Go Beyond 280: Hold a Tweetup

Every time I hear the word tweetup, this classic dances into my head.

 

What’s a tweetup? It’s a face-to-face meeting of people who are on Twitter. That’s it. The concept is simple, but it’s not always easy to pull off. If you’re thinking about holding a tweetup at your next event, keep these tips in mind:

posing for the camera

At a tweetup? Have fun and talk to people!

Location, location, location. Just like in real estate, it’s all about the location. Pick a spot that can accommodate the expected number of attendees and is accessible, but not in the main drag, so to speak. If everyone’s already in the lobby or at the hotel bar, then don’t hold your tweetup there. It will be too difficult to figure out who’s at the tweetup and who’s just hanging out there. (p.s. It’s helpful to pick a location with strong phone service and/or WiFi so people can actually tweet at your tweetup.)

It’s all about the plan. It may seem like everyone just shows up, but that’s not the case — especially if you want everything to run smoothly. Besides scouting the location, you need to figure out the other aspects. Prizes and special guests will help draw a crowd while hors d’oeuvres or snacks will be appreciated. You can also have a theme for your tweetup; raise money or collect canned goods for a cause or tie it to your overall event (i.e. recharge at your tweetup at a racing-themed event with snacks, seating areas & phone chargers)

Hello, my name is… Yes, you’ll probably have some type of badge or name tag if you’re at an event, but it won’t showcase your Twitter handle. Remember, Twitter handles aren’t always people’s names, so it’s helpful to have name tags (and pens/markers) for people to write their handles on. It also gives attendees something to do when they first arrive and serves as an ice breaker. You can design a custom template for your event or offer different colors of name tags to differentiate between attendees (i.e. green for exhibitors, blue for staff). Whatever route you go with the name tags, make sure you can see the Twitter handles. That’s what you’re there for!

Tweet about it! Let people know the tweetup will be happening and then fill in the details once they’re available. You don’t have to promote the exact details too far in advance either. In fact, some people wait until the night before or morning of the tweetup to tweet the exact time and location. Keep other promotion to a minimum. A tweetup is specifically for people on Twitter, so there’s really no need to promote it on Facebook or Instagram (that’s an InstaMeet, anyway). Onsite promotion isn’t necessary either. While you need people to find the location, you don’t need to attract interest from the passing traffic. (p.s. Creating a specific hashtag is your call. If you already have an event hashtag, it may only cause confusion.)

The tweetup day’s here! Arrive early to make sure everything’s ready to go and begin welcoming your Twitter followers. Introduce yourself to attendees and remind them about the name tags and snacks along with any prize giveaways or special guests. Encourage them to check in at your tweet up or tweet pictures and updates.

Have fun! You’ve done the work, now enjoy yourself. Go beyond 280 characters, and get to know attendees beyond their Twitter handle. One last thing… don’t forget to stop tweeting long enough to actually talk to the people in front of you. 😉

Tweet about it

Have you attended or organized a tweetup?

What tips would you add? Is there anything you tried that did not work?

Would you recommend a specific tweetup hashtag?

Rockin’ Robin video courtesy of Buddha Mist YouTube Channel

Tweet, Tweet, A Tweetin’,
Jaime

Until we meet at a tweetup, let’s connect online:
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Trick Out Your Tweets: Tips to Stand Out on Twitter

Do you tweet? (Or as someone once asked me, “Are you on that Tweeter thing?”) Does it feel like you’re accomplishing anything? Or, at the end of the day, are you just confused what the buzz is about? (If you haven’t heard, Twitter recently went public, and it was kind of a big deal. –> Twitter’s IPO Created 1,600 New Millionaires)

Twitter bird

All this buzz over a little bird?

Whether you’re tweeting  for personal or professional reasons, the following tips should help you stand out from the crowd.

–> Join the conversation! You may notice that CCC is always asking you to join the conversation. What exactly does that mean? Talk to people! Respond to tweets that interest you. Retweet them to share them with your followers. Favorite them for later reference. Thank others for retweeting you. Search hashtags that interest you or your company and jump into discussions that you can add value to (not necessarily with a sales pitch though).

Social media is all about getting social, so talk to people as much as possible. Try not to just broadcast information all day long. People are social creatures; they want to interact with you. I’ve connected with some of the coolest people just by thanking them for a RT and asking a question or commenting on something in their profile. Profiles are dynamite for conversation fodder, which is why it’s so important to have a good one. –> What’s in a social media profile? Everything. Profile and cover pictures are another fantastic icebreaker. –> Why do you want to be an egghead?

–> Forget the rules — Everywhere you look, someone is laying down the law about something on Twitter, or social media in general. Tweet every hour. Don’t tweet more than 5 times per day. Automate. Don’t automate. Schedule. Don’t schedule. Don’t self-promote. You have to self-promote. Respond to people immediately. Unplug once in a while. Send direct messages. People hate DMs.

egghead avatar on Twitter

Show your personality on Twitter. Don’t be an egghead.

Honestly, it all boils down to common sense. Would you contact someone 30 times a day? Probably not, so don’t do it on Twitter. Would you say that to someone’s face? Probably not, so don’t say it on Twitter. The problem with rules is that you can become paralyzed by them. Pay attention, treat (or tweet) people with respect and you’ll be fine. Plus, you’ll start to find your style and settle in. One good rule to follow? Give people a heads up when you’re going to live tweet an event or webinar, participate in a Twitter chat or tweet a lot more than normal. (h/t @kathyyoho)

–> Be Yourself. Stay true to your self (or brand self); do what’s comfortable to you. Basically, let your personality show. People shouldn’t be surprised when they meet you in real life, because you’re really different from your Twitter persona. It’s difficult to keep up a fake persona anywhere online, so don’t waste your time. Plus, when people find out who you really are (positive or negative difference), it can be unsettling and hard to trust you. Would you want to work with, hire someone or recommend someone who’s put up a false front? Neither do other people.

Automation also falls into this category. To automate or not to automate? If you’re going to automate tweets, make sure that you trust the source completely. It’s not that a blog or site is likely to post offensive content (although that happens); they may blog about a topic sometimes that you don’t want to share. Also, if you schedule, it’s imperative that you (or someone you trust) have access to modify or delete these tweets before they go out. Some brands have gotten into hot water this year due to pre-scheduled tweets that went out as scheduled when they were no longer appropriate.

Live Nation Twitter disaster

Live Nation scheduled tweets to go out during a Radiohead concert and didn’t adjust them when tragedy struck.

–> Treat (or tweet) others with respect — Don’t say something to someone (or even retweet something) that you wouldn’t say to their face. Remember, everything that happens online affects your life. (Thou shalt not destroy your reputation online.) You can delete a tweet, but you can never really delete a tweet. It’s stored somewhere. That doesn’t mean that you have to avoid sarcasm or never joke around. Just make sure that people understand the situation. If you’re pissed off about something, venting on Twitter isn’t a good idea.

Also, don’t smother famous people or standouts on a particular platform. Feel free to follow and engage with anyone (that’s why they’re on Twitter), but don’t ask special favors of or get upset with people if they don’t agree with you or respond immediately. We’re all human; sometimes we miss tweets or are busy in real life. Think about it. Would you want to engage with people when you have 500,000 followers if all they do is ask you to RT them, donate to a cause or recommend them to someone? No, you wouldn’t. So remember to treat others as you’d want to be treated on Twitter and elsewhere. Life usually works out when you do.

Join the Conversation

What do you think?

What would you add to my tips?

Anything you’ve learned after tweeting for awhile?

Twitter bird courtesy of Twitter
Egghead graphic courtesy of Digg with me blog
Live Nation tweet courtesy of Sharilyn Johnson’s Twitter stream

Tweeting since ’09,
Jaime

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