Tweeting your way through a tradeshow or conference

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One of my favorite things about attending a conference or tradeshow is tweeting my way through it. Not only is it fun for me, but it is good business etiquette for Red Sage.

Did you know that Twitter generates 9 times more business-to-business (B2B) leads than both Facebook and LinkedIn? While I’m definitely not advising you to ignore Facebook or LinkedIn, it is past time to get into the Twitter game.

While many people find it difficult to fit everything they want into those 140 characters, I love it. I see it as a challenge! Learning to communicate in 140 characters or less forces you to be quick and nimble at a tradeshow, and presents you with the opportunity to get your ideas in front of everyone attending – and their Twitter fans. Here are my top five preferred ways to Tweet my way through a tradeshow or conference:

Have a designated tweeter.

Someone on your team should be monitoring Twitter throughout the conference or tradeshow. They should be looking for ReTweets (RTs), mentions (@mentions), direct messages (DMs), and what people are saying using the conference hashtag.

They should be actively thanking people for RTs, replying to @mentions and DMs, and interacting on Twitter using the conference hashtag – through RTs, DMs, and @mentions on their own. This person should also be listening to the speaker and Tweeting relevant information.

Use the event hashtag – and one other.

While your designated Tweeter is Tweeting relevant information, he or she should be using the event hashtag – and preferably at least one other. For instance, at the SEDC conference coming up in July, we would use the conference hashtag, #SEDC, and another one related to the topic being presented. Examples might include: #EconDev, #Manufacturing, #Automotive, etc. If you have room, tag the speaker!

We recommend limiting yourself to two hashtags (no more than three!) to cut down on characters, and not to overwhelm people.

Conduct a giveaway you have to enter through Twitter.

I love social media contests. I won an iPad mini taking part in one once, and a $50 Starbucks gift card in another. I was at the World Dairy Expo with my niece and nephew a couple of years ago, and my nephew got very excited about his opportunity to win $100 by taking a photo with a brand’s mascot, then Tweeting at the brand with a specific hashtag. We did not win, but he had me running all over to make sure we got to enter. And then he went home and told everyone about this Twitter contest – and mentioned the brand’s name. Use this contest as an opportunity to connect with current customers and prospects, and make sure it is fun for everyone!

Unlink Twitter and Facebook.

Hopefully your Twitter and Facebook accounts are not linked anyway. But if they are, unlink them for the duration of your tradeshow and conference! All the shorthand and @mentions will cause more than a few Facebook fans to unfollow your page. Keep your Tweets Twitter specific.

Look up Twitter handles ahead of time.

Much like Ellen’s advice to research conference attendees on LinkedIn prior to attending, I recommend doing some research of the Twitter handles (their @name) of some of the other companies, organizations, and people who will be attending. You can get the virtual conversation started early with an @mention or two to those whose handles you already know.

Confused by any of this terminology? Want help planning your Twitter campaign or conference strategy? Red Sage provides strategic marketing consulting to companies of all sizes. Give us a call today!

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