3 lessons learned from live tweeting

Yesterday I did my first live tweeting of an event. Well, I’ve live tweeted from conferences before, giving tidbits of what I’ve learned throughout the event, but this was different.

I was asked to join the Southern Miss Social Media Suite for the Men’s Basketball game against Middle Tennessee. Let me put this out there: I know nothing about basketball. I told the person who invited me this fact, but they were still confident I’d be fine.

Leading up to the event, I started to get a little more nervous about my live tweeting sports ability. What the heck am I going to tweet about? To add to it, I realized more and more people would be following me through this venture – people that I respect and look up to personally and professionally. No pressure.

After my first erroneous tweet (I gave credit to the wrong player for a goal), I was feeling a little down on myself. But, I corrected the mistake and moved on. Overall, it turned out to be a great experience – if for nothing else other than to give me some real live-tweeting experience. So, here’s what I learned that could possibly help you out:

  1. It’s all about the prep work

And I didn’t do enough. I should have brushed up on basketball slang, found out who our top players were, researched the opposing team, followed other Southern Miss fans on Twitter and more. Think about what/where/who you’re going to be live tweeting about and see what you can learn before the event that will aid your efforts.

  1. Atmosphere matters

Southern Miss sports had it pretty spot on too. We were located in a suite that minimized distractions and gave us a clear view of the court, coaches, crowd and scoreboard.

Atmosphere also includes the folks you’re live tweeting with. Are you sitting next to someone who’s going to distract you (because it takes a lot of concentration), or are you with people who are going to complement your efforts? I was seated between a friend of mine who also works in PR and a track and field coach. We each brought our own strengths to the social media suite and relied on others for support when needed. “Who just made that shot?”

  1. You’re going to mess up

And it feels awful. Things are happening so fast and your fingers are moving as fast as they can — something’s bound to go wrong. Depending on how quickly you catch your error (and how big of an error it is) you can delete it or address it. Either way, hike up your britches and move on!

Every new opportunity is a learning opportunity, as outside of your typical realm as it may be.

This was my first live tweeting experience, so I still have a lot to learn.

What are some things you’ve learned from live tweeting?


Keeping Social Media Separate

I’ve seen people make fun of Facebook users for using the #hashtag and talking to their @friends, and I too admit I’ve made fun of them as well.  This isn’t Twitter people – that stuff doesn’t work here.  Then the good angel on my left shoulder says “But Catherine…what if they use something like HootSuite, or have their accounts connected?”  Okay, that makes sense.  Now I make fun of them because they are #lazy.

Facebook, Twitter, Blogs, Instagram, YouTube…they all operate differently.  Sure, you can connect them, but I think people who do are missing the point of the various social media outlets.  Twitter works best with short (often witty) statements. You can #hashtag to connect your post to a topic and tag your @friends. Facebook gives you more room to share a quick story, go into a little more detail and it connects your friends differently. You can tell the same story on all of your different social media outlets, but because of the platform they need to be told DIFFERENTLY.

Example Story: My dog ate my shoe.
Twitter: I can’t believe my dog ate my favorite shoes! @Eaglfan81, did he get yours too? #dogproblems #timefornewshoes
Facebook: I was having a fabulous day, until I came home and found my dog ATE, yes INGESTED, my favorite shoes. Ugh! Shane, hide your shoes! It’s time for some new shoes, and maybe a new dog.
Instagram: The face of a guilty party, right @Eaglefan81? #guiltydog
Blog: Yeah…too much to write here…but you get the point.

Quit being lazy. Use your social media separately.