When @JessicaNorthey, my good friend and creator of #CMchat (arguably one of the largest chats on Twitter) called to ask if I would like to help her live tweet and promote the 47th annual Academy of Country Music Awards, my first thought was, “Wow! Twitter has come a long way!”
Of course, I said yes and I’ll skip all the details, as that’s Jessica’s story to tell. What is significant from my perspective is the following:
1. Events are recognizing Twitter as a valuable way to boost ratings when used with a hashtag and in real time of the broadcast.
2. Twitter is powerful. The reach of the #ACMs was advanced thanks to tweeting!
3. Twitter is media—we were treated like members of the press. We had close access and were able to actually tweet from the press room. Each award recipient came back to this room for an interview. Each and every one was wonderful to the press.
4. Those in entertainment media work their butts off. We got a taste—we didn’t eat the day of the event, as we had to be ready very early. When we left the press room at 9:30pm, the media was still there (many after driving all night) working in their stories. We sat next to a FOX Radio representative who said she would work past midnight.
That leads me to a question. How should an organization select “live tweeters” for the event? A few suggestions:
1. A proven track record. You don’t want someone speaking (tweeting) on behalf of your organization or event without having a history of mindful and relevant content production and sharing. Your Tweetcaster is direct PR for your brand and will need to represent you well. You’re trusting an individual with your reputation, so you must choose wisely. This person should know the rules and read the fine print. A media trained individual would be a must if I were going to let someone into my venue. Could you imagine a bad tweet at an event like the ACMs?
2. Someone who knows your audience. The Twitter-voice of your event should be familiar with who your audience is and how the event fits with their interests. That voice needs to have the ability to speak to the audience accordingly. Your Tweetcaster should study and be able to put into use the Twitter handles for those he/she is tweeting about. A keen understanding of your organization’s objectives and familiarity with the venue are necessary. You want someone who is going to do the research prior to the event to find interesting facts.
3. Find a person who knows how to leverage (hey, I’m not telling all my secrets).
4. Can they hold their own in a Twitter chat? Essentially, when you provide a hashtag for use at event, it’s one big chat. Choose someone who has experience with these and can keep up, highlighting and finding the good content in the mass-tweet-chaos.
5. Find someone who can rock it. Twitter stars shine a little brighter. They have a strong group of followers (think quality, not quantity) and are happy to interact with them. They’re shouting out to friends, building relationships and being positive. They’re normal, everyday people who lack a staff of stylists and makeup artists, but have influence in their networks on the topics your organizations stands for and represents. These people have a community that will RT & follow. #CMchat is great way to tie in country music, for example.
@KISSonline rocking it onto the red carpet, as always.
6. This person should know how to work well with the media and be familiar with mainstream outlets, as well as digital. If applicable, this person needs to know to respect the camera crews (these guys and gals work to death and carry around heavy equipment all day).
7. Knowledge of how tracking & metrics work. This person should know how to use tools like hashtracking & Kred, and how to gauge the numbers.
It was cool to see what goes on behind the cameras and very fun to see the stars up close! Another exciting opportunity in my bio that I attribute to relationships I have forged through Twitter!
@cowboytroy on the red carpet!