It was great to see that the Staffing Industry Analysts experimented with Twitter for keeping their members informed as to the events happening at the Executive Forum last week. I wasn’t able to attend but I appreciated getting bits (140 characters) of information via Twitter by following different SIA employees.
Today, Hinda Chalew of the SIA posted a blog about the Executive Forum’s Twitter experiment. In this post she talked about some of the benefits and some of the difficulties of the process. Having seen Twitter effectively deployed at several other conferences I felt it might be helpful to post some tips on how to improve the process and inform others of how to use twitter at their event.
Hinda suggests that it was difficult trying to “tweet” all the appropriate sound bites and keep everyone informed. There's an easier way of sharing information via Twitter without taking the task on alone. The whole purpose of social media is to allow all the members to participate and add content.
- Have a Twitter page dedicated to the event. For example "execforum" and have people follow that page in addition to following individuals putting on the event.
- When people "tweet" have them tweet with hashtags. Hashtags allow people to follow tweets associated with a specific event. What’s a hashtag? It simply means you put the # sign in front of key words or the title of the event. So, you could have everyone begin their tweets with “#sia exec forum.”
- Create separate event titles for each session. For example “Exec Forum Keynote” or “How to sell against the giants.” During each session have people in the session tweet their comments (with hashtags in front of the event title) about the session. Make sure you have the speaker or moderator inform everyone in the session about the process. In addition, you can even have twitter search displayed from a projector with the appropriate hashtags and conference title so everyone can see them in real time.
- Finally, don’t forget about the social parts of the event. People can tweet (with hashtags) about the cocktail party or where groups of people are going to dinner or even where the after party might be.
Example tweet: #siaexecforum Barry Asin's keynote on staffing and the economy is awesome right now!
Then, using Twitter Search, you can search for #siaexecforum and you will see all associated tweets.
Twitter can be very effective for engaging your audience and members at any event in the healthcare staffing industry. It’s great to see the SIA getting in on it.