Monday’s social media event, Social Fresh Charlotte (a.k.a. #SoFresh) made me think about how the standard procedures for attending a conference have shifted. How many people used the notepads provided? Maybe one. Maybe. Instead, the room was a sea of laptops, iPads and mobile phones.
The New Protocol for Conferences:
Live tweeting with a hashtag. Sure, that’s not news to most of us social media geeks, but it’s worth noting that it really is a powerful way to increase the value of your experience at a conference and also increase the value that you provide to your followers.
First of all, let me pass along a great recommendation of a tool to help you live tweet & follow an event hashtag. It’s called TweetChat, which Meg Crawford (@Postgrad) introduced me to during the first panel discussion. TweetChat follows the hashtag in realtime and allows you to tweet directly from there and automatically appends the hashtag for you. Simple, clean tool.
Following the hashtag conversation on Twitter during a conference is a great way to join a conversation with other people sharing an experience with you. You can make new connections this way and then follow up with an in-person introduction at some point during the conference.
You can also use it as a space to keep up with the multitude of things going on at any given time during a conference. Sure, during the keynote many people will be tweeting the same information. However, for most of the day there were two different presentations running simultaneously. So, following the hashtag let me be in two places at once. I could attend one presentation while still catching the “nuggets” from the other.
You can also use this as a place to take notes for yourself. You’ll be able to refer back later for more research or follow-up. Additionally, if it’s information that you found valuable, chances are that your followers will, too. So, while you’re taking notes for yourself, you’re sharing your experience and new expertise with your followers who couldn’t attend the event themselves. This makes you an information hub / resource center. You want to be the person able to provide the information others seek.
And, as a secondary benefit, you can expect a jump in your follower count. This tends to happen during conferences if you take advantage of the networking opportunities they provide.
(This data tracking my twitter follower growth is thanks to the Argyle Social tool).
There were a few more takeaways that I think each deserve their own blog post, so you’ll find them added here over the next few days. Here’s what you can expect:
- Phonebooth phonecall with Scott Stratten (@unmarketing)
- Validation! The Social Media for Customer Service panel
- The importance of mobile strategies and apps
- Quotable Quotes from the conference
- Tools to check out