I’m not one of those who think, “I tweet, therefore, I am.” But I do see the tremendous benefits of this microblogging tool. Especially for events. Nothing else short of live-streaming video allows such a moment-by-moment accounting.

This week I attended a presentation that was part of Wichita State University’s Elliott School of Communications’ 17th annual Comm Week. Ronnie Ramos, the NCAA’s managing director of digital communications, presented “How Communication Works Today.” A packed auditorium of students and communications professionals suddenly was atwitter (sorry, couldn’t help myself).

A moderator opened the event by announcing the hashtag: #commweek. Fingers started flying. Tweets conveyed key points in real time. How in 2004 Mark Zuckerberg offered Ramos the chance to invest in a little company he was starting at Harvard. How Ramos thought, “Why invest? MySpace is doing so well.”

As Ramos spoke about the shift toward online information and the emergence of social media, I was among those feverishly tweeting his insights to the world. Doing so made me realize that I have some insights others might find helpful. Here are some lessons I’ve learned over the years.

Make the Most of Your Next Live Tweeting Opportunity

  1. Pay attention. Live tweeting events are generally held to share knowledge. Make sure you have something to take away
  2. Know the hashtag. If there is no hashtag, use the event name or topic.
  3. Monitor the hashtag. Between listening and sharing – see what’s being said. Follow new people.
  4.  Think before tweeting. Getting it right beats getting it first. Sloppy, inaccurate tweets are a quick way to lose credibility and followers.
  5.  Attribute quotes. Use the speaker’s Twitter handle if possible.
  6.  Share pictures or video. People love visuals.
  7.  Don’t overtweet. People prefer and appreciate high-level information.
  8.  Pose questions. Encourage interaction with others. This establishes you as a thought leader and builds followers.
  9.  Retweet. Show others some love.
  10.  Prepare. Charge your phone or tablet fully beforehand. Live tweeting drains a battery.

Be Your Own Publisher

Ramos said, “The sports world loves to control breaking news via social media. Be your own media outlet.” This is true for all users of social media. Be part of the conversation.

Even better, lead it.