There’s a big Twitter universe out there that delivers useful information directly related to your business. People may even be talking about you. But how would you know if you’re not listening?

Follow Your Favorite Trade Show

If you’re looking for a way to test the Twitter waters, drop in on the conversations during and after major aviation conventions. These days, they all have a master hashtag (jargon alert: a hashtag is a word or group of words without spaces or punctuation, preceded by the # symbol).

These should be simple and easy to find. For example, the recently completed Paris show was #PAS15. The upcoming Oshkosh 2015 (otherwise known as EAA AirVenture) is #OSH15. To tap into the buzz, just sign in to Twitter and search one of those hashtags.

BlueSky's Twitter posts
Oshkosh advance tweets cover everything from camping to the Goodyear blimp.

You’ll find lots of tips about how to make the most of your time if you attend. During the show, it’s a great way to keep abreast of what’s going on and where, in real time. This is beneficial whether you’re at the show, or if your monitoring it from afar. If something big is happening or about to happen, you’ll see it on Twitter. Guaranteed. And there will be links to coverage, further information, informative blogs, photos, video and more.

Bombardier Jets' Twitter posts
Bombardier Jets – in two languages – tells you how to virtually attend an upcoming press conference.

Almost As Good As Being There

Twitter offers a great way to follow developments that most interest you. At Paris, for example, U.S. Commerce Department tweeted a link to a blog pointing out that the aerospace industry has the largest trade surplus of any U.S. industry, among other interesting statistics. Bombardier tweeted a link to follow its press conference live. Vertical Magazine tweeted a link to a recap of all the show helicopter news.

Twitter post

A quick scan of #OSH15 reveals tips on events to watch for (rocket women, a Mooney formation flight), a line on good, cheap housing (UW dorms), discounts on avgas and more.

When you see an item of particular interest, there will often be a supplementary link or hashtag to follow for more specific information.

Airbus Twitter post
Airbus tweets a link to a video about its most innovative programs showcased at the show – an all-electric plane, virtual reality goggles, a cockpit of the future and more.

If it’s happening now, someone is tweeting about it. And others are commenting. It’s like having your own private news source, where you decide exactly what news you see. Check it out. You might be surprised to find out how useful Twitter can be.

This column ran in the July 2 issue of BlueSky Business Aviation News.