How To Get Live-Tweeting Right?

This blog post is written by Archit Chandra, a fantasy fiction buff, indie music fanatic, anime buff and BlueAnt Digital’s first ever intern. Archit talks about how to live tweet an event. At BlueAnt Digital Intelligence, we get a lot of calls from our clients asking how to live-tweet from an event. This post has been derived from my experiences with TEDxNSIT and from dealing with our clients. There is, of course, a vast difference between tweeting from your personal account for fun and tweeting for a live-event from an official account. This blog will help you get better with the latter. Before anything starts always double-check your equipment. Go with a fully charged laptop/mobile phone/tablet, carry extra batteries and the charger. Don’t let the lack of juice slow down your twitter coverage. Here is a list of things you should do while live-tweeting: 1. Use distinctive and clear hashtags. Check whether the hashtag has been used before and for what purpose. Create a new hashtag if an old one doesn’t quite fit the event or doesn’t exist. 2. Do a little background check. Understand your audience and find out what they are interested in. During TEDxNSIT, people became very interested in Abhishek Bhardwaj, a alumnus of our college. So I put up more tweets during his talk, got a quick interview done and even created a new hashtag for him. 3. Create a set format for your tweets; create an identity. Add relevant twitter handles so that people can explore the information and people on twitter itself. The format that I used was [Speaker] [Speaker’s twitter handle (if any)]: [Statement] #TEDxNSIT. 4. Give the audience the you-will-not-get-this-anywhere-else perspective. Put forth your opinion and interact with the audience. I tweeted about the interaction betweent the speakers and the organizing team, something that even the live audience didn’t get. This led to a lot of twitter engagement. 5. Add some context to tweets; use multimedia. Each time a new speaker was introduced, I looked up his/her website and twitter handle and posted relevant links and pictures. This gives audiences the speaker’s background and helps give a perspective of what is to come. 6. Take note of replies and mentions. If you get a reply (question), retweet it for the entire audience to see and follow it up with a public acknowledgement (answer). Another way is to quote a tweet and add a few of your own words. During TEDxNSIT, I was in a constant discussion with one particular twitter user. This helped us gain greater coverage as he retweeted me and vice versa. It helped bring more people into the discussion. 7. Tweet when there is something worth sharing. If not, just answer questions and comment on events as they happen. Not everything the speaker says is riveting enough to be tweeted, wait till something important comes up with a gem. 8. If the live-tweeting is really successful, let it continue. You don’t have to stop tweeting when the event ends. After TEDxNSIT ended, I kept the discussion going, bringing in new information from the speakers’ websites and posting pictures and videos from the event. 9. Decide your tweeting frequency. Don’t tweet every second, don’t wait for hours after the event. Find an optimal middle ground that is just right for your audience. That being said, there is no correct number of tweets and depends on the nature of the event. 10. A live-tweet is not a time to drive traffic to your website. Only add links at the end of the event, for people to follow-up. 11. Link back and follow. Link to earlier tweets and follow others who are actively tweeting about the same topic. 12. Take note to the most active topics and interesting conversations that happen. Reconnect with the people after the event. During TEDxNSIT, Kriti Monga’s (who designed the cover of Around India in 80 Trains by Monisha Rajesh) art became a big talking point, so I started retweeting from her twitter profile. This got the audience even more involved and increased our visibility. All this being said, live-tweeting, in the end, depends most on presence of mind. Saying the right thing at the right time is exactly what Twitter is about.

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