Twitiquette: Live-tweeting

Lindsay McComb / Posted 11.1.2011

Twitiquette: Live-tweeting

So you're live-tweeting an event, huh? A conference, you say?

It's great that you're excited.

But don't get too excited.

It's important to keep your wits about you. Join in the conversation. Share witty banter. Impart wisdom.

If you can do all of these things without losing friends and alienating your followers, consider your live-tweeting a success. But in order to ensure said success, here are a few tips to help you live-tweet the right way.

1. Check the hashtag

If you want to be part of the conversation, make sure you’re part of the right conversation. Check around for any official event hashtags (maybe on the event’s website or Twitter account). If you see a couple of hashtags being used, you can run them through to find out which tag is more popular and use it.

2. TOYF: Think of your followers

Are you tweeting for your followers? You should be. Always let your followers know that you’re at the event, that you’ll be live-tweeting. They may want to snooze your tweets for a bit if they’re not interested in a barrage of tweets from you.

When tweeting (in general and at events), always try to think of your followers, and try to focus on things that would be interesting for them, things that would add value to their lives. Which brings us to our next tip:

3. Always add value

If everyone is tweeting and retweeting that one awesome quote from the speaker, consider adding your take on. Recaps are great, but make sure you’re sharing information that’s helpful. Highlight details, but add your own thoughts. Don’t just retweet for the sake of it.

4. @reply with care

It’s important to be involved in the conversation. It’s what social media is all about – being social. But your tweets shouldn’t be just conversations and @replies.  That can become tedious to your followers. Moderation is key. If you’ve got a great conversation going – keep it going. But not on Twitter. DM email addresses, phone numbers, whatever. Take it off Twitter.

“Give followers context about what it’s like to be there. But don’t go overboard talking about the blintzes or the beer breaks.”

5. Think before you tweet

It’s really easy to come off as a braggart when you’re part of something awesome. Try to avoid the: “Look at me, I’m at this event. Nyah nyah” way of tweeting. It’s okay to be excited, but it’s not okay to brag. Not only is this not adding value (see rule #3) it’s making you look like a jerk. Make sure to tone down the braggadocio as well as the swears, insults, and in-jokes. Twitter is a public forum. If you wouldn’t want your mom reading what you’re saying, you probably shouldn’t be tweeting it in general, but you definitely shouldn’t be tweeting it on a live hashtag.

6. Check the facts

This is very closely related to “think before you tweet.” Don’t just blindly tweet or retweet what you hear. Verify facts. If in doubt, ask around. Twitter is a great resource for crowdsourcing. It’s okay to ask the Twittersphere or check Google for verification.  But use good judgment: sometimes it’s best not to tweet unconfirmed rumors.

7. Attribution

When sharing insight or knowledge from event speakers, make sure you attribute who said what. This is not only a good practice, but it’s practical: if followers see this tweet out of context, then they’ll be able to understand that you’re referring to someone else’s insight. Use quotation marks when quoting directly. If at all possible, refer to the speaker’s @twittername.

8. Add context

Take pictures. Share videos. Tweet about the joke that got the audience riled up. Describe the venue. Give followers context about what it’s like to be there. But don’t go overboard talking about the blintzes or the beer breaks.



Photo Credit: DB-2

Lindsay McComb

Writer and Content Specialist

Lindsay is Q Digital Studio’s writer and content specialist. She develops heady technical jargon into clear, coherent (and optimized) content. She has a knack for finding just the right words - but only after she’s had a nice cup of coffee (or two). She happily dives into the depths of the Internet on a daily basis. Lindsay has worked as a writer and editor the world over.