Exciting times for Cesanta! We’ve been busy at conferences this year already with CES in January, FOSDEM and the Mobile World Congress in February and CeBit coming up in March. Tweeting at events can be difficult especially when you are a small team and time is tight. Should you then even tweet? And if so, what can make things easier?
Should you tweet at events?
Yes and no. In my opinion it depends on the event. Taking FOSDEM as an example (this is a developer event) tweeting isn’t a priority. It’s a small conferences and the attendees are more likely on other platforms. So covering this event is more about announcing that you’ll be going and / or speaking. Especially, if you are speaking at an event like this, think about publishing your presentations in blog post if suitable.
But, if you are somewhere like Mobile World Congress (#MWC16) then yes, tweeting is important. This year, we joined Enterprise Ireland on their Ireland Pavilion. It’s a huge event and for a startup to create some buzz against the likes of Samsung and other big boys is hard. However, with 18 companies on the same pavilion, it’s simpler to create buzz about the stand and driving traffic to it. What really helped where the additional handles and hashtags that Enterprise Ireland set up for us all to use. It made it very easy to spot what fellow Irish startups were tweeting and simple retweets for everyone.
Overall, tweeting at events gives you social content, helps you drive traffic to your stand, can result in journalist spotting you and, of course, help you network with those all important prospects you’ve been eager to talk to. It also gives the right impression to people not at the event but who see you are there.
Further, you will increase your Twitter following through tweets at events. By mentioning others and being active using the event’s hashtag, you can gain new audiences and through your tweets their networks.
Let me change my answer: Yes, you should tweet at events!
Time poor at events
We send a maximum of two people to events. Generally our founders. The reason is simple, we can’t have more people missing from their roles in the office. Startup, remember?
We focus our efforts for events on the pre-planning to make the most out of them (more on this in this blog post). One of the reasons for this is, of course, that once you hit the showfloor, you want network and make connections. You have little time between manning the stand, attending meetings and talks to do much else, let alone take out your phone and write a well thought out tweet.
What to do?
Tweeting tips at events
If you are using a tool that allows for scheduling tweets utilise it. Get some general tweets about the event in the pipeline:
Schedule them out in the run up to and during the event.
You can also prepare the tweets about talks that you intend to attend. Shout-outs to speakers are well received. 2 key things: actually make it to the talks and watch for time difference. I managed to schedule a load of tweets for an event in Hong Kong and miscalculated the timezone by a day...that was a bit embarrassing...
Keep in touch
As a team, we are in touch. A quick “How are things going?” can often lead to a few tweets that the people back in the office can send for you. Send a quick mail before you go to sleep or over breakfast with a few highlights of the past day. Don’t worry about what it sounds like, your office team can clean them up.
A picture speaks a thousand words
Photos really work well on Twitter and they don’t require a lot of explaining:
Be sure, as with any tweet from an event, to include the hashtag and your location. Quick and easy.
If you do have a lot to say, why not try a video instead of a photo?
Jump on the bandwagon
Create a list or use the tool you tweet with to create a list or notification stream for the event’s hashtag. It takes seconds to open and have a quick scroll to see if there is anything worth retweeting.
If you see something really great, why not add a quick reply? A great example of this comes again from #MWC16 where a media outlet was searching for IoT providers. A quick response here from the office has led to an interview. Win!
To make the most out of the bandwagon, utilise the team at the event and people back in the office.
Four tweet tips to build into your next event. Let me know how you work Twitter at events, would love to learn more!