Becoming a Thought Leader: Live-Tweeting at Conferences

By CSU Global - September 9th, 2019

As you move through your career, you gain authority in your chosen field. With focus and dedication, you can use this authority to become a thought leader — that is, someone who’s a trusted source in a given field and who inspires others with innovative ideas. Thought leaders are individuals whom others turn to for answers or insight. 

But becoming a thought leader doesn’t happen overnight. Thought leadership takes months or years of dedication, consistent digital presence, expertise in your field, and great content creation. The scope may sound overwhelming, but there are steps you can take today to become one of tomorrow’s thought leaders. Just as with developing your personal brand, start by taking a look at your areas of expertise. Are you an entrepreneur? A fantastic project manager? An HR extraordinaire? A marketing whiz? Zero in on your strengths, and determine how you are uniquely positioned to speak authoritatively on a given subject. 

Once you determine your positioning strategy, share your insights and talents with the world. One way to do this is by attending industry-related conferences and live-tweeting during them. 

Live-tweeting from industry conferences — strategically tweeting about your experience, retweeting speakers and attendees, and providing commentary on topics as you’re attending the conference — is a great way to position yourself as an authority on a given subject. And by aligning yourself with a specific conference, you are also creating a connection in users’ minds between you and the conference’s topic. 

Why Use Twitter for Thought Leadership? 

According to the Pew Research Center, 71 percent of Twitter users visit the platform to stay up to date on news. Global events, elections, large conferences, or even episodes from major TV shows translate to an uptick in users and engagement on Twitter. 

Twitter thrives on quick-hit information, notes, and retweets. The platform is built to prioritize content that’s receives a lot of engagement (likes, retweets, comments), and the algorithm also actively suggests topics and content with which users can easily follow and engage. 

When you engage with relevant hashtags, speakers, and other conference attendees on Twitter, you’re taking advantage of the conference’s already-established presence in order to reach more people.

Once you lay the groundwork of thought leadership through engagement with existing conferences and events on social media, users will begin to see you as someone who’s authoritative on the subject — and they’ll be more likely to seek out your opinion when a similar event arises. 

Best Practices for Live-Tweeting During Conferences 

  1. Do your research. Learn everything you can about the conference and its speakers, including:

    • Relevant hashtags.

    • Speakers’ Twitter handles.

    • The conference’s Twitter handle.

    • Influential fellow attendees’ Twitter handles.

    • Number of attendees.

  2. Consider including the following types of content as you live-Tweet: 

    • Personal commentary on speakers’ presentations.

    • Retweeting speakers and other attendees.

    • Posting behind-the-scenes photos

    • Giving your followers a sense of who you’re going to see and what you expect to learn.

    • Information about the speakers and their areas of expertise.

  3. Don’t spam your followers — supply them with useful and relevant information, but don’t overshare. Your Tweets will be perceived as more valuable if they’re not coming in every three minutes. 
  4. If speakers request that attendees do not share their presentations on social media, make sure to respect their wishes.

By using the above best practices and providing thoughtful commentary as a conference attendee, you’ll begin to establish yourself as an authority others can trust and turn to for during conferences. With consistency and dedication through live-Tweeting, your efforts can result in a larger base of followers and help grow your sphere of influence as a thought leader.

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