It's not a trick question. We were looking at the TweetReach reports from Digital Age 2.0 where I was a guest speaker this past week along with Soraya Darabi, David Berkowitz, Jermaine Dupri, and many others, and noticing which tweets were getting the most play in the stream.
Most everyone else was tweeting in Portuguese, including the conference stream.
As @SilviaBassi, our host and event lead organizer, was sitting next to me during many of the sessions I covered, we were noticing the content that caught the attention of both attendees and followers.
Pithy quotes and links tend to do well in the context of an event. With a background in journalism and working experience with social media, Bassi was well suited to pick up those threads.
And in many instances, the content and examples almost tweeted themselves -- they were so compelling.
There are still a few things you can do to break through the confines of a conference hall and into the stream from an event using a combination of content and conversation in real time.
They require stream awareness (as in who is there, what are they talking about), and a bit of flexibility (as in I may not know them and they may not have too many followers and that's okay) in using @ reply. Think of it as involvement (yours) and commitment to seeing those connections through.
Being in conversation
In the moment, the most important part of your content plan is the ability to see there are (at least) two conversations going on in your head:
- one about the world -- and the information, stories, images, etc. in it
- one with the world -- how you respond to those stories and data that are coming in while you're still processing them
Want to be faster on the Twitter draw? Put your writing/editing cap on and let tool experience take center stage. When you connect with the content, you have a better likelihood of inviting a conversation with others.
- set up your RSS feeds with a special folder syndicating content from the blogs authored by other speakers and others who write about similar topics. This is a good thing to do when you change industries, or role as well -- for example, since I started in my new role at Empathy Lab, I've been reading even more blogs about experience design, media and entertainment, and eCommerce
- share your own presentation when it contains many links to resources and tools to help attendees find the correct sources -- David Berkowitz shared the link to his presentation just prior to taking the stage
- create (or know how to get your hands on) a Twitter list of people one should follow to learn more about a specific domain -- for example, if you're talking about customer service accounts on Twitter, or CEOs with accounts on Twitter as was the case
- pay attention to who else is on Twitter while you're covering the event. I moderated a chat for more than a year, and do quite a bit of listening on Twitter, so I know the type of content my followers are involved with. If that is not the case with you, you can set up keyword searches right then and there for certain topics and industries and scan the stream for real time connection opportunities -- for example, I did a bit of both right from the Hootsuite app on my iPad
- report from a session so that your tweets could be reused to write a post after the conference -- for example, I based my post on how Jermaine Dupri connects with community on my live tweets during the video feed
Conversation with the right intent, or influence, is about connecting. Many of the action steps above remind me of an earlier post I wrote about the role of the participant-observer in organizations and in particular about working with mature brands where the game is about who is going where.
Conversation is the opportunity.
You don't get that just from throwing content over the fence. You need to go along with it and be present as the active ingredient.
Conversation needs to be invited and facilitated. It needs negotiating, and interpreting, and teasing out. You know why?
Because people don't buy you or your stuff -- they buy how they feel about themselves as they talk to you or use your stuff.
Conversation is the white space
The reason why conversation is a fundamental part of commerce is that
(a) meaning must be negotiated
(b) we need feedback to know how to be appropriate
Building is about getting your hands dirty this very moment. How you handle today becomes your yesterday. The more forward you're projecting, the more empty yesterdays you're going to have.
Humanism is the active agent in increasing the options, choices, and possibilities of commerce.
It's worth repeating: will the real conversation agents step up?
Valeria is an experienced listener. She is also frequent speaker at conferences and companies on a variety of topics. To book her for a speaking engagement click here.