Tips for Tweeting at Conferences
Twitter is a micro-blogging social media platform on which you can post 140 character ‘tweets’ which your followers can see, and you can follow other people to see what they’re sharing. Sounds easy, and in fact, setting up an account, following people and sending tweets is easy. When used at conferences, live-tweeting by delegates is a way to publicly share information about the event. Typically tweets may include:
- quotes from the speakers
- photos of visual slides or where the font is large enough to be snapped clearly
- links to papers, books, websites or other resources shared by the speakers and delegates
- discussion about the presentations/workshops attended
- sharing what you have learnt with your network
For many live-tweeting at events is a form of note taking to refer back to after the event. It is also a good way to connect with new people you meet and continue the conversations post event.
Many conferences will communicate information about the event prior to, as well as during and post the event, using a website or blog. Updates can then be easily shared via Twitter and re-shared by those that read the tweets as retweets. This helps to disseminate messages to a far wider community.
In addition a hashtag is usually chosen and shared with delegates. Anyone wishing to tweet about the event should include the chosen hashtag in their tweets to help others find the tweets relating to the event. The example hashtag shown in this blog post is #YSJTAT and is being used for our Talking About Teaching Conference at York St John University on 22nd January 2016. Tweets containing the hashtag can be found by using the search box within Twitter.
If you are going to tweet at an event then make sure you have done a little preparation:
- Check your own Twitter account – have you got a clear bio on your profile and a photo? You are more likely to be followed or retweeted if others can identify who you are.
- Find out what the event hashtag is and make a note of this
- Consider the sessions you are likely to go to and identify what the speakers’ Twitter names are in advance. (There are now often included in the programme)
- If you want to be super organised you may choose to follow the speakers and add them to a named list. You can find out more about how to create lists here.
If you are new to Twitter and need some help, head over to our Ten Days of Twitter Resource for bite-sized information on how to get started.
Blog post adapted from Tips for tweeting at conferences originally posted on the Social Media Blog by Sue Beckingham which is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. If you are interested in how Social Media can enhanced your Professional Development or Teaching and Learning, then we strongly recommend you follow Sue’s blog.