Live Tweeting: Social Data Week

Social Data Week San Francisco

Social Data Week San Francisco

If the purpose of social media is to be social, then going to a social media conference, like Social Data Week, which I just attended, is a chance to really connect with those you’ve only talked to or seen online. Here are some things that have helped me to prepare for a live conference. If you’re unfamiliar with live tweeting, read You Too Can Be Guru’s excellent piece: Live Tweeting Events.


You probably already have a list of the conference speakers. Why not reach out to those you’d really like to hear before the conference? Connect on Twitter, retweet, ask a question, and tell them you’re looking forward to meeting. For Social Data Week, I reached out to several social media superstars. I was excited to reach out to Susan Etlinger, Nova Spivack, John Bell, Nick Halstead, and Rob Bailey.

Educate Yourself

Conference cheat sheet

Conference cheat sheet

Dig a little and find out what the speakers at the conference do. I like to prepare a little “cheat sheet,” with conference speaker titles and Twitter handles. When you’re sitting in the dark, trying to tweet, you don’t want to have to dig around for names, so this really comes in handy. It took me about 20 minutes to compile all the names. Knowing a little bit more about these people and having more of a personal connection, made their talks even more compelling.


The conference itself may have a hashtag, so make sure you have that ready, too, so that you can live tweet. For instance, Social Data Week’s hashtag was #sdwk13.

Say Hello

When you say hello to people, they usually say hello back: it’s amazing! So during the conference, introduce yourself. As an introvert, I don’t run up to every single person, but I do make a point of meeting a few people, and especially those I’ve connected with on social media beforehand.

During the Conference

If you’re following the hashtag, you can also reach out to those you meet online at the conference. You can retweet them, comment on their tweets, or even connect with them after the conference by looking back through the hashtagged tweets. You can ask them how they liked the conference, and of course, follow them on Twitter.

Take Pictures

John Bell explains: "The U.S. is highest in passionate advocacy"

John Bell explains: “The U.S. is highest in passionate advocacy”

Take more pictures than you think you’ll need. You can tweet those photos out during the event or use them later. Make sure you get a photo of a sign or two, and of course the people you’ve met.

What Do You Do to Prepare for a Conference?

Do you like to live tweet? Do you do anything to prepare for a conference? Tell me in the comments below!

Twitter: Four Reasons You Don’t Get Retweeted

Hubcaps 3

You just got on Twitter and you spend a lot of time retweeting other people’s stuff. In fact, it seems like all you do is retweet other people’s stuff. But they don’t retweet your stuff! Is there something wrong with what you’re doing? Here are a few factors to consider about why that person on the other end–who you just retweeted (one hundred times!)–might not retweet you.


Their Audience is Not Your Audience

You sell hub caps and you’re in Australia. They sell umbrellas and they’re in Canada. Their audience is expecting tweets about umbrellas, rain, raincoats, bad weather, and galoshes. They are not expecting tweets about hub caps, or anything car-related. So is it any wonder that that person is not willing to retweet your tweets? They don’t want to alienate their audience by sending tweets about hub caps.

That Other Guy Has 100 Times Your Followers

You have 80 followers, and that guy you expect to retweet your stuff has 8000 followers. He has spent a considerable amount of time building a following (if his followers are legitimate). There are some telltale signs that those followers might be fake, but let’s assume that they’re real followers for now. So if you have 80 followers, why would someone with 8000 followers want to retweet one of your tweets each time you retweet one of theirs? They probably don’t!

You’re Telling the Other Guy to Retweet You

When you have to tell someone to retweet you, it sounds desperate. Not only that, but it’s bossy. And no one likes to be told what to do! Why not let people find your wonderful content about your fabulous hub caps, rather than shout at them to retweet you? We’ve all heard the adage “Good Things Come to Those Who Wait.” And being social on social media does take some patience.

Your Tweets Are Too Long

A tweet is only 140 characters long. Once a person copies and pastes your tweet and adds their own name and maybe a brief comment (one-two words), there’s not a lot of space left! So keep your tweets short, with only one link and maybe a hashtag, and your chances of being retweeted will go up dramatically! For more  ideas about being retweeted, see the excellent article “Ten Ways to Be Retweetable.”

Does Retweeting Frustrate You?

Have you been retweeting others in the hopes of being retweeted? Have you found any tips that work? Please leave a comment below! Thanks!


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