Last Updated on July 10, 2022
There’s a lot that goes into being a great event management professional. You’ve got to be a natural storyteller who’s great with people, a born leader, and a logistics master with a head for numbers. You’ve got to be capable of thriving in a high stress work environment, and picking up on the energy of those around you to keep yourself going.
You’ve also got to have a great toolkit at your disposal – a set of applications and equipment that makes your job easier and your events better. You need to understand how, when, and where to use your tools. That understanding more than anything is what separates the good event organizers from the great ones.
The good news is that such knowledge can be learned – and we can help.
In the interest of keeping things simple, I’m just going to discuss one tool at a time. Today, the focus is going to be on Tweetwall.
In this article, you’ll gain an understanding of what Tweetwall is, how it works, and – most importantly – how you can use it to make your events better.
What Is Tweetwall?
We’ll begin with a bit of context.
Originally founded by CEO Joel Strellner in 2008, Tweetwall is an industry-leading social media tool used by the likes of Forbes, CNN, Microsoft, and Samsung. Other “Twitter walls” have been released since, of course – but this one was the first. Originally, it was intended for larger organizations and for event management firms with huge budget.
Perhaps reflecting that, Tweetwall operated as more of a consultancy than a vendor.
His team would meet with customers beforehand to determine what they wanted, at which point a Tweetwall would be built to their exact specifications, Strellner explained in a 2013 interview with TechCrunch. As time went on, Strellner began to realize that the way his business originally did things was more than a little cumbersome. One of the selling points of Tweetwall had always been that it was easy to get the product up and running – and having to run through the consulting process each and every time was counter to that.
“Over the last two years, we started getting the vibe that the way we were doing this isn’t the way we should be doing this,” Strellner told TechCrunch. “We should be making it more of a self-service option – something people can sign up for, create a Tweetwall right away, and go with it.”
The simplest explanation for a Tweetwall is that it allows you to stream posts from social media to any number of screens on your event’s show floor. There’s actually a bit more to it than that, of course. The platform is designed in such a way that it’s easy to customize it to fit your event’s branding – everything from color scheme to logos to fonts can be changed however you like.
Now, it’s worth mentioning at this point that the name “Tweetwall” is used more as a matter of branding. The system supports far more than just Twitter, and can be configured to automatically monitor both Facebook and Instagram for your event’s hashtag, displaying those posts side-by-side with your tweets. If Instagram isn’t quite your thing, the platform also supports a number of other photo and video hosting sites – thirty seven in total.
In terms of direct engagement, event organizers can run realtime polls for their followers to vote in on Twitter or Instagram, while announcements can be posted to the Twitter wall either manually or automatically. Finally, a configurable leaderboard displays information about whose posts are currently the most popular, adding a bit of competition to your event.
Announcements can be posted to the Twitter wall either manually or on a set schedule. It’s also got a fully-functional social voting system along with realtime leaderboards to display which attendee at your event is most popular on social media.
On the backend, Tweetwall provides its clients with formidable functionality, allowing them to self-manage everything related to their Twitter wall. This includes moderation to help deal with hashtag hijacking, detailed analytics tools that allow you to visualize how your platform is being used, and support for displaying your Tweetwall on a host of different platforms including Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Windows.
Tweetwall can be broadcast on your site as well as on the event floor. What that means is that even if your venue doesn’t allow you to set up screens on which attendees can view the goings-on, you can still use it for event broadcasting. It can still provide you with a great deal of value.
Why Should You Use A Tweetwall?
The world today is now more connected than ever, and it’s exceedingly rare to find someone without a Smartphone and at least one social media account. No matter where we are, many of us are glued to a screen of some kind – whether posting to Facebook or sharing our thoughts on Tumblr or uploading images to Instagram. It’s a level of engagement that’s never been seen before in…well, pretty much anything.
Part of that is tied to our innate need to be heard, seen, and approved of in the online sphere – something which social networks are almost too good at providing to us, and a set of traits which, at their most extreme, border on narcissism. Although none of your attendees are likely to be quite that bad (textbook narcissists are rarer than you’d think, thankfully) they’ve all got that same innate drive to have people hear their voices. They’ve still got that same inborn need for approval.
Setting up a Tweetwall allows you to tap into those traits. It allows you to use the interest your attendees have in being heard to make them more active participants in your event. Now, rather than talking about a particular keynote with their friends, a guest can send their thoughts to Twitter, where they’ll automatically be picked up and displayed for the entire event to see.
Not only that, it provides you with a platform you can use to talk directly to people at your event. You can use the Tweetwall to keep people apprised of what’s going on, to ask them about their questions, comments, or concerns, or to get them hyped for a speaker or celebrity guest. In short, it’s a tool that combines marketing, information, and participation.
Next up, let’s talk about the installation process.
What’s Involved In Setting It Up?
Very little. Provided you’ve a web browser and access to the Internet, you can get your Tweetwall up and running with relative ease. There are two options available for you here – the self-service option allows you to create and set up your own Tweetwalls using the online builder tool, while the full service plan is more akin to the consultancy days of the business – Tweetwall will remotely design, configure and customize a Tweetwall to your exact specifications.
One thing – you’ll need to figure out a few hashtags related to your event before you get your platform up and running. Hashtags are how the system knows to display a post, after all.
A Few Additional Tips
Before we conclude, I’d like to offer up a few extra pieces of advice for those of you thinking about using Tweetwall. They’re not all strictly related to the platform, mind you. Anyway, let’s dive right in:
- Choose Your Hashtag Wisely: Keep it short and precise (10 characters or less is ideal, no more than 20 characters ever), and use one that’s both obvious and simple. For example, a juicebox conference set in Seattle might have a hashtag like #juicecon2015 or #juiceconSEA. Do a search on your chosen hashtag (or hashtags) to make sure no one’s using it already; you don’t want your Twitter wall crowded with a bunch of unrelated posts. Lastly, make sure your audience knows about your hashtag – promote it as much as possible in the days leading up to your event. If you need help choosing a hashtag, we built this hashtag checker you can use for free.
- Follow The Top Attendees On Twitter: Who has the highest klout score out of the people showing up on your Tweetwall? Who has the most followers, or seems to be getting the most re-tweets? It could well be worth your time to follow them, as you’ll be able to get a better feel for who they are and you could easily inspire them to return to a later event.
- Figure Out Who Your Primary Participants/VIPS Are: Who are your guest speakers? Do they have Twitter, Facebook or Instagram? Prioritize their posts – they’re some of the most important people at your event.
- Post Tweets Of Your Own: You can’t just fire off a Tweetwall at your audience and forget they exist. You need to show that you’re participating too – you need to show that this is something you and your team also have an interest in.
Anyway, there you have it – a guide that walks you through the process of setting up and using Tweetwall. In the right hands, it’s a formidable tool, and a great choice for any event where attendee engagement is a must. You should go create a Tweetwall now.
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