1. Make your tweets personal.
Gone are the days of tweeting about what you had for lunch—unless that includes any of the fantastic, nutritional food you'll eat while in Anaheim! But think beyond the ordinary and use your tweets to spread ideas. Tweet nuggets of information from education sessions; quotes from keynote speakers that beg to be shared; and tell all your followers about the great time you had at the Expo West opening reception.
Just met another person who has a Twitter account and had a great conversation? Ask to connect on Twitter, then send out a tweet about said conversation. It's a nice touch when networking, plus it gives your new friend more exposure and the potential to connect with other people who follow you.
2. Go hashtag crazy.
OK, well, #maybe #not #every #word—but you do want to use the expo or conference hashtag for every one of your conference tweets. The hashtag #expowest is a must to reach retailers, expo attendees and manufacturers. And by using #engredea and #nutracon you'll reach the suppliers and manufacturers of ingredients and supplements.
3. Bookmark popular hashtags.
At Twitter.com/search you can enter in any phrase or hashtag and instantly see the latest chatter on that subject. Bookmark your search so whenever you're at your computer you can catch up on the latest. Or, use a Twitter app on your smartphone to search for hashtag conversations. The official Twitter app for Android and iPhone has a search that works the same way. Whether you have an iPad or smartphone—there's an official Twitter app for that.
4. Set up Twitter to tweet from your phone.
If you already downloaded a Twitter app, you're good to go when it comes to tweeting from your phone. But if you don't have a smartphone, you can still tweet from your mobile. Log in to your Twitter profile and go to "Settings." Under "Mobile", type in your phone number. Then, check your phone for a message and follow the steps to complete the connection. Once your phone number has been confirmed, text your tweet to 40404. It's free, but standard message and data rates may apply.
Note that your phone can also receive text message alerts when someone sends you a direct message or mentions/replies to you on Twitter. This may get a little out of hand, depending on how much you're using Twitter, so be sure to check "Turn off updates during these hours " to silence your phone during slumber.
5. Respond to those who send you an @ reply.
If you don't have alerts set up for your phone, whether through Twitter or an app, it's important to check in frequently during the show for @ replies/mentions. When someone types your name and includes an @ in front of it (Example: @cbaginski or @newhope360) it means they're either talking directly to you or mentioning you in their tweet.
Read those tweets as they show up in your feed and respond to them. Nothing kills momentum on Twitter like having a lot of people talk to you and never talking back. And for businesses and brands, you could appear negligent or that you're not listening to customers.
6. Have fun!
This may seem like an obvious tip, but it often gets overlooked because—let's face it—using social media can sometimes turn into a chore. Using Twitter at a conference should be fun and add to your experience—not take away from it.
If you find yourself a slave to the tweets, tweet about it! Add humor, take a break and, if you can, meet other Tweeters in person. After all, that's the beauty of using Twitter during a convention or conference—your followers can become friends.
Want more Twitter and social media tips?