12 tips for live tweeting a conference

You know that feeling, when you’ve been concentrating so hard for so long that when you finally hit your pillow at night your brain still has a million tabs open and you feel like you sort of need a “control, alt, delete” function?

That.

Over the past two weeks Liz and I have been crazy busy live tweeting two very different, very interesting conferences: the Alternative Mining Indaba (AMI) in Cape Town, and the South African Impact Investing Network in Joburg.

Today is the first day we’ve been able to sit down, see each other’s faces, and fill each other in on February, basically.

Part of that “filling in” involved compiling our top 12 tips on live tweeting a conference – just for you. You’re welcome.

1. Turn on your Twitter analytics before the conference starts. *cough* Liz. *cough*.

2. Use a platform like Tweetdeck which allows you to see columns of ALL the things at once: your feed, your mentions, your notifications, the conference hashtag, replies, messages, etc. In the beginning it will feel like you’re sitting behind a control desk of a big plane. But you sort of are – do NOT crash the conference.

3. Make sure that the handle you’re tweeting from and the official hashtag are displayed somewhere prominent at the venue, and everywhere else you can get them – on the website, in the brochures, just in people’s faces. You don’t want to miss out on some tweets because people are using the wrong hashtag.

4. If the AV set-up allows it, use a programme like TweetBeam to project all conference tweets onto a screen. Just plug in the hashtag and you’re set.

5. Things will be hectic. Your fingers have never moved as fast as they will when you’re live tweeting. Do yourself a favour and schedule some tweets ahead of time, letting people know about upcoming talks, breakaways, etc.

6. Visual elements stand out in a Twitter feed. Make sure you tweet some photos of the event every so often and tag the speakers/delegates/sponsors if you know their handles. You’re more likely to earn retweets this way.

7. Live tweeting doesn’t mean you’re required to take a live dictation of the event. Know what to tweet and what not to.

8. Make friends with people who are tweeting well and see how you can complement each other (with an “e” – not as in “that is such an interesting hair colour…” Rather, how can you work together?)

9. Daily blog round-ups are a great way to sum-up the day and share on Twitter.

10. Make a plan to have back-up 3G. If the internet goes down, you’re screwed.

11. Where possible, avoid using a laptop that is on its last legs as it will overheat on your lap and you will get what feels like third-degree burns on your legs.

12. Be a boy scout. Always be prepared. You never know what’s going to be thrown at you – in terms of a logistical challenge or otherwise. Be creative in figuring out solutions. Case in point: This very profesh group photo taken by Liz at the AMI.

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How? Like this.
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Content marketing: The great divide

We speak about content marketing quite often at Pomegranite. It’s the fastest growing form of marketing and the way brands go about it changes from week-to-week. That’s what makes it so exciting – and challenging.

This infographic by the folks at One Spot illustrates this brilliantly: one the one hand, there are so many reasons why it’s crucial for brands to invest time (and money) in content marketing, but, as is true of anything in the business world, it comes with its own challenges.

Sure, it costs a whole lot less than traditional marketing – but people still tend to expect a lot more than budget constraints allow. Yes it’s an important way to extend the reach of your brand – but how many people actually track the ROI (or at least attempt to measure this)?

At the end of the day, it’s about being realistic, working with what you have, being creative, and keeping a finger on the pulse of this ever-changing, fast-moving, always-evolving industry.

content marketing

Fetaure image courtesy ddpavumba, FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Things are taking off here – a poem (you’re welcome)

What do you do when you have a million things to get through and a meeting in 20 minutes and a dinner party to get to that you will most probably be late for because you’re so busy being a successful businesswoman?

Write a poem. Obviously.

Things have taken off here
They’re moving really fast
We’ve had to get in first gear
As the work pile is quite vast

But how flippen’ exciting
To be running our own show
And see it move like lightning
As the biz-ness starts to grow

It must be my new power-dress
Or Liz’s so-profesh phone voice
That are the secrets to our success
And inform the client’s choice

So while we may be yawning
In the days and months to come
We’ll still be smiling night and morning
Because man – look what we’ve done!

The one where we go to Super Tubes for our inspiration day

By now, you’ll know that every month, Pomegranite takes some time to get out of the office and talk about the bigger picture of the business. We’ve gone for lake-side picnics and forest walks, we’ve been surfing and wondering in tree canopies – anything where we get to do something a little out of the ordinary. And fun. But I don’t think we’ve ever had an inspiration day that was this much FUN!

Allow me to present: Muizenberg Water Slides, better known as Super Tubes.

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Look at all that FUN! And thrilling speed!

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… (yes, this is their scariest slide).

The park’s retro vibe continues next door with some bizarre tuckshop advertising and a putt-putt course straight out of ‘The Jetsons’.

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As we arrived, some dark clouds moved in over Muizenberg and a chill settled in the air. Taking a single layer of clothing off seemed less and less appealing, never mind getting wet. We made a deal, we’d only take an hour’s pass and then treat ourselves to hot chololate afterwards. We were here. We were going to make the best of it.

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We were tickled by the spectator fee (and a maximum of two spectators per slider) but didn’t even notice the sign above. The place reminded us so much of The Way Way Back  – it even had it’s own ‘cool guy’ lifesaver complete with aviator shades and an ankle bracelet (à la Sam Rockwell). If you haven’t seen the film, it’s about a teenager who goes from this cringiness…

to this awesomeness…

…via a summer working at a waterslide park.

I can honestly say, there is nothing in the world like a good old water slide to make you feel like a kid again. After the first whooshing, whizzing, giddy go down the slide, we didn’t notice that we were shivering (or that we made far more noise than all the other kids in the area put together).

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And now, for your enjoyment, a snippet of a slide from both of us. First up, Sarah. You can tell she’s on her way because of the shrieks, but the best part (as your can hear by my chuckling) is Sarah getting swept up in the white water of the (very shallow) paddling pool.

Next up, here I come down the curly whurly, good momentum assisting in my dismount complete with a little yelp.

Guys, things got CRAZY. We did a few slides lying down (which makes you go way faster) and even backwards for as long as we could stand it (which wasn’t long). What a marvellous day. It turns out the sun came out and we didn’t even need that hot chocolate.

Do you have any bright ideas for our February inspiration day?

Let us know – we’re always looking for something new and exciting!