Tag Archives: hashtags

Hey, I’m Here! 10 Tips for Live-Tweeting

By: Dallas J. Short

YourDictionary.com defines live-tweeting as “posting on Twitter during an event in an ongoing way,” while that seems basic enough, there is much more to it than that. Live-tweeting gives your live event a life in the digital world. It expands the reach of your event and allows attendees and non-attendees to both be involved and engage with you. I’m a fan of live-tweeting, both at our own events and also following along with sporting events and television shows. Here are ten tips I came up with that could help you with live-tweeting from your next event.

1) Pound it! The #Hashtag is key, it will be the way people follow along and helps stream the information. Pick a short and applicable hashtag and make sure you let people know what it is. When you promote the event beforehand, include the hashtag, so people who cannot make it know they can still follow along. You need to promote the hashtag heavily the day of the event and you should have the hashtag on promo materials around the event as well. You want others engaging, adding to and using it as well. Every live-tweet you send about the event should include this hashtag.

2) Solo mission! It will be most effective if you have only one person tweeting from the event. It helps define the voice of the live-tweets and gives it a personality. You do not want a lot of people from your organization tweeting from the account, it will seem disorganized, all over the place and hard to follow. One person handling it right gives it more life.

3) Sharing is caring! Tweet out pictures and videos during the event. You want people to see what they are missing, without making them feel left out. Yes, you want photos of the layout, what’s going on, speakers and celebrities in attendance. You also want to include people attending, be sure to tag @ them as well. They will more likely be faster to tweet, favorite, retweet and will include the hashtag, helping your event’s live-tweeting presence grow.

4) Insider info! Including behind the scenes looks and tweets not only makes non-attendees feel like they’re “in the know” and receiving exclusive information. It also gives attendees a reason to follow along with the live-tweeting, because they are already aware of what is going on in front of their eyes and you are basically taking them backstage and behind the velvet rope.

5) Live in the moment! You and your event have a purpose, a mission and a message you want to get out there. This message should be pushed before the event, at the event and after the event. However, this message should only be sprinkled throughout your live-tweeting. You do not want to appear robotic, people follow live-tweeting like they are there hanging out with a friend. If your friend just kept repeating themselves all day, you would look for a way to ditch them. Don’t get ditched. I would suggest you have those “mission/message” tweets scheduled already (Hootsuite, etc.,) so the person live-tweeting can focus on the live event conversation and not get distracted by making sure they hit the certain number of “required” purpose messaging.

6) Don’t drop the ball! If the conversation and engagement are flowing, there is not a limit on live-tweeting. Keep it going and keep it growing, the more the merrier. If it is not flowing, you do need to make sure you are not pushing the issue. Having some slow moments or downtime is not the end of the world. You should never just stop live-tweeting though. Finish out the event. Do not make people wonder why it stopped? What went wrong? If someone was not there and searches the hashtag after the event and it just goes silent, it will raise red flags and could prevent people from attending in the future, if they perceived the quietness as an unsuccessful event. Give it your all, start to end.

7) Tune in, tune out! If you end up with a heckler or someone who is going out of their way to bash your event for no reason, ignore them. Do not waste your tweets sending out dislike or negative feelings. If someone has a concern or an issue it is alright to address that to clear up a problem or confusion. The majority of people are following your tweets and using your hashtag like they are tuning into their favorite television program and they want to be involved. They care about what is going on and what you are sharing with them. They do not want to follow a hashtag thread that looks like a bad, bickering reality show and miss out on the fun and happenings of the actual event.

8) Respond, react! You might not be able to follow the entire hashtag thread of what others at the event are saying, some of it might not even need you to respond, and it will just be people using your hashtag. Do look for questions that you can answer, positive interactions to favorite and retweet. Tweet at and acknowledge them. Making people feel involved and valued is key to the live-tweeting success. I would also suggest asking some type of questions (that relate to the event) to increase engagement and conversation. If something happens at the event, react to it, but there is a great chance that others will be reacting (and with the hashtag) as well.

9) The show’s not over! After the event, go back and follow up on any important questions and comments you might have missed from people during the live-tweeting. People understand that things get busy and chaotic, but making sure people feel appreciated and their comments did not slip through the cracks (after the event) will show them you do care. Go back through your own posts and see what received the most comments, the most favorites, the most retweets and also look at which ones didn’t. Keep that in mind when live-tweeting at your next event to be even more effective and engaging.

10) Try Again! You could have a great event, full of great people, great fun, everything’s great, except your live-tweeting never caught on. It is ok, sometimes an approach just will not catch on. Do not give up, try live-tweeting again at your next event and figure out new attempts that might work for your crowd. There is not a cookie-cutter way for everyone, you will need to know your audience and tailor your tweeting to have them interested. If you have an event where live-tweeting took off, it is not automatic that your next one will too. Stay focused and keep trying. More times than not though, live-tweeting leads to higher engagement and followers.
There is always the chance live-tweeting is not appropriate or will not benefit your event. There is a chance that you would have better results if you tweeted more from a news reporter/journalist point, as opposed to being a fun, event-goer. Know your audience, trial and error, live and learn. I hope these tips can help you out with your future live-tweeting and always remember to charge your phone and have an extra battery.

As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read be social and share.

5 Tips to Promote Online Events Using Social Media

By: MJ Pedone

Hosting an online event is an excellent way to call attention to your brand or company. But how do you standout so your event gets the attention and attendance it deserves?

First step, create a landing page for the event, as well as an event on Facebook and Google+. Next, if appropriate, create a signup on Eventbrite and/or other ticketing site. Then, send out invitations to your newsletter subscribers. These are basic steps for getting people to sign up, but there is much more work to be done.

Getting the word out about any live or online event is all about timing. The reality is, everybody is so busy with their everyday life and at times are overwhelmed. You need to put it in front of them in a way that seems natural and makes sense for them.

Here are 5 ways for promoting virtual events, which can be used to promote live events as well.

1. Create an Event Hashtag. And Tweet Often. I’m a big believer in event-specific hashtags. Social media is also a great way to spread the word ahead of time. An easy idea is to send out separate tweets naming each speaker with their twitter handle (but not leading with the handle, as Twitter sometimes channels them just to that person). The great thing–if the speaker is Twitter-savvy, he/she will retweet it to probably a larger group of followers than you have.

2. Plan. Prepare all social update texts and images beforehand. I recommend sending status updates at least twice a day and start these updates at least two weeks in advance. Use images while posting about your event on Social networks because pictures attract a lot more visitors than just plain text updates.

3. Be Specific and Be Social. Spend the most time finding the right audience(s) and catering the message for them. Often times, people want things to appeal to everyone … but that doesn’t work. Find groups that would be most excited about the event and get them talking about it; they’ll invite their friends and spread the word. Find clever ways of getting people to talk about the event such as asking questions, getting people to like, retweet/share, having interesting/humorous information, and so on. The more people interact, the more your message will be shared.

4. Ask for Help. One of the keys ways I have found in getting social media buzz is to get others to do the buzzing. Asking related (but non-competing) organizations to promote an event is painless and they’re often happy to do it. Just remember to return the favor since these can be valuable relationships for both companies.

5. Don’t Forget about LinkedIn. Post the event details and RSVP link (if applicable) on your company page. Ask all your colleagues and friends to like that update. Also, share that post in related groups as this will help your post get more exposure and will eventually increase the attendance. This will help you gain additional attendees.

A successful event will increase your company’s visibility while providing a valuable resource. The key to promoting an event is to be active and constantly engaging your audience. Need help with an online social media event strategy? Feel free to contact us and if you like what you read, be social and share.

Using Twitter For Business

By: MJ Pedone

So the chatter continues about social media and more specifically twitter and how it helps businesses grow. I can have this conversation for hours and my best advise is to tell people to give it a few months and leave it to the pros. Here are my twitter tips that I use to grow my business and what has been extremely helpful for me.

1. I present my company, Indra Public Relations, which is my brand, to the twitter community and make sure it has the same look and feel as my other online tools. This builds consistency and trust with your community.

2. I share photographs in my tweets as people love pictures and add video to my twitter timeline. Video is another powerful way to tell people about your business.

3. I follow other people I.e. clients, potential clients, vendors, professional organizations, competitors and other businesses of interest.

4. I post on twitter daily, reply to direct messages and share other useful information. I have conversations on topics designed to draw in potential clients and I always publish my tweets during the times where the twitter traffic is the heaviest.

5. I organize my followers into conversation lists which allows me to separate the twitter accounts I follow into groups. A list allows me to see the tweets from the list members as a separate Twitter timeline. This distinguishes them from the crowd so I can pay attention to what these people say. Everybody’s lists are based on their industry and goals but certainly a great thing to do.

6. I expand my audience with Hashtags. Most people’s Twitter experience is limited to the people they follow. It’s always a good idea to keep looking for new, fresh voices to follow to keep expanding your online conversations. Hashtags appear in tweets to identify a common topic or theme and usually something that is trending.

Although I would like to consider myself a master of twitter, I do rely on social media analytics to see how my Twitter strategies as well as my clients, have been perceived by my audience.

What are some of your strategies to build your business on twitter? Do you use any online tools to assist with this? As always, I welcome all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.

The #Effective Use of #Hashtags

By: Dallas Short

It’s the beginning of the new year and while more people will jump into social media in 2015 and even more will consider themselves experts, the fact is that social media is still young, evolving and unpredictable.

It’s never a bad time for a quick refresher (or introduction, depending on your level of use).
Let’s break down to how to use hashtags more effectively. I’m not referring when you’re making a personal status or tweet and want to use hashtags for humor. #WhenHashtagsGoOnTooLongAsInsideJokes. Instead, let’s focus more on the professional use:

1 – #Content – This is keeping it basic. Your typical internet user will search by topics of interest. Content hashtags are tags that fall more in line with Meta keywords that you use on web pages to help search engines understand what your content is related to. This is a good way to reach your general audience. This is where you will hashtag events, locations, lifestyles, products, concepts and ideas. For example, a restaurant in lower Manhattan (specifically the East Village) might try to increase customers/traffic to their weekend bottomless brunch special, with #EastVillage, #BottomlessBrunch. Try not to go overboard with the hashtags, pick two that are the best descriptions/fit and try to avoid more than three. The descriptive hashtag will work best, think about what your customer’s interests are. There is a such thing of overuse of hashtags, do not hashtag the world, it will not work or become a magical net to pull everyone in.

2- #Brand – This is the name of your brand or campaign. This will be the more direct link to your customers, so they can easily find you. Your brand hashtag should be permanent, while a campaign hashtag will focus on your current campaign promotion/goal/awareness. For example, the ALS Association will always use #ALS, but last year, they locked into the #IceBucketChallenge for its duration. You can look at most major consumer brands for more examples.

3 – #Trending – With the fast paced, real time updates of social media, there is that push and desire to be current and relevant. See which topics and hashtags are trending (being used the most) and if it applies to your brand or what you’re doing. If you’re a deli and it’s #NationalSandwichDay, use that hashtag when you tweet out your special. If a trending topic does not apply to what you’re doing, don’t force the issue.

#Research will be your best friend when using hashtags. A viral subject might not always be something you want to be attached to and it could end backfiring. You could have created a hashtag that “perfectly” fits your project, but be careful, that hashtag could have been used or is currently being used in a completely different way than you want your brand associated with. This happened multiple times in 2014, (beware of acronyms) and will be sure to happen even more in future years.

Finally, don’t expect the hashtag to pave the road for a clear lane to success. Social media is not something you can hop in and hop out of, you must place value and effort into monitoring and engagement. It needs to a conversation with your public. I’m sure we will delve deeper into that in a future blog.
Do you have any tips for others of effective hashtag use? I welcome any and all comments and as always, if you like what you read, be social and share.

Social Media Bad Habits Brands Need To Abandon

By: Jenifer Wetterau

Social media: when brands do it well, they do it really well. A great recent example is “Alex from Target.” So simple, seemingly effortlessly non self-promotional. Admit it, even if you don’t shop there you were intrigued.

Then again, there are those brands that continuously make mistakes that turn people off, and they don’t realize it. Here are four of my pet peeves that turn me off a brand:

Hashtag Overload
By using hashtags correctly, you can get maximum exposure for your brand’s message and deliver your content to the intended audience. But brands that abuse hashtags are hurting their image and driving customers away. More is not better.

Companies should ask themselves three things before tweeting with hashtags:
-Is it relevant to my post?
For example, using #socialmedia when your tweet is about sports to try to get maximum engagement will result in the opposite. Your customers will be turned off when they see you trying to cheat the system and engagement will decrease.

-Do my tweets exceed two hashtags?
Although studies show that tweets with one or two hashtags see twice the engagement compared to those without, that doesn’t mean you should cram in as many as you can. In fact, that same study showed that tweets with three or more hashtags resulted in a 17 percent drop in engagement. Keep hashtags to a minimum and your brand will not look spammy.

-Will my audience actually search for this hashtag?
You must do your research. Find out what hashtags your customers, and target customers, use with specific topics. Build your community around the hashtag by actively engaging with it consistently. You can’t use it one day and expect the results. You must promote it and promote it well. If you use them correctly, your content is going to get found by those who care about it.

Quantity over Quality
Social media is not a numbers game so don’t treat it that way. It’s essential to give your posts some thought before sending them out. Offer quality content that your customers will appreciate. When planning your updates, think about what you personally like to see in your timeline, and what makes you engage with a brand. I doubt it’s the number of times they tweet in a day! Show that you are value on social media and the followers will come. Everything you do should be strategic, follow best practices, align with your goals and image and provide value for your audience.

It’s All About Me
In terms of customer loyalty, it is important for brands to recognize that sometimes it is better to listen more and talk less. To be liked, you have to be honest, helpful, compassionate, willing to listen, genuinely interested in others and what their needs are and not dominate the conversation. Of course, one of the goals of social media is to promote your business, products, services and overall company brand. But what you should not do is be overly self-promotional, constantly pumping out updates and pushing your products. People don’t browse Twitter or Facebook to be sold to. Bombarding them with products and offers repeatedly will turn them off, and you may lose a few customers. Rather, let the information you share, the expertise you demonstrate and the brand personality you portray do the talking for you. Ask questions and address concerns to give your customers a voice. The more helpful and interesting you are, the more likely people will keep coming back for more.

Asking For Shares or Retweets
You don’t walk up to strangers on the street, yelling “be my friend!” and expect them to give you a hug and invite you to dinner. Why would you do this online? When brands do this I feel that begging makes them look needy and even inauthentic. You want people to engage with your content because they genuinely like it, and think others will to. Along the same line, tagging people to get attention reflects poorly on your brand and will alienate followers.

Now it’s your turn: what social media habits make you log off? As always, I welcome any and all comments and if you like what you read, be social and share.