Developer Relations (7 Part Series)
(As part of my Prototyping a DevRel Career experiment, I am attending tech events and live-tweeting them. This post discusses why and how I live-tweet events. To see examples and screenshots, I recommend that you watch the video instead of reading the following transcript).
Today's video is all about live-tweeting a tech event. But before we discuss how to live-tweet an event, let's discuss why you should live-tweet an event.
I love live-tweeting tech events, especially talks at meetups and
conferences. Live-tweeting a talk is my way of showing support for the speaker. The way I live-tweet events is that I don't just transcribe what the speaker is saying but I try to figure out the thing that resonates the most with me in the talk and then I share it on Twitter. This not only helps the speaker gain visibility for their talk but it also serves as a good feedback mechanism for them. Because me, who is part of the audience, is giving them feedback about the things that I found the most valuable or relatable in their talk.
The second reason why I love live-tweeting is because it helps me build my brand. It helps me convey that I'm an engaged and invested member of the tech community and that I genuinely care about what my peers are presenting and that I want to support them.
The final reason I love live-tweeting events is that it helps the event gain visibility. If all the people live-tweeting about the event use the event's hashtag, the Twitter algorithm picks up the hashtag and you can get the hashtag trending on Twitter which is excellent for event visibility.
A common question that I'm asked is, "Do I need to have a lot of followers to live-tweet an event?" And the answer is -- not at all! Even if you don't have a lot of followers on Twitter, all three reasons are still valid, right? You can still build authentic connections with the speaker and provide feedback through your tweets. You can still build your personal brand as an engaged and invested member of the community. And by using the event hashtag, you can help the event gain visibility. None of these three things are dependent on your follower count. So even if you don't have a lot of followers on Twitter, you can still live-tweet an event successfully.
Okay, now that we have discussed why you should live-tweet a tech event, let's discuss how to live-tweet a tech event.
The process of live-tweeting a tech event begins before the actual event. You can prepare for the event by making a Twitter list of all the speakers and attendees. This will help you during the event because then you won't be scrambling around on Twitter trying to find the speakers' Twitter handle. You can just access this list, go to the speakers' profile, and tweet at them using the event hashtag.
On the day of the event, I highly recommend that the first tweet you send out in the morning is to all your followers informing them that you will be live-tweeting the event and that they should feel free to follow along if they are interested in the event or feel free to mute you or the hashtag for their mental health. And the reason for that is that seeing all these events trend on Twitter can cause anxiety in a lot of people about not being there and about the fear of missing out. So whenever possible, make sure that your followers know that it's okay to mute you and take care of their mental health.
Now let's discuss the anatomy of a live tweet. When I live-tweet tech talks, the first tweet I send out includes the title of the talk and the speaker and event hashtag. Then instead of having multiple separate tweets for each talk, I usually use the "Add Tweet" button to create a Twitter thread for each talk. Then for each section or a distinct point in the talk, I add a tweet to the same Twitter thread to capture the information in that section. So by the end of the talk I have a single Twitter thread that has all the information for that talk.
I also use a lot of gifs, images, links, and screenshots to make sure that I am conveying all the information being presented. And I use a lot of emojis to help my followers understand the context or the emotion being conveyed at a glance. For example, I use the lightning bolt emoji or the light bulb emoji to convey a brilliant insight that I gained from the talk.
An important point that I recently discovered is that you are not supposed to use the speaker's name at the beginning of the tweet but use it somewhere in the middle. And the reason for that is this Twitter algorithm thing where if you use the speaker's name at the beginning of the tweet and it is considered a conversation between you and the speaker and only your common followers will see the tweet but if you have followers who don't follow the other person they won't see the tweet and their followers won't see your tweet. It's confusing! This article explains it better than I just did but the rule apparently is that use the speaker's Twitter handle somewhere in between or at the end of the tweet but not at the beginning.
After the event is over, you can create a Twitter moment where you collect all the tweets that you tweeted out for the particular event using the event hashtag.
Now let's talk about the tools you can use to live-tweet an event. I tend to use the Twitter app on my phone to live-tweet events because, as I said, I like to use a lot of gifs and images and emojis and it's easier to manipulate all that media on my phone. I have seen people use iPads and portable Bluetooth keyboards to live-tweet events. You can also live-tweet using your laptop.
And I recently found out about this application called NoterLive that helps you live-tweet events. I tried out the application at one of the events but it does not really work for me. But I know people who are absolute fans of the application. So you might want to give it a try and see if it works for you. So this is my process of live-tweeting a tech event. I am an absolute newbie when it comes to live-tweeting.
This is the process that I have developed over the last couple of months
and I'm still learning. So if you have any tips for live-tweeting events, please share it with me in the comments down below. I'll see you in the next video. Bye!