Live Tweeting Academic Events: During the Event (Part II)

In this post, the second in a series about live tweeting, we tackle the work of actually live tweeting during the event. If you haven’t already, you may want to check out our post on what to do to prepare to live tweet an event.

Live tweeting is a way to encourage event participants to engage in discussions beyond the event space and to share their ideas broadly on their social networks. In this post, the second in a series about live tweeting, we tackle the work of actually live tweeting during the event. If you haven’t already, you may want to check out our post on what to do to prepare to live tweet an event.

During the Event

6) Pay Attention and be Discerning

It sounds obvious, but the person live tweeting must pay attention to what is happening, and be able to pick out quotes from people speaking that will make good tweets. Keep a word doc or basic text editor open as a “scribble” area where you quickly jot down quotes as people are speaking that you can then transfer and craft into a tweet. Research prior to live-tweeting (see point 6 on how to cultivate an arsenal of handles, places, research, and images).


7) Use Attribution as much as Possible

When quoting people, make sure to attribute them, and use quotes and shout outs in tweets as an opportunity to tag and connect with other Twitter followers via Twitter handles.

Note: If a faculty member or scholar does not have a Twitter account, you could use a hashtag instead of a handle to draw them into the conversation.


8) Use Rich Media

Try to integrate photos and videos into your tweets whenever possible. Snap a photo of the organizing committee for a conference and post it on the feed. If a specific recording, piece of music, cultural icon, work of art, book, etc., is being discussed, open another tab and attempt to find an image or YouTube video related to the discussion that you can incorporate into the live tweet. Photos of book jackets can help feature a presenter’s publication. (Note: Headphones are important if the rich media involves sound so you can check the recording or video is what you actually want to use before posting.)

9) Usually* “Follow Back”

Live tweeting events often garners more followers in a short amount of time, as people using the hashtag will follow the feed, and the people you mention in posts will likely begin following your feed as well. As much as possible, try to follow those who begin following your feed throughout the live-tweeted event. It increases the chances that other people will see your feed and follow you.

10) Plant some Re-Tweeters

Talk with members of the organizing committee of an event, and any friends you know are attending that also have Twitter accounts. Whenever possible, plant some designated re-tweeters in the crowd who know you will be live tweeting the event, and are committed to re-tweeting. This will help promote interaction and use of the hashtag. Additionally, try to designate one or two individuals who might be following the conference remotely (either through a live-stream and/or the hashtag)  as retweeters.

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