Social Media can help take your event to the next level. My personal favorite way of doing this is by showing a live feed of audience/viewers tweets. To do this, you must first understand the functionality of #hashtags.
Here’s a quick definition and purpose of #hashtags:
Definition: The (#) symbol, called the #hashtag, is used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. It was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.
Using #hashtags to categorize Tweets by keyword:
- People use the #hashtag symbol # before a relevant keyword or phrase (no spaces) in their Tweet to categorize those Tweets and help them show more easily in Twitter Search.
- Clicking on a hashtagged word in any message shows you all other Tweets marked with that keyword..
- Hashtags can occur anywhere in the Tweet – at the beginning, middle, or end.
- Hashtagged words that become very popular are often Trending Topics.
Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s discuss different platforms of live tweets at events:
- TWITTERFALL.com– this has a basic platform but it has all the functionality you need to get your audience tweets live! This basic platform allows you to search for more than one #hashtag and it groups the #hashtag by colors. Amazing!
- ANOTHERTWEETONTHEWALL.com – this has a more “stylish” platform. This is good to run on the screen for long periods of time, sort of like a screen saver. It has creative transitions between tweets and not to mention, pleasing in the eye. The drawback is that you can only search for one #hashtag at a time.
- VISIBLETWEETS.com – this is even more stylish than the last one and it has more transition options and style options. The only drawback is that you can only search for one #hashtag at a time.
- http://hootsuite.com/hootfeed – I find Hootsuite very functional and useful in helping me manage all my social media outlets. Their Hootfeed platform is basic but it allows you to customize the feed wall and add your logo or change text and background colors.
To conclude, the purpose of integrating live tweets at your event is to:
- Increase your chances of being a “Trending Topic” on twitter.
- Increase your followers as your audiences’ tweets will be visible to their followers.
- Engage your audience or allow them to participate.
- Collect evaluations/suggestions/opinions.
- Continue conversations even after the event.
The downside is that you will not be able to stop any tweets that may be offensive using the free tools I’ve listed above, but there are platforms you can subscribe to that will allow you to monitor your feed before it goes on live like Magnetfeed.com.
In the seminars that I have attended, I haven’t experienced inappropriate tweets, but sometimes it can get distracting when tweets get off topic. My advice is to go for it and try to incorporate live tweets at your next event. It is more helpful than harmful!