We tried something different this year: we live tweeted the event. We've come close to doing that before, but this was the first time we actually grabbed a computer and actively integrated Twitter with our event. By "live-tweeted," I mean that we actually transmitted the highlights of the event over Twitter.
It was a great success as best we can tell. First, in terms of raw numbers:
- Tweets sent: 44
- Tweets mentioning us or our hashtag: 30
- New followers: 5
Here are some tips:
- Set up a hashtag that is easy to remember: For us, the hashtag was #ChamberAM, standing for Chamber Annual Meeting. Then, whenever you tweet about the event, use the hashtag. This makes it easier for you to track when others and tweeting about the event.
- Remind people often and early: Keep the hashtag visable throughout the event, and remind people days before the event that you are going to use the hashtag. That's an area where I goofed - I didn't do either of those things, and the tweets were slow to get started.
- Respond: Whenever someone tweets using the hashtag, respond! You want to do everything you can to encourage interaction.
- Use multimedia: Take pictures from a smartphone! We took many pictures, including an owl brought to us by the Lehigh Valley Zoo, vendors setting up and Tony Iannelli, our President & CEO, with the Allentown Hobo Band.
- Just the highlights - don't overdo it: Don't Tweet everything said - it will clog up the stream. Just tweet the highlights or interesting quotes.
- Keep your tweets retweetable - 120 characters or less: Since Twitter has a 140 character limit, you want to keep your tweets to 120 or less - this will make it easier for others to have enough room to retweet.
- ReTweet people who aren't there: The point of live tweeting an event is to bring others in on the event as well, regardless of if they are there. So, make a point of responding to others who aren't at the event.
- ReTweet interesting or positive comments: Don't talk about how awesome you are. Let others do it for you.
- Hold a contest: This was our biggest success. In partnership with our friends at Coca-Cola, we gave away six Coca Cola polar bears (and we're talking three-foot plush bears here), complete with tickets to the Lehigh Valley Zoo and the Iron Pigs. In order to enter, individuals had to tweet us and say "I want a Coca-Cola polar bear @GLVCC #ChamberAM." That got us over 20 contest entries and a whole new level of interactivity and exposure.
What do you think? Anything we are missing here?