Record numbers of campus recruiters have started actively using Twitter in 2013, both to reach students and new graduates, and to stay connected with other professionals, vendors, news and insights from within the campus recruitment industry.

Many of you will also live tweet from a conference for the first time this year, perhaps at the 2013 TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference in just under two weeks.

If you want to be part of the conversation, but you’re not sure where to start or what the best practices are, this introductory post will help you get ready for the big day.

Before the conference

1. Find out what the conference hashtag is

Most events will have an official hashtag that you should include in all of your tweets about the conference. The hashtag links all of the tweets about that event together – before, during and after – and provides context for your tweets.

If you’re not sure what the conference hashtag is, check the organizers’ website or Twitter account, or ask one of the organizers directly.

The hashtag for the TalentEgg National Campus Recruitment Excellence Awards and Conference is #TEawards.

2. Save the hashtag search to your Twitter client

Most Twitter clients allow you to save search terms, including hashtags, so you can easily return to them later and track the conversations related to that search term.

Saving the hashtag search before the conference on the device you will use at the event (e.g., your smartphone, tablet or laptop) will allow you to stay on top of what conference organizers and other delegates are saying about the event, and ensure that you don’t have to waste time typing it in every time you want to check out the feed before or during the conference.

3. Follow conference organizers, presenters and other delegates

Following as many people as you can before the conference will save you the hassle of trying to search for Twitter handles on the day of and you’ll have a chance to get to know some of the organizers, presenters and other delegates in advance of the conference.

For the TalentEgg Awards and Conference:

  • TalentEgg staff will be live tweeting about from our @campusemployers account
  • View the TEawards 2013 Twitter list to follow the presenters who have Twitter accounts
  • Check the #TEawards hashtag stream regularly and follow other delegates who tweet using the hashtag

4. Let your fellow delegates know you will be attending

Tweet that you’ll be attending the conference and be sure to use the hashtag to let your fellow delegates know that you’re planning to attend. Just like you, they may be interested in connecting with organizers, presenters and fellow delegates in advance of the event.

Dos and don’ts during the conference

Do let your followers know where you are and what you’re tweeting about

Not everyone who follows you may be aware of the conference you’re attending, so start the day with a tweet that provides your followers with a bit of context on what you’ll be tweeting about all day. For example:

Today I’m live tweeting from the @TalentEgg Campus Recruitment Awards & Conference in Toronto. Looking fwd to an egg-cellent day! #TEawards

Don’t spam your followers

There’s nothing worse than having your Twitter feed filled with live tweets from just one person who is constantly tweeting about a conference. Sending out too many tweets in a short period of time can result in a loss of followers that you may not be able to get back.

Tweet sparingly and meaningfully. Your followers want to know what you genuinely find interesting – they don’t need a play-by-play of the entire day from start to finish. Plus, you want to be able to actually enjoy the conference and soak up the information for your own benefit, something you may not be able to do if you’re busy typing out a transcript of every presentation.

Do include the hashtag in every tweet

When you’re tweeting on the fly, it can be difficult to find room for extra characters and easy to forget the conference hashtag altogether, but it’s essential that you include the hashtag in every single tweet you post about the event.

Tip: Save time by copying just the hashtag to the clipboard in your smartphone, tablet or laptop so you can paste it quickly each time you’re writing a tweet.

Do attribute your tweets

Unlike the majority of your every day posts, the content from these tweets did not originate from your own mind (or your employer branding). Be a good delegate by attributing the information to the presenter, whom you should already be following according to step #3 above.

If the presenter is not on Twitter, feel free to just use their name and, if you have the information handy, @ mention their organization if you have enough room left in your tweet.

Don’t be afraid to add your own thoughts

As a conference delegate, you are part of the larger conversation that is taking place and your thoughts are also valuable. When posting key quotes, facts or ideas from the sessions you attend, throw in your own opinions or feelings about them to add value for your followers and those who may be looking at the hashtag feed.

Do reply to, retweet and favourite other delegates’ tweets

If you’re browsing the hashtag feed and think your followers might find another delegates’ tweet interesting, retweet it. If you’d like to come back to a tweet later, favourite it. If you agree, disagree or have something to add, reply and include the conference hashtag to spark a conversation with your fellow delegates.

What are your top tips for tweeting during a conference? Share them in the comments below.

Photo credit: joeshoe