By Marika Flatt —
Often times, at conferences and/or book signings, we find Twitter buzzing with activity with quotes by our authors that were stated during a panel or speech. If you’re speaking at a conference, chances are several attendees in the audience will be “live-tweeting” about what you are saying during that panel. They might quote something you said or make references to the panel you are on.
During these events, Twitter is a GREAT way to engage with people who are interested in what you have to say. Here are 5 simple steps on preparing yourself before, during, and after any event via Twitter.
Step 1: Download Twitter to your smartphone
I can’t emphasize this enough. Twitter is primarily used through mobile phones and chances are you won’t be logging in to your laptop at an event to see what people are saying about you. I’ve even discovered that my Twitter app on my iPhone sends me notifications I can’t seem to get on my laptop.
Step 2: Do Your Research
Are you attending a conference that has a specific hashtag? For example, the Texas Book Festival’s dedicated hashtag was #TXBookFest. What this means is that if you search for anything regarding “#TXBookFest” on Twitter, it will pull up all the results of anyone talking about the festival and using that specific hashtag.
Once you see who is talking about the event, be sure to follow all of those people since you know they are likely to be at the upcoming event. Start engaging in conversation with them using the conference hashtag and let them know where and when you will be speaking (if relevant). I recently utilized this when at the Texas Conference for Women and was able to communicate with a few high-level experts who were speaking because they responded to my tweets.
Step 3: Tweet About the Event
About 2-3 weeks prior to the event, start using the dedicated hashtag daily, letting people know what time and where your speaking event will be. Ask them what they are most excited about or what they plan on seeing during the conference. When people search for the conference hashtag on Twitter, your speaking info and other relevant conversations will be pulled up in the results as long as you are using the dedicated conference hashtag.
Step 4: Announce Your Twitter Handle During Your Intro
When you are introducing yourself at the event, be sure to say “You can find me on Twitter at (insert your Twitter handle name),” so people in the audience will follow you and tag you in any relevant tweets. Also, if you have slides for your presentation, make sure to include your Twitter handle on the slides. This is also a great way to gain followers for future use.
Step 5: Ego-Search
Search for yourself after the event by typing in your handle name and your full name. See what people are saying about your speech, then either retweet what they said or respond to their comments. You should also be sure to follow all of these people since they are interested in your content.
Have you integrated Twitter into your speaking events? Let us know in the comments section below!
About the Author: Marika launched PR by the Book, LLC in 2002, combining her love of the media, public relations and books. Prior to that, Marika spent seven years leading the publicity team of an Austin-based book publicity firm. She received a Gold Bulldog Award for a publicity campaign that resulted in exposure in over 700 media outlets. Marika is a past-president of Women Communicators of Austin, serves as an Expert for IBPA, is listed on Twitter’s Women in Publishing (#womeninpublishing) and serves on the selection committee for the Texas Book Festival. As a hobby, Marika has been a freelance travel writer for over a decade and serves as the Travel Editor for Austin Lifestyle magazine.