I’m always advising my clients to make the most of any event they attend through social networking. If it is worth your time it is worth sharing what you learn with your community. Everyone always shakes their head in agreement. Most don’t follow through. The executives I work with are generally great at networking within sessions, joining lunch table conversations and collecting business cards from everyone they meet. They are usually terrible at “social networking” the event virtually. So, for all you doubters out there here’s a real life case study and proof it is worth the effort.
This past Monday I attended the E2 conference in Boston. There were a few hundred professionals from a variety of enterprise organizations and technology vendors in attendance. I was helping work the conference on behalf of a client so my ability to attend sessions was limited to the morning keynote presentations (about two hours worth of content). Despite my limited exposure the next morning I was listed as a top 10 influencer for the conference. For the record I also gained 9 new followers – all completely relevant to my work, and even had one of them share a recent blog post unrelated to the conference I had written with their network. This was quickly followed by 4 new LinkedIn connection requests also related to the conference. Every single one of them driven by social, not physical introductions. (Although those in person introductions also happened!)
What I did was simple:
Tweet A LOT – In a couple of hours I tweeted 22 times. Had I attended more sessions I would likely have doubled that across the day. My tweets were interesting tidbits I heard in the sessions with the occasional observation. Mostly I was summarizing what I heard the presenters say. For those that are afraid too many tweets will turn off your audience all I can say is “get over it”! I had not one follower unfollow me because I tweeted too much. And in fact I gained 9 new followers, and was ReTweeted several times.
Tag Presenters In Your Tweets – Give credit for content to its rightful owner. It’s the ethical thing to do, and special bonus, those tagged will often retweet your post increasing visibility for you.
Re-tweet/Respond to what others post – Don’t be afraid to retweet content that is well stated and compelling. In addition to my 22 independent tweets, I RT’d about half as many and responded to two. Although there is not hard and fast rule I try to keep the balance of original tweets to RTs about a 2:1 ratio.
Use the event hashtag – Event participants and others in your network do follow hashtags, especially event organizers. Use the hashtag and the likelihood of your content being retweeted is greatly expanded.
Stay on topic – This might be the most important thing you can do. Give opinions, summarize what you learn but whatever you do stay on topic and stay positive. If you appear too self-serving or negative it turns off would be followers.
That’s it, simple as using my time in sessions for double duty.
The next time you are attending an event – put your tweets were your seat is and increase the return on your time!