampersands are awesome in company names. P&G. H&M. A&E.

Not so much in copy.

Unless you’re trying to fit a complete thought into a 140-character tweet. Or about 100, to leave space for a retweet.

When you’re trying to economize on “spaces” (a shorter word than “characters”), using the ampersand symbol “&” saves 2 spaces over “and”

So “and” becomes “&” – “for” becomes “4” – and “creative” becomes “cr8v”

And sayings become acronyms. LOL. OMG. IDK.

Or emojis.   

Need guidance on using these “picture letters” that originated in Japan? If you have teens in the house, you already know. Otherwise, check out Emojipedia.

And who needs punctuation? That period at the end of a complete thought becomes extraneous. It might even be the character that puts you over the limit.

Conversely, as the NYT recently reported, “punctuation on steroids” could be just what you need in place of actual words!!!!!

And in my quest for brevity as I substitute “calm” for “serene” or “luck” for “serendipity,” I wonder if longer words will fade away over time. They take up too much space in our world of limited character counts and attention spans.

Yet this would be a huge loss for the human experience. Words have nuance. They spark emotions. And tug on us in different ways.

That’s why my well-worn copy of the Dictionary of Synonyms is just as important as my dictionary.com app.

And speaking of limited attention spans, while I was linking to the app, I noticed 7 Words the Internet Reinvented.

It also made me wonder if some of the most beautiful words in English could be facing extinction.

What about serendipity, mellifluous and effervescent? Or insouciance, labyrinthine and denouement? Are they just too long in our evanescent and ephemeral environment?

Yet there’s upside to all of this. My fervent hope is that jargon-like words such as “utilize” will fade away, and we’ll simply say “use.” Maybe Strunk and White will finally get their wish to see “prestigious” truly become “an adjective of last resort.”

Parts of this are difficult for someone who prefers clean and clear copy, free of abbreviations and other affronts to the eye. To someone who has a hard time with the AP Style convention of abbreviating states – Calif., Colo. and Conn. There’s much more majesty in California, Colorado and Connecticut.

Like everything in life, it’s a balance. And it’s about your audience. Whom are you writing for? Whom do you want to influence? What form of the language do you need to speak to do that?

IDK, wht do u thnk ?!?!? . . .

 

How to Be Social in Twitter

CL_Twitter_11,030 tweets ago, I joined Twitter.

It was April 2012, the same month we launched a social collaboration platform at my employer.

In addition to a leadership blog I started on the platform to figure out what I was doing, it seemed like the right time to join Twitter too.

It wasn’t until just over a year ago that I really engaged with it, though. Dorie Clark inspired me with her Forbes article on how to dramatically increase your Twitter following.

Setting goals. One of the challenging things about Twitter is figuring out why you’re there and what you want to accomplish. At first I couldn’t articulate any clear goals, other than trying it out.

Then I realized with my voracious reading habit, it could be a way to share great content, without becoming a near spammer by emailing too many articles to friends and colleagues.

My goal became to share content related to my professional interests – corporate communications, change, leadership, human resources and corporate social responsibility.

And it’s an opportunity to promote my employer, with an emphasis on community involvement @DIRECTVSchools and talent development @DIRECTVCareers.

As always, it’s important to disclose my affiliation and be clear that opinions expressed are mine. And I follow the light, bright and polite mantra from How to Be Social.

Getting started. After opening your account comes setting up a 160-character bio. This is a chance to be interesting and use #hashtags, @mentions and links. Upload a photo. And update the bio from time to time as you and your interests evolve. Work Smarter with Twitter and HootSuite by Alexandra Samuel is a great Harvard Business Review e-book to jumpstart involvement.

Finding people and organizations to follow. Just like being social in LinkedIn, you can connect with your existing contacts to invite people you already now. Every time you meet someone new, see if they’re on Twitter and follow them. If there’s someone you want to know more about, follow them. I also follow the media outlets in my News Rituals of a Communicator.

Following people back. Early in my career, I read John Maxwell‘s book, Becoming a Person of Influence. What stuck with me was his premise that people are open to influence from those who are open to influence from them. John Maxwell was one of the first people I followed on Twitter. And I was gleefully surprised when he (or whoever manages his account) followed me back.

That influenced my thinking about who I’ll follow back. I’ll follow back people and organizations who seem professional and legitimate. Accounts that offer Twitter followers for sale or have inappropriate content? No thanks; not interested.

Tweeting compelling content. My daily news ritual as a communicator also allows me to find tweetable content to share. There’s @WSJ and @nytimes. And @latimes since I’m in Southern California. Also love @HarvardBiz, @TheAtlantic and @PsychToday.  As often as possible, I look up the reporter’s Twitter handle and add it to the retweet.

Lots of favorite people – @AmyJCuddy, @AdamMGrant, @LVanderkam, @PenelopeTrunk, @MartyNemko, @brainpicker and too many more to list.

Being visual. Tweets with images get 150% more interaction than those without, so include a photo or video with as many tweets as possible. @TheAtlantic now includes an images with nearly every tweet. This is highly engaging, with an Instagram feel. Perhaps that’s one reason why Instagram seems to be neck and neck with Twitter with the number of users.

Reciprocating. Retweet great content that fits with your area of interest. Give it your personal spin by tapping “quote tweet,” and adding a few personal words, followed by “RT” and the original tweet. (If that puts the tweet over 140 characters, you can do an MT – modified tweet – by making minor changes such as “&” for “and” or deleting extraneous words like “that” to save characters).

If I like a tweet that isn’t fully relevant to my subject areas, from one of our local schools for example, I’ll favorite it rather than retweet it.

Growing followers. According to Dorie Clark, the more often you tweet, the more followers you’ll attract. At a minimum, I tweet at least once a day. Three to five tweets are better, spaced throughout the day. And try a message to new followers to say thanks and engage on a topic of interest.

Fitting it into daily life. Plan a tweet first thing in the morning, at mid day and at the end of the day. If you’re the super organized type, create an editorial calendar. Research says the best times to tweet are Mondays through Thursdays between 9 am and 3 pm. Of course, you have to factor in your own geographic location, who you’re trying to engage with and where they’re located.

Finding adjunct uses. There many ways to use Twitter beyond connecting with people on the platform–

  • Researching people I’ll soon be meeting
  • Assessing a job candidate I’m about to interview
  • Vetting a speaker I’m considering for a leadership conference
  • Getting quick, authoritative info in real-time a crisis situation (the 2013 LAX shooting being one example)
  • Engaging with compelling content and colleagues at conferences, by sharing valuable sound bites and images. Speaking in larger venues highlighted for me the importance of preparing your speech to be shared via social media in short, tweetable statements.

What are your best Twitter tips?

News Rituals of a Communicator

FotorCreated_CL News

Should you check your smartphone the minute you wake up?

As a communicator, absolutely.

And while it’s not a good life hack for most people, as a communications leader my smartphone is on my nightstand every night. The ringtone is on for calls, and sounds are off for everything else.

This is because crises don’t confine themselves to business hours (whatever those may be these days). As communicators we have to be available 24/7 if needed. And I’m happy to say the unexpected calls are very few and far between.

When I wake up in the morning, there’s a 15-minute ritual I follow.

First I tell my new Fitbit I’m awake. And see how many restless minutes get subtracted from my total sleep time. It’s been disappointing to realize I have to spend more than 7 hours in bed to get “full credit” for those hours.

Then I see what texts and emails have come in. Just a quick scan to ensure nothing’s urgent. Otherwise, no email processing first thing in the morning.

Anthony Martini on my team at DIRECTV inspired a great habit of setting Google alerts via email – for our company, key people and other timely topics.

Then it’s on to the headlines.

First I’ll look at top stories in The Wall Street Journal, and the Business, Tech, Markets and Life & Culture sections after that. (Being in the entertainment business, I look forward to the episode recaps of my favorite TV shows.) It’s valuable to observe how various reporters are covering different topics in the news.

Then onto The New York TimesI love the Your Daily Briefing every weekday with a roundup of key headlines. If I only have 60 seconds to scan the news, this is perfect. Then on to Most Emailed (for what’s trending and resonating), Business and Technology. I’ll look at Sports, too, if I’ve missed big games over the weekend.

After that I check out my Twitter feed to see what’s happening. I’ll peek at a few of the DIRECTV feeds, like @DIRECTV, @DIRECTVSchools, @DIRECTVCareers and @DTVBlimp.

And I’ll look for an interesting story from the headlines or from DIRECTV to tweet about @caroline_leach. My topics are #corpcomms #change #leadership and #CSR. And our CSR hashtag, #DIRECTVgivesback. Opinions are my own.

It was encouraging to learn that WSJ, NYT and Twitter are the top 3 “daily ‘must-reads'” of global CCOs (chief communications officers), according to SpencerStuart‘s CCO V report focusing on the changing media environment.

As the day goes on, I check out blog posts on @HarvardBiz, for quick tips and insights on strategy, leadership, comms and more.

My office TV – a great perk of working at DIRECTV – bounces around between various news channels and DIRECTV’s Audience Network. I especially love seeing our headquarters campus and colleagues in the background shots of The Rich Eisen Show.

On evenings and weekends I’ll catch up on longer-form reading with a variety of books and magazines. Whether I’m working out on the treadmill or waiting in line somewhere, I have something to read on my phone or tablet.

My relevant screen shots are in the opening photo, not including my books and blogs. I try to read from a wide variety of sources. I’m fascinated by a diversity of viewpoints and the themes and patterns that run across many outlets.

Our household went 100% digital with our news three years ago, so it’s all on our smartphones and tablets. No more waiting for printed papers to arrive with the cold morning air, encased in plastic and creating recycling bulk that has to be hauled outside to the appropriate bin.

We still get plenty of printed magazines on a wide variety of topics. As I shared in one of my Who Am I? posts, I’m a bit of a magazine and book addict.

I’d love to hear from you. What other news rituals should I consider?