This is a part three of a multipart series on using Twitter for the first time at a conference. For part one click here and for part two click here.

You are at a conference and using Twitter for the first time. You’ve set up your account and you’ve figured out the basics of how to write a tweet. That’s all you really need to start participating in the conference!

If you would like to take it a step further, though, now’s the time to start to build your audience on Twitter.

Why build an audience?

When you aren’t at a conference following the hashtag, you’ll be connecting with others by checking your Twitter stream. Your Twitter stream contains the recent tweets of all the people you have chosen to follow.

And of course if someone follows you then your tweets appear in their stream. This is why Twitter users with high numbers of followers wield such influence. If you have 100 followers, and you send out a tweet, then 100 people see it – until it gets retweeted by someone with thousands of followers. If a few others with a thousand followers retweet it again . . . you see how a single tweet can suddenly be amplified.

This is why reciprocity is a shared value on Twitter. When communities work together to spread messages, the impact can be powerful and far-reaching.

How to start building your audience.

Learn about fellow Twitter members. By clicking on their name or avatar, you’ll see that’s person’s profile, avatar, and their recent tweets. If you click on the follow button, their tweets will be added to your Twitter stream.

Check your notifications. You may find that people start to follow you because they are enjoying your conference tweets. That’s great! Consider following them back. (Again, reciprocity is valued on Twitter.)

If someone retweets you, thank them!

Check your mentions. This will tell you who is responding to your tweets. Join in the conversation and respond where appropriate. Twitter can be a great place to build and solidify relationships.

Looking for action steps to keep your Tweeting going after the conference? Watch here for a post soon!

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This is part two of a multipart series on using Twitter for the first time at a conference. For part one, click here.

You are at a conference and you’d like to participate in the conversation happening online – you just joined Twitter (if you are still at the signing-up phase, check out this article) and you are ready to Tweet. Now what?

First, the basics.

Tweets are public! All tweets (with the exception of private messages called DMs) are public to everyone. Unless you create a protected account, your tweets can be seen by anyone with google.

Tweets are short. You have 140 characters total to make your point. This means it is ok to bypass perfect punctuation and grammar if needed. You can shorten or abbreviate words, too, as long as it makes sense.

Tweets are organized by #hashtags. Hashtags help you find the contents – and other users – you care about. Hashtags can be any word – or combination of words – attached to the # sign. Notice they are dynamic. This means you can click the hashtag and see the other recent tweets that include the same hashtag.
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Create links to deepen the conversation. Because each tweet is short, you can add additional information by pasting a link into your tweet. Twitter will automatically shorten your link to save space.

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Speak directly to another user on Twitter by including their Twitter handle in the tweet (called a “mention”). To respond to a message, hit the reply button below the tweet. The user’s Twitter handle will be automatically appended to the tweet.

 

Amplify messages you like by retweeting. If you like a tweet and want your followers to hear it (more on followers here), then hit the retweet button beneath the tweet. Twitter will automatically add the “RT” and the user’s handle to the tweet.

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So how do I follow along and add to the conference?

It is all about the hashtag. Learn the hashtag for the conference and use the search function on Twitter to find other users who are sharing and discussing your event.

TIP: Be sure to add the hashtag to every tweet about the conference . . . otherwise your tweets won’t be seen by other conference goers unless they are your followers.

Want to learn about followers? Read on here.

 

 

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