We Can Tweet If We Want To: How To Leverage Twitter For Your Live Event Or Conference.

This past weekend I presented at INTEGRATE a marketing communications conference associated with the graduate IMC program at WVU. As with my PRSSA National Conference presentation last fall everyone was tweeting my speech. This is a new phenomenon. Whether I like it or not, my speech will simply be Tweeted. I really have no control of it in terms of stopping this activity. However if I embrace it and plan ahead, I can focus the activity, and direct it for my benefit. This is the same for any organization.

Keith Quesenberry INTEGRATE 14 WVU IMC
Tweeting Is Now Simply A Part of My Presentations Making My Audience Much Larger.

So let them Tweet if they want to, just do a little planning ahead to take more advantage of it. Here is a list of ideas I put together for our Center for Leadership Education Business Plan Competition at Johns Hopkins this past Spring. How to integrate Twitter into your next live event:

#1 Create An Event Hashtag. Put it on all event materials. Encourage people to put the hashtag at the end of every Tweet about the event so anyone following the stream will see all posts related to the event like #Integrate14, #PRSSANC #jhubizplan

#2 Tweet With A Purpose. The point of tweeting from an event is to give a commentary of what is happening, announce results and highlight statements made by speakers (or people asking questions) that are interesting, but remember you are limited to 140 characters.

#3 Give Credit Where Credit Is Due. When curating relevant points from speakers give them credit by using a format like “[name] says [their statement].” and use the speaker’s Twitter handle to attribute a statement to them such as @Kquesen. If you can’t find the Twitter handle right away, search Google for “their name” + “Twitter.”

#4 Pictures Are Worth 1,000 Characters. Use links to multimedia content mentioned by speakers or relevant to your observations such a websites, blog posts, papers or videos. Don’t forget you can take and tweet photos!

#5 Follow The Leaders. Follow other people whose handles appear in the livestream. This enables you to make connections beyond the event day.

#6 Keep It Up. Try to keep conversations going.  Agree that an important point was made or ask a follow-up question. Keep your phone going to by bringing a charger!

#7 Follow Through. After the event reconnect with new followers by sending a “thanks for connecting at the ____” for possible future partnerships and supporters. Also a collection of the most interesting conversations that occurred on Twitter during the event can be pulled together for a follow up blog post.

#8 Get Help. Finally here is a free Twitter chat tool that automatically adds the event hashtag to each tweet, and the feed automatically updates as you chat with other users in real-time: http://www.tchat.io/ Or if you want to post to multiple social channels at once. Take a photo and add commentary in Instagram from which you can then post to Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, FourSquare and Flickr all at the same time – still use the hashtag.

#9 Give Prizes. At the INTEGRATE conference they give away a prize or three (social media gift baskets) for the most Tweets and other social media updates to the event hashtag by individual users. This can help jump start and motivate social conversation. That event is three days long so they give updates of the leaders of the Tweet race throughout the program.

#10 Storify It. One of the coolest things at INTEGRATE14 this year was the Storify page described as “On May 30-31 2014, West Virginia University’s Integrated Marketing Communications graduate program presents INTEGRATE 2014. In this story, you’ll see tweets from my experience, as well as those of my classmates, professors & the speakers of each session. Will be adding posts all weekend.” 

My presentation starts on slide 219 and you get the main points of my talk from the collection of various audience comments and pictures via their Tweets to the conference hashtag.

Are ready to take your live event to new social media heights? What social media tricks have you used at events?

Filling The Digital Marketing Gap 19 Students At A Time

The Online Marketing Institute (OMI), ClickZ, and Kelly services released results of their 2014 State of Digital Marketing Talent report.  This survey of 747 Fortune 500 marketing executives reveals there is a serious digital marketing talent gap. What’s more, this shortage of digital marketing skills is hurting sales and marketing ROI. The good news? If you have these skills, you are in high demand.

In my post “What To Do With Out-of-Date Advertising Professors?” I spoke about an Advertising Age article that talked about the underperformance of undergraduate marketing and advertising classes. An advertising agency owner quotes students saying things like, “Subjects like mobile marketing aren’t even offered at their schools” and “classes promise integrated marketing while delivering insights about only traditional tactics.” In light of this education gap, I would like to highlight one course that I offer through the Center for Leadership Education at Johns Hopkins University. Blogging & Online Copywriting  is attempting to build a bridge to the new digital language.

The ClickZ, OMI, Kelly Services report highlights the missing skills that are creating the talent gap and potentially costing corporations market share. In my Blogging & Online Copywriting course we cover all these subjects: analytics, mobile, content marketing, social media, email marketing, marketing automation, SEO, digital advertising, and more. For example, one former student is now working at digital marketing tech firm HubSpot, the 2nd fastest growing software company within the INC 500.

Another insight from the study is that hiring managers say “sorting through resumes is time-consuming and applicants do not differentiate themselves from one another.” Blogging & Online Copywriting also teaches students to create their own professional blog that has helped many land valuable internships and their first jobs out of school. This helped that one student get her foot in the door at HubSpot as she talks about on the CLE Student Blog.

So for corporations saying they, “… haven’t been able to hire the specialist we need due to lack of talent or experience in our area.” I know of at least 19 Johns Hopkins students you may be interested in this Spring.

Yes, there is a digital marketing talent gap as much as 27% to 37% in key skill areas at Fortune 500 companies – Imagine what it is at other corporations, startups and small businesses. But with the gap, comes opportunity. ClickZ, OMI, and Kelly Services sum up the rewards of investing in digital marketing education:

  • For the global brand it means “major expansion and market share gains that would normally take tens of millions of advertising dollars.”
  • For the startup and small business it means “going from surviving to thriving.”
  • For the career minded student it means “one of the best paying and growth minded career opportunities ever.”