Tweeting as @WordCampLAX #WCLAX

Tweeting as WordCamp Los Angeles

My work as a volunteer social media manager for WordCamp Los Angeles for the last three(ish) months just ended with one of the best WordCamp events ever. I wanted to pass on some of what I’ve learned this weekend with all y’all — the community.

Tweeting as @WordCampLAX #WCLAX

This was my fifth WordCamp since I started attending my home WordCamp (wow — did I just write that?) in 2013 — WordCamp Orange County. If you don’t know what WordCamp is, read my post here.

https://instagram.com/p/8HZBdyKcHV/

Live Tweeting

Live tweeting at events is a great promotional tool. I’m finding that a lot of WordPressers are freelancers, small shops, or agencies. Speakers are not paid; rather, they come to share their knowledge.

Sharing is a factor in being a part of any community. But people have bills to pay, too. It’s good to give the speakers some Twitter love.

It should be noted that I probably wouldn’t have been asked to do this if I hadn’t tweeted so profusely at previous events. I talk a lot live tweeting and was even interviewed on video here.

Are these tips too obvious?

“Everyone’s ideas seem obvious to them. … So maybe what’s obvious to me is amazing to others.” Derek Sivers

I wanted to share some of what I’ve learned while working with this amazing team. They were all so gracious to thank me. I couldn’t understand why. It’s just Tweeting. But to them, it was a lot of work.

This may be a side bar but we (I) tend to undervalue our skillset. So take 2 minutes and watch this.

One of the things that I keep learning is that what I think is normal, people think is amazing.

Seriously. Watch this video. It’s only 2 minutes.

WordCamp Los Angeles Social Debrief

Preparation

Like anything in life, the key is the preparation. This is true for Thanksgiving Dinner and for WordCamp. You must plan to be prepared. Consider contingencies and forecast how much you’ll actually be able to accomplish beforehand. After all, Thanksgiving is all about the meal but the turkey is the logistical elephant in the middle of the room.

For Twitter, I made my lists ahead. For Facebook, I made my photo albums ahead.

Pre-Event Posts

Before the actual event, you want to inspire attendees to start talking with one another using the event’s hashtag. I decided to go with sentimentality, business-sense, and remote worker type posts mixed in with the expected speaker and sponsor announcements, blog posts, and local meetup promos written by the organizers.

I found previous WordCamp Los Angeles talks on WordPress.tv and tweeted them out with #WordCampWednesday (a la #TedTalkTuesday). That was pretty fun.

Also, screenshots of tweets from last year as #ThrowbackThursday and Instagram posts as #FlashbackFriday seemed to get traction.

These worked on both platforms (although I didn’t use the hashtag on Facebook).

Speakers and Twitter Lists

Though we used a Facebook Page and Twitter, the truth is that Facebook is going to be about photos and memories. The real-time information is going to be mostly on Twitter.

When the speakers are announced, find their Twitter handles. Put them in your notes somewhere (email, notes on  iCloud, Google Drive — whatever works for you). You will need this info.

I’d love it if that was a requirement on the speaker application because some people are really hard to find. If you’re running the WordCamp account, put them on a Speaker List. I’d recommend dating it, too. I made 2015 Speakers List that you can see here.

You can read more about why Twitter lists are powerful here.  I made lists for the speakers, volunteers, organizers, attendees, and sponsors. See them here.

Tweeting Speaker Announcements

A lot of the work is announcing the speakers so having those handles ready is very important. Also, not everyone looks like their avatar. So, try to study as much as you can who is whom.

For Facebook, I took a screenshot of the bio on the WCLAX website, tagged them and their Page if I could find them, and put them in a Speakers Album. People seemed to love sharing it on their own profile or Page. This is trickier than Twitter because you have to at least be mutual friends in order to tag them. So you may need to ask the organizers to help you out.

For Twitter, I  made each one different. Read their bio. Try to pull out their personality. It makes it more fun for everyone.

I used Notes on iCloud so that I could easily go from my MacBook to my iPhone and have that information right away. You’ll want it when the schedule comes out and you tweet about that.

Community In Action – A Small Sidebar.

There weren’t enough floor boxes (electrical outlets in the floor) for all of our power needs and right in the middle of one of the talks, my MacBook died.

This is what I tweeted.

Robert came over to me, quietly asked me if I need power, and I handed him my laptop and power cord and he handled it. Boom. Done.

While that was happening Roy Sivan also tweeted an offer to use his power strip out in the sponsor hall.

Seriously. When do you see people so helpful like that?

Also. Be prepared. Have cords. Have your phone. Bring a phone battery charger (I use an Anker 10,000 mAh battery).

The Actual Event

Remember using the notes? So if you’re taking photos of the speakers then you’re most likely going to tweet from your mobile device / phone. Post photos natively on Twitter. This is important because Twitter does not support live preview for any other images but theirs. You will be using your phone and your laptop.

I use the iPhone app ProHDRx to take photos of the speakers with their slides. They weren’t super amazing but better than the native camera app. I messed up a few times and got photos with the blue slide projector background. Oops.

I pre-wrote the tweets (and saved in notes app) by schedule and time so all I had to do was copy the text, paste in Twitter, add the room hashtag (oh make a hashtag for the room name), photo, and press Tweet. Boom. 1 minute per tweet, tops. Honestly, I attended about 65% of the talks. Go in one room, take the photo (ask the speaker nicely, show them the photo, ask for approval), tweet it, go in the other room, and repeat.

It’s even more fun when the speakers pose.

Also, there may be “snacks in the back,” “print your parking pass,” “don’t forget to turn in your lanyard” tweets, too. Adam Silver put the volunteers on a GroupMe (mobile private texting app sort of like Slack) which was super helpful for all of us to work together seamlessly.

Retweeting The Community

If I wasn’t in the talk, I was in the break room with Hootsuite open to the #WCLAX column. I manually retweeted (this is important) every tweet. Yes. Every Tweet. With a comment.  It’s good for the attendees, it’s good for the speakers, and it’s good for us. Well, I may have missed a dozen or so. But you get the point.

You’ve been tweeting for months or weeks with Throwback Thursday, WordCamp Wednesday, or other tweets, but this is game day. Be prepared.

It’s all about community, right?

Here are a few examples.

You’re part of the community, too.

I was reminded by my new and beloved friends that I’m also part of the Community and that WordCamp is for me, too.

It's so fun to meet people you already knew on Twitter and reconnect with your past WordCamp pals. Adam Silver, Jen Miller, Elizabeth Shilling, Sarah Pressler, and, of course, Alex Vasquez are in these selfies.
It’s so fun to meet people you already knew on Twitter and reconnect with your past WordCamp pals. Adam Silver, Jen Miller, Elizabeth Shilling, Sarah Pressler, and, of course, Alex Vasquez are in these selfies.
After Party Photo Booth Shenanigans with Verious B Smith, III.
After Party Photo Booth Shenanigans with Verious B Smith, III.

I loved hanging out with my pals from SMMOC, saying “hello” in the hallways to faces I recognized, taking crazy photo booth photos with Verious, and, of course, hanging out with my friends from WordImpress.

Matt Cromwell, Devin Walker, and Jason Knill from WordImpress / ThoughtHouse in San Diego, CA
Matt Cromwell, Devin Walker, and Jason Knill from WordImpress / ThoughtHouse in San Diego, CA

I especially wanted to thank Elizabeth Shilling for taking me around to meet everyone she thought I needed to know. She’s a true people curator.

Questions?

Seriously. I live off of questions. This purpose of this blog is to answer questions.

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