Connecting with Others by Live-Tweeting Events
By Haley Maple
Dalan, Katz & Siegel, P.L.
Attending large conferences presents many opportunities to network and market yourself both as a law student and as a lawyer. In addition to the many face-to-face and speaking opportunities available, Twitter presents an effective, fun, and engaging way to interact with speakers, other attendees, and industry professionals via live-tweeting at conferences, including the ABA Section Annual conference this year in San Francisco.
Live-tweeting involves posting tweets in real time while attending an event, typically using an event-designated hashtag, such as #LitigationLeader, used at many Section of Litigation events. This will allow anyone following the designated hashtag on Twitter to follow along with the conference or event and importantly, allow you to interact with people at the event.
To get started, be sure that you’re using a professional, not personal, Twitter account to live-tweet any law-related event. Use either a professional headshot or a professional-looking photograph, and ensure that your byline reflects your legal interests. As with all social media accounts, as you enter the professional sphere, the general rule of thumb will be to keep your personal social media accounts private and maintain separate accounts for professional purposes.
Live-tweeting is easy. You can literally tweet about anything that interests you at the event or conference. Considering that you are always marketing yourself, keep tweets free from major typographical issues, be professional, and play nicely.
The following make for successful live-tweeting at events and can increase your engagement with other attendees:
- Include photographs when appropriate. Tweets that include photographs are more likely to be viewed and are more visually interesting. Consider tweeting a picture of a panel if appropriate, for example, or a picture of you and another live-tweeter at a networking event.
- Engage influencers by referencing them in your tweet. If you use an influencer’s Twitter handle in your tweet, that person or entity will be alerted to your tweet. For example, your live-tweet can include a speaker’s Twitter handle or the hosting organization’s. At the Section of Litigation Annual Conference, for example, your live-tweet can include the Section handle (@abalitigation).
- Ask questions of the panel in your tweet. Some panels or speakers request and read questions during their presentations. Other times, a question will result in a conversation on Twitter among those attending the conference and following the hashtag or for those simply interested in the topic being covered. This provides a way to engage with other attendees on relevant topics.
- Always use the conference hashtag. This is how you will follow others and others will follow you to engage in the Twitter conversation while at the event.
- Speaking of hashtags, follow the hashtag. Respond to comments of other attendees who are also present at the event. Following the hashtag may also alert you to informal networking events occurring, such as a post-conference happy hour.
- Follow others who are live-tweeting the event. By following others, you will be able to continue following the attendees, speakers, and panelists once the event ends.