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Twitter is still an incredible force in the social media world, and Twitter training is still our most popular service. But many of our attendees are left concerned that Twitter is very involving and is well… like a full-time job!

Tweeting for a business is a very important part of your marketing, and engaging others in conversations about particular subjects is incredibly powerful. We’ve spoken about best use of time and best practice before, but we think that the key to success on Twitter is using your time effectively.

So is Twitter a full-time job?

We tweet on behalf of businesses, so for us, yes it’s a full-time job. We cover 8am – 10pm for most of our clients, and you could argue that’s more than full-time. But what about you as a business? If you tweet for yourself do you need to employ a tweeter?

Well it depends on what you want to get from Twitter. Many businesses will pass on the job to an intern and hope for the best (fail). Some will add it to the already busy marketing department because, well, it’s just like all other marketing isn’t it?! (fail). Others might leave it to sales (fail). The clever businesses will decide that because they have a marketing strategy and everything that talks about the brand needs to follow suit, that they will employ someone like to us to run social media alongside their own efforts (win).

There’s no doubt about it; the more you put in, the more you get out. We’ll also concede that with proper training some small businesses are better at their own social media; they’re there doing the job, and they understand the business better than a marketing company.

But what about using Twitter at big events?

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On Friday 22nd November we were asked to take over the Twitter feed of a company at one of their events because they wanted it to be a massive part of the night. Quidem (who look after the Touch FM and Oak FM group) wanted to harness the power of Twitter at their #PrideofLoughborough event. We were more than happy to get involved, and as previous winners of a Pride of Warwick award, we knew how great the night would be! Armed with a huge tweetboard the idea was to encourage everyone at the event to tweet constantly about it – perfect!

This is when company tweeting becomes a full-time job. To make this work it needed to be carefully organised, especially because every single announcement and award was to be tweeted live, at the exact moment it was announced on stage. The whole event was a production and the Twitter was a large part of that production. 

Armed with a script for the awards and a brief outline of tone of voice as well as a few surprises, I logged into the Oak FM Twitter and set to work sharing the build up and the night as it unfolded.

Building the tension for events is something I’ve done before and of course our company WTU started as an event born from Twitter, so you could say I was the perfect choice for this job!

Teaser photos of awards and the room followed with the unveiling of the red carpet and guests arriving. I happily papped the guests during reception, including the Mayor and a guy in a kilt followed by the pinkest shoes I’ve ever seen. Adding the hashtag ensured they also appeared on the big screen, much to the surprise and delight of some of the guests I photographed.

So did having a professional tweeter help?

Well, without meaning to blow my trumpet – yes! There’s no doubt in my mind that without a designated person running Twitter the output would not have worked so well. With 200 people in the room and conversation and hashtags to track throughout, it really was a busy job. We had over 600,000 impressions on Twitter (Hashtracking.com) and we are hoping to smash this at the Pride of Stratford next year.

The awards were tweeted live, which meant a tweet to introduce the award, a tweet to mention the nominees, and a tweet to announce the winner (all happening in about 30-45 seconds). I also managed to tweet pictures of the acceptance speeches and photos of the gags and laughs along the way.

The night was great fun and the online banter was good too. One such table (Community Eye Magazine) even enticed me to their table by tweeting “Where is your tweeter hiding? Show yourself!” Naturally I went and said a quick hello and sent a “I’m behind you” tweet! Great to tweet you guys!

Conversation wasn’t just in the room either. Followers and people who couldn’t make it were tweeting the station’s Twitter, and the Loughborough Youth club were even running a party back at their club and keeping in contact with, 140 characters at a time.

The tweetboard was brilliant and a plethora of selfies emerged from the sponsor’s table, among the red carpet papparazi shots from me. The tweetboard is a great idea and a powerful way to ensure your event guests get involved with the evening via Twitter and use the hashtag in their tweets.

The Pride awards were a perfect example of integrating Twitter into an event and sharing the night with people outside of the room. Twitter is all about conversation and I can’t think of a better social platform to use for this occasion.

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There are so many new social networks coming into play lately, and with the demise of Facebook looking more and more imminent I’ve been wondering if maybe Twitter will be next. But when it comes to conversation and events, I can’t see any other platform doing it better. I also can’t see anything taking Twitter’s place. It’s such a simple platform driven by our need to interact and to stay in contact. I just don’t see how any other platform could beat it for its simplicity.

The only way something would replace Twitter is if they managed to make conversation happen quicker or more efficiently… but I reckon they got that in the bag 7 years ago!

What do you think? What’s the best social media platform for events and communication?

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My name is Graham Todd and I’ve been imerssed in social media for almost three years. I train, blog and manage social media for business.

Find me on Google+

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