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Using Twitter for Events – Part 2: Mastering your Tools

This post was written by Gwynydd Murray, Client Care Specialist with Greenfield Services.

Using Twitter for Events – Part 2: Mastering your Tools
Social media is an inexpensive tool for sharing information before, during, and following an event. With the right plan and the right message, organizations can bring in more patrons and keep those already on board informed.

As reported by eMarketer Inc, showed American nonprofits are spending more time using social media to get their message out than they did in the previous year.  While there are a number of useful and popular sites - from experience - Twitter is the most efficient tool in communicating a very specific message to a desired audience. The study also outlined that Twitter is used by nearly three-quarters of American nonprofits and is used most for multiple posts per day.  Despite these numbers being from a US-based survey, social media trends are comparable north of the border.

In addition to my previous article about Preparation, to aid in the best possible use of Twitter for events, the next aspect to consider is the available Tools and what you should consider having on hand.
The most basic tool that anyone can use while Tweeting about an event on site is a smartphone (with a camera and internet access). I’m not going specify any brand or model, because you just need to be comfortable with it and know how to use what you’ve got to its full potential. There is no question though, there is a difference between camera quality and internet connectivity – an improvement on the basics could be necessary.

In my original post, I said that practice and preparation make perfect. Know what your phone is capable of and get familiar with any useful apps available. You can use Twitter within the browser, or you can find the Twitter app, which allows you to post photos and connect with other Twitter users. Hopefully, you have already connected with associated Followers and should have an already assembled collection of correct @handles and #hashtags. If you cannot pre-program the app you’re using, this is where a hardcopy list would come in handy.

Once you’ve got your mobile companion in-hand, the charger should never be far away.  Some of you may be saying “Of course.” Others may figure “I can usually go days without charging, a few hours in the Trade Show should be a breeze.” You may have the best battery, but I would err on the side of caution because Tweeting from an event is one of the biggest workouts your phone is going to get. Merely using the camera and browsing the internet will use a substantial amount of energy. Switching apps and using multiple media is almost guaranteed to drain the battery before the day is even done (believe me; I didn’t think it would, and it happened to me a few months ago!). You really do not want to watch those little bars depleting and have to rush, which means not doing due-diligence to the whole process.

In addition to the phone, a laptop or iPad can make things easier and provide access to different programs and resources. I realize this can be a tall order and may be overkill, depending on your circumstances.   A bigger screen will make it easier to see the quality of the photos and will also allow for editing. A laptop would also allow using a digital camera to download better photos. With these types of tools, it also helps to be able to use Wi-Fi (don’t forget to get the password for the venue) to check the Twitter feed and do internet searches with ease.

All-in-all, Twitter itself is a great tool for promoting and presenting events. Familiarizing yourself with the basic tools available to access this app, will make the process easy for anyone who is interested.

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