Learn to live tweet to help raise brand awareness, increase engagement, and draw attention to your brand's event or campaign in real time.
Live tweeting an event keeps your followers engaged and informed of events they want to attend in person but, for whatever reason, may not be able to.
Think of it as a news report of an event. As the “reporter,” you hold the power to convey all the information your followers want to hear.
And when you do so at an event that’s relevant to them, you’ll see them engage more with you.
They may even start to view you as a source for industry news.
Whether you’re hosting an event or you’re headed to one, we want to help you out.
Below we’ve included our best tips for live tweeting an event, including examples and best practices.
Why should you live tweet?
Live tweeting can help businesses raise brand awareness, increase engagement, or draw attention to an event or campaign in real time.
Why? Simple: People turn to Twitter for big events.
From breaking news about natural disasters to the finale of an epic television show, we live tweet things to experience them with someone else.
But it wasn’t just House Stark enthusiasts that were live tweeting about Game of Thrones. Brands from around the world jumped in with witty anecdotes, reaction GIFs, and original content.
This helped them get the attention of new audiences, while providing fun, engaging content for their current followers.
Doing the same for your brand boosts engagement and draws in new followers. And when you live tweet an event you’re producing, you have the opportunity to promote and bring more awareness to your brand than ever before.
How to live tweet an event: 6 tips to success
Whether it’s a conference you’re attending or the halftime show of a major sporting event, live tweeting requires just as much strategy and expertise as your long-term social media plans.
To help, here are 6 tips for successfully live tweeting an event.
1. Prepare before the event
A lot of things happen at even the smallest events — and it’s your job to keep up with it all.
Luckily, Twitter is a great platform for breaking news and documenting events in real time. But that also means you need to keep up or risk falling behind.
Prepare beforehand to make sure you’re ready to act quickly and stay relevant while you live tweet your event. This helps you stay organized as the event moves on, and helps you getting overwhelmed and bursting into a puddle of tears and anxiety (we’ve all been there).
A few pieces of advice to help you prepare:
- Do your research. Make sure you know the names (and how to spell them properly) and the Twitter handles of everyone involved with the event. Think about any questions your audience may have about the event and prepare answers, if you have them.
- Create image templates. These will allow you to turn around content from the event as quickly as possible. Make templates for images (876 x 438 pixels) that include the event hashtag, your logo, or other visual assets and use them to create content based on photos or quotes from the event.
- Set up separate streams. If you use a social media management tool like Hootsuite, you can set up two streams in your dashboard. One will be for all content that uses the official hashtag of the event you’re live tweeting (more on that later) and the second one will be for a Twitter list you’ve created of all the relevant people involved in the event. Whether it’s the nominees and performers of an awards show or the speakers at a conference, setting up a stream for this list will ensure you don’t miss a single Tweet from the most important people at the event.
- Craft a few tweets before the event. If you know the schedule of events already, create a few tweets about things you know will happen. Will a famous speaker go on at 3pm? Create a tweet for that. Will they announce a release of a product in the morning? Create a tweet for that too!
Live tweeting can be hectic. Make it less hectic by preparing beforehand.
2. Be ready to react
As the saying goes, “The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry.”
You could have everything meticulously planned out but unexpected things happen.
Live events always have moments in them that no one can predict. When that happens, you might have to forget about some previously planned tweets and images, and run with something else.
Lean into the chaos. Capitalize on it while live tweeting and informing your audience of what’s going on. They’ll love you for it.
You can even do this with events that don’t necessarily have anything to do with your brand.
One great example of a live tweeting event comes from No Name Brands. Though they provide generic grocery and household products for their customers, they decided to live tweet the Emmys—much to everyone’s delight.
Check out the bizarre tweet stream below.
i will now live-tweet the emmys
— no name (@NoNameBrands) September 22, 2019
Their reaction and commentary on the night’s events were unscripted, hilarious, and all written in their bold, unique brand voice.
All this despite the fact that they didn’t know what was going to happen at the Emmys.
3. Create a hashtag
Creating a branded hashtag allows your followers to easily track and keep up-to-date with your live tweets.
For example, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences uses the hashtag #oscars for their annual Academy Awards show.
— The Academy (@TheAcademy) February 25, 2019
And if you’re live tweeting an event you’re not hosting, you can still tap into engagement by using the event’s hashtag.
Here’s an example from Olympian Usain Bolt tweeting during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio De Janeiro using the hashtag #Rio2016.
— Usain St. Leo Bolt (@usainbolt) August 20, 2016
If you go the latter route, make sure you know what the official hashtag is, as well as any other hashtags that may come into play.
If you’re creating a hashtag for an event you’re hosting, remember to keep it short. Make it easy to remember and be sure to check if anyone is using it already.
Pro-tip: Set up a stream in Hootsuite to track the hashtag, and be sure to use it in every Tweet you send. Keep an eye out for any emerging hashtags that start gaining popularity during the event that might be relevant for your brand to start using.
4. Mix it up
Sure, you can post a photo of your event here or there. You might even add in a dash of commentary on a speaker’s talk. But wouldn’t it be more interesting if you changed things up?
Different types of content better engages and entertains your followers.
Here are some good examples of the types of tweets you can make:
- Quotes from speakers or presenters.
- Answers to questions people might have using your event hashtag
- Questions or polls about a topic related to the event
- Photos from the event using your image templates
- Videos of behind-the-scenes footage, or updates from the event
- Retweets of event speakers, presenters, or performer
- Retweets of humorous or insightful comments about the event from other Twitter users.
Note: If you’re planning on posting photos or videos from the event, make sure you have the proper consent and authorization to do so.
If you need more help coming up with tweets, check out our content idea cheat sheet for inspiration.
5. Make every Tweet count
Always be judicious about what you tweet, even if things are moving fast.
It can be easy to sacrifice quality in order to get content out as fast as possible. Fight against that feeling, and make sure you’re only tweeting things your followers care about.
Be selective about the quotes or insights you choose to tweet and only post high-quality photos and videos.
No one wants to see a blurry photo of a speaker in a dark room, or a video with awful sound quality. Remember: you’re trying to help people feel like they are actually attending the event with you.
Cision did a good job of choosing a strong image while live tweeting during a social media conference hosted by Ragan.
— Cision (@Cision) March 11, 2016
Make sure to add plenty of context to what you’re tweeting. For example, mention the speaker’s name when including a photo or video of them. Maybe even include a link to their bio page or website.
Making sure every Tweet you post is useful, entertaining, educational, or valuable can also help you gain new followers. As people search the event hashtag, they’ll find your content, and may choose to follow you if they find it interesting and valuable enough.
6. Wrap it up and repurpose it
One of the great things about live tweeting is the plethora of content it can provide you with once the event is finished.
When you’re finished, gather all of your best tweets from the event into a blog post and share it with your followers. Or repost screenshots of them to your Instagram Stories.
You can also use any videos of speakers as content to promote on places like YouTube or Facebook.
Photos of the event or an image featuring a quote from a speaker are perfect for platforms like Facebook or Instagram, too.
Before live-tweeting, arm yourself with the right tools. Organize content into streams, compose and publish Tweets, and track engagement all in one place—the Hootsuite dashboard. Try it for free today!