Events and Twitter: Ten Questions to Ask

The article The Ten Ways That Twitter Will Permanently Change American Business seems a bit presumptive given that many people reading the headline may not really understand Twitter, have not engaged in the discussion whether “to twitter” or “to tweet” is the proper verb form, and really don’t care how long it took Ashton Kutcher to reach a million followers. So I won’t be as bold or presumptive as I don’t have the answers but I’m pretty good at the questions.

1. Do you believe? Or can you at least pretend that you believe? Twitter just doesn’t happen overnight. If you’re just going through the motions for whatever reason, don’t bother. You have to actively participate to learn how to best use Twitter for your events.

2. Do you expect someone to tell you how to use to Twitter? Don’t. Listen, start to participate in the conversation, and use some the Twitter applications such as TweetDeck and http://search.twitter.com. You’ll discover your own way.

3. Do you know how to listen? I mean really listen. Twitter won’t work if you try to turn it into a blatant marketing channel. You have to start by actively listening.

4. Are you a control freak? If you are, start to line your office walls with padded materials as twitter and the whole social media environment will lead to deep, dark, self-inflicted headaches if you need to control the flow.

5. Can you learn to communicate effectively in 140 characters or less? I’ll give you a hint . . . the correct answer is “yes”.

6. Will you have the resources? Mmmm . . . tough one. Twitter is very resource intensive. Review #1 “Do you believe?”.

7. How will you react when someone says something bad about your event? All customer satisfaction research says that reacting to negative comments is the best way to handle them. Just remember that the conversation will be happening with or without you.

8. How will you handle free delivery of your paid conference content? Via twitter conferees will broadcast your paid conference sessions for free to the world. There may even be live bloggers providing more in-depth content and analysis. And what will you do what someone holds up a mobile device in the back of a conference session to livestream a session?

9. What is your voice? What do you have to say via Twitter? Are you speaking for yourself or your event? Are you trying to participate in a broader industry conversation? Whatever you choose just make sure that it’s not blatantly commercial.

10. Would you be willing to pay for Twitter? You most likely won’t have to, but does it create enough value that you would pay? How much?

What do you think? What else would you ask?

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