Twitter Journalism » Tips For “Live Tweeting” An Event

Live tweets from an event are a great way to catch people’s attention and build a following. Especially if they’re done right.

I’ve live tweeted several events, most notably Barack Obama’s Inauguration in D.C. for my student newspaper and the Chicago Sun-Times. I walked into those experiences learning on the fly, and there’s a lot I wish I knew then that I know now. So here’s a collection of tips.

Before you go “live,” some promotion goes a long way. Let people know well ahead of time so if they’re interested they can follow along. Tease it a few days ahead if you can, and remind people again just before you get started.

If you push it a little beforehand, sometimes it gets pushed a lot, as people retweet (rebroadcast) your tweet about it or mention it to their followers.

The event itself, whether it be a court trial, sporting event, press conference, or some sort of breaking news, does not matter much. The basics are pretty much the same. Here’s some tips:

  • Give people a sense of place. What’s the scene like, how are people acting?
  • Engage all five senses as you compose your tweets – smells, sights, sounds, etc.
  • Use at least one hashtag (#) so people can easily find your tweets, either in the moment or after the fact.
  • Keep an eye out for trends, key moments, or shifts in momentum or mood. Share these observations.
  • What’s the lede of the story? Put that in 140 characters or less. What’s the lede five minutes later? Ditto.
  • Try to add quotes now and then. Do something like this (Obama: “We will not give up in this fight against terror.”) or develop your own style.
  • If you can’t fit everything in one tweet, start with one, and add a follow-up tweet with additional context. While this technique should be kept to a minimum, don’t shy away from something just because it’s complex.
  • When writing your tweets, picture an editor looking over your shoulder, continuously chopping off unnecessary words to make it more concise.  Keep them as short as possible and only include the most pertinent info.

If you do it enough, you’ll begin to develop your own “live tweeting” voice. And after you do it once or twice, it gets a lot easier.

The tough part – and one of the most important – is interaction. Remember to keeping check your @ replies and responding to them. People appreciate it when you connect with them while on the scene — answering questions, acknowledging comments, etc., all in real-time. By doing that, you bring your live tweets to a whole new level.

No matter your approach, live tweeting can be a fun experience, both for you and your followers. And if you do it right, you’ll pick up some new followers too.

Tip yang bagus dan penting untuk diingat nih kalau mau belajar untuk ngasih laporan pandangan mata lewat twitter.


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