On Sunday evening, I tried my hand at Live Tweeting. I wasn’t attending a swanky movie premiere or black tie event. I was ironing my dress shirts for the week ahead. Domesticated, boring, and relatively uninspired. But what better way to explore the ins and outs of a platform than to jump right in. So 56 minutes of tweets, photos and videos followed.
If your brand is considering Live Tweeting from an upcoming event, I’ve got some advice for you. These are the five things I learned about Live Tweeting.
Actually considering live tweeting my ironing and music matchups tonight.
— Will Duderstadt (@willduder) December 5, 2016
1) Audience Matters
While I spend an hour every Sunday night ironing, this topic isn’t exactly “on brand” for me. On a regular basis, my Twitter followers engage with tweets related to Real Estate, breakfast, Jeopardy and Internet Marketing. Not household chores. The segment of my audience that was interested in clothes ironing was low. More so, ironing fanatics haven’t exactly taken to Twitter in droves. Even major brands like Rowenta, Singer and Sunbeam are not generating vast amounts of ironing related content.
Ultimately, engagements will depend on a captive audience’s interest in the topic. Choose your events carefully and invest in Live Tweeting when it makes the most sense for your audience.
2) Media is Everywhere
Finding content assets for Live Tweeting can be intimidating. Heck, maintaining a regular non-live tweeting schedule can be daunting. But the reality is rich media is all around us. Don’t blame being in the moment as a reason to not create engaging content.
Ahead of time, identify potential mention, hashtag, photo, video and link opportunities. Capturing this content does not need to coincide with publishing. Consider a pre-production run where you gather B-Roll assets that can be used throughout your event. Avoid a stream of plain text tweets during your event (so boring!). Leverage true live media tools (Periscope, Snapchat, etc) to drive the point home. Remember, you are painting a picture of what it’s like to be there in person. Being live is hard, but it’s no excuse for shortcuts.
3) “Doing it Live” is Hard
Balancing the momentum of a live tweet stream and the actual event itself is difficult. One of the two will inevitably suffer. A few wrinkled sleeves might have slipped thru during my #LiveIron tweets, I am OK with that. But allowing social media to preclude a brand from servicing customers or from running an event just isn’t acceptable.
Be reasonable with the demands of these online and offline tasks. Clearly assign duties ahead of time. Take a few extra steps to alleviate juggling by automating some posts during the event. Only you will know a few of those live tweets weren’t really live.
4) Copy Editing Takes Time
It’s easy to overlook the need for proofreading while live. Especially if the Live Tweeting is taking place on-location. Traditionally, working from a mobile device isn’t collaboration friendly. So draft your tweets in email, a shared document or collaboration tool. Get at least one additional set of eyes before publishing. Those pesky iPhone auto corrects or misspelled hashtags might be OK on your personal account, they just aren’t as forgivable coming from a brand.
5) Use Moments to Summarize
Announcing the start and end of your Live Tweet stream is a general best practice. It helps define expectations and holds your brand accountable during the event. However, you should also try to benefit from your live event in the days following. Twitter’s new Moment feature are curated collections of similar tweets. Bringing your content together as a Moment allows your audience to relive the event; and serves as an easy way to re-share.