While the fortunate few are attending Sustainable Brands 2013 as I write this, many are unable to. The same goes for all sorts of conferences. There are only so many a year that any one person or business can afford to attend – due to cost or time constraints. And, therein lies the opportunity to form a strategy around live tweeting the events you do attend to get an even bigger bang for your event budget. Live tweeting from your corporation’s account (or from a personal account tied to your corporation) can be an incredible investment in raising brand awareness and reflecting thought leadership.
So, let your Tweets be heard! Here’s why…
First, and foremost, the bottom-line business case: Your competitors are doing it. Do you really want to stand at the sidelines and watch them be the social media resource your industry turns to?
Beyond that, live tweeting a conference can be an incredibly strategic communications move that serves a variety of stakeholders and elevates your brand as a conduit of important conversations. The many who will be served by your commitment to live tweeting – whether attending the event in person or not – include:
- Employees – live tweeting generates buzz and enthusiasm, and gets your employees excited to think about the ways they can contribute in the future (as content creators or link curators). It is a fun, real-time occasion around which to build internal community and get your team thinking more “socially” for the future. Employee engagement is at the top of the list for sustainable businesses, and live tweeting a big event can really help create and maintain it.
- Influencers – live tweeting, and the monitoring of the Twitter stream that happens in the process, helps you quickly see the most valuable contributors and the types of content they are sharing. From there, you gain a better understanding of what it takes to join – and truly contribute to – the conversations your customers will care about. (I know of at least one example where smart use of Twitter a few weeks in advance of, and live tweeting during, a SXSW panel got one clever communications pro friend right into that mix with a key influencer.) Don’t forget: the social media relationships you establish with journalists or influencers during an event have the potential to continue.
- Investors/shareholders – live tweeting reflects market understanding and relevance. Your brand name is amplified as it provides a service for many more than just its direct customers. Those who have invested in your success will see the engaged employees and conversations with influencers in a very positive light. And, maybe they will participate the next time you plan a live tweet foray.
- Customers – as they monitor Twitter streams during industry conferences (again – whether they are there, in person, or not), they will see which accounts filter up, which have added value to the greater discussion and which have shared great links for future learning. They will begin to see your company as a resource, and this should only be the beginning. Your opportunity to continue to provide great information via social networks and content is endless once they know you are there!
But wait… there’s more (benefit to live tweeting)! In addition to the above, being in the thick of content and link sharing and incredible conversations, live tweeting also generates incredible follow up content beyond the event’s few days. Using tools like Storify, you have the ability to create pieces that become a one-stop conference session summary with the most crucial links, posts and images. Your brand name will forever be tied to an information-rich reference piece, ready to be found by search engines. (Don’t forget you can package and re-package it in any number of ways).
So, do you still need help convincing your CEO or executive team that it is worth it to become more intentional and strategic about using Twitter during events? The fact that the competition and all your stakeholders are likely already there should be reason enough. But, especially in the business-to-business space, truly providing a resource on the thoughtful discussion that takes place can be priceless.
I’d love to help you get there.