I would go so far as to say live tweeting a speech is the most stressful thing you can do on twitter.
We regularly do it from accounts I manage, and I think we now have it down to a fine art. Here are my top 5 tips….
- Get a copy of the speech in advance
This is the most helpful thing you can do. It gives you the luxury of time to get your head around the content of the speech.
- Prepare the tweets
Ensure you have covered the key points – you might want to liaise with policy colleagues to make sure you have picked their key messages. You can research and add hashtags, @names and make sure you can fit each tweet into 140 characters. I usually save the tweets in a notepad document for copying and pasting across. It can also be helpful to get someone to proof read the tweets and make sure the nuances of the wording haven’t been changed by reducing it to 140 characters.
- Choose a tweeting method
If the event is being broadcast live, the easiest way to tweet the speech is from the comfort of your own computer. But if not, it’s worth thinking about the worst case scenario – no WiFi, or even no 3G coverage. You can always tweet via SMS – and this is sometimes the best way as you can set the tweets up as draft SMS messages.
- Alert your followers that you’ll be live tweeting
Your followers might want to tune is specially, or on the other hand they might not be too thrilled at suddenly having tons of tweets in their timeline with no warning. I always add the time (and, as we’re an international twitter account, the time zone), but caveat it with an “approx”.
- Check against delivery
Before sending the tweets, make sure the speaker has actually said what you have drafted – last minute tweaks may be necessary!
If you’ve got any more tips on live tweeting, please do let me know!