I love live tweeting conferences.
It’s fun to share quote, insights, stats and takeaways in real-time with other conference attendees and people following along from home.
Conference tweeting is also a great way to connect with people, grow my audience and showcase my values around coworking and my own work within the movement.
Next week I’ll be tweeting from GCUC, the Global Coworking Unconference Conference. If you aren’t familiar with GCUC, it’s a treasure of the coworking industry and movement—a way to learn from each other, share ideas with our global community, see where the industry is going, and spend in-person time with coworking friends and pioneers from around the world.
My favorite social media platform is Twitter, because it’s fast, hashtags make it easy to follow the conversation, and people are understanding of high-volume conferences tweet marathons. If you prefer Facebook, or Instagram, or LinkedIn, that’s great. You do you. Many of these tips translate to any platform.
Here are my best tips for live tweeting GCUC, as well as a few reasons why you should.
Why Tweet at GCUC?
GCUC is a gathering of industry movers and shakers, visionaries, game changers, pioneers and up-and-comers. It’s really a who’s who of the coworking movement and everyone is dropping incredible bits of wisdom as they share their wins, struggles and next steps.
Topics covered at GCUC range from leases, commercial real estate and scaling your brand, to community building, social good, the future of the industry, marketing and much more.
If any of these topics are interesting to you, your members or your fellow workspace operators, then you’ll hit the jackpot at GCUC, and you can contribute to the conversation by tweeting your insights.
I always walk away from GCUC with a bunch of new followers, great quotes to share throughout the next few months and fun GIFs to inspire and entertain my fellow coworking peeps.
How to Tweet at GCUC
I think the best way to approach this “how to” section is to tell you what I do. I’ve fine-tuned my live tweet strategy after years of attending and covering conferences.
This is my strategy. Take from it what works for you, leave what doesn’t, and remix it for your own needs and goals. Hit me up if you have any questions. I’ll be following along the conference hashtags so I’ll see you inside.
Use the conference hashtags
The best way to stay up on conference highpoints is to follow the conference hashtags. GCUC US uses #GCUC and #GCUCUSA. The flip side of following conference hashtags is to use them in your own tweets so others can follow your thoughts and takeaways.
Bring an external keyboard
This tip may be too pro for casual conference tweeting, but if you’re going to get serious about tweeting from GCUC or any other conference, bring a laptop or external keyboard. This way, you can tweet as fast as you type, instead of thumbing your way to typo-riddled tweets on your phone. My preferred setup is an ipad with an external keyboard. It’s small enough to go in my shoulder bag, but big enough that I can actually type normally.
Get the Twitter handles of the speakers
It’s a bit crazy-making to be trying to @ mention someone at a conference when you’re not sure which Twitter handle is theirs. For GCUC NYC, I’ve made it easy for you. I put all the Twitter handles from the Who’s Coming page into a GCUC 2018 Twitter list. Subscribe to the list and you can follow conference attendees and speakers all in one place. If you’re going to the conference and aren’t on this list, shoot me a tweet (@CatJohnson) and I’ll add you.
Pay attention to side conversations
Yes, mainstage presentations, panels and speakers will have lots of interesting information and insights. But, conferences, in general, and GCUC, specifically, is a gathering of visionary folks from the coworking movement and industry—from pioneering community builders to people changing the game right now, and they are dropping wisdom in conversations, unconferences and sidecar chats.
Use GIFs and images
If you’re a member of the Coworking Content Alliance, you already know I have a fondness for GIFs. They’re just fun. I encourage you to use them liberally in your GCUC tweets. If something blows your mind, there’s a GIF for that; if something makes you shed a tear, show us; if you just LOL’d, share a funny GIF. It’s a fun way to share conference quotes and #GCUCMicDrop moments, and it keeps people following the conference engaged and entertained. The same thing goes for images.
Charge your gadgets before the event and whenever you get a chance
Don’t wait until your device needs a charge. Charge it whenever you get the chance. That way, you won’t get caught almost out of juice and in a room with no accessible outlets. Trust me, I’ve learned this one from experience. If there’s an outlet anywhere in reach, plug in. You’ll be glad you did.
I have a pet peeve: people sharing quotes without attributing the person who said the inspiring/thoughtful/visionary thing. It bugs me when people do it with famous quotes and it bugs me at conferences. If the speaker has a Twitter handle, be sure to @ mention them. If they don’t, at least add their name to the tweet.
Add context to your tweets
Sharing other people’s thoughts, quotes and inspirational tidbits is great. What’s even better is when you add a little context or your own perspective when you do share. The idea is to share a bit of yourself, as well as other people’s ideas.
Twitter is the most fun when people are authentic. Sometimes that means they’re snarky; sometimes it means they’re visionary; sometimes it means they share photos of their day. Whatever your thing is, do that. Your tweets will be better received if they come from a real human and not someone trying to be someone they’re not.
What are your best live tweeting tips? Share in the comments and I’ll add it to the list.
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