It’s time to spread your wings and TWEET!

Below was a Tweet sent out by my good friend Eric Kazekewski who’s been a fantastic resource and community member in the #eventprofs network! He’s the Marketing Director for Echolon and is quickly becoming a fantastic ‘Thought Leader’ in the Social Sphere for young professionals in our industry. He sent it out while listening to a speaker at a US conference – Read this:

ericlukazewski Hashtags are filters for content management and community development. #ex10sm #exhibitor2010

How many event planners, managers, designers, coordinators, florists or sales directors know what this means? In the Canadian Event Industry – NOT MANY AT ALL! A low percentage of individuals are tapped in or can even SEE this!

For me and many other social media lovers, this is second nature! Tweeting without hashtags is tweeting BLIND! Almost a waste of time! It’s so ingrained in my vocabulary that I forgot to look back at where I started with all this Social Media jargon and digital madness. I can’t blame others for not engaging unless they have been given the proper direction or opportunity! I understand how event companies stick with what works and don’t find a use for Social Media, but I truly believe professionals will be left behind unless they start now! It’s going to be a way of life and a major means of communication very soon! We as thought leaders need to make a better effort to teach others as we build our own personal brands, in order for this revolution to find its roots and to make a real impact in our industry!!

The tweet that Eric sent means ‘everything’ and instead of giving reasons why Social Media is great, it’s about time we SHOWED companies and individuals HOW TO. Twitter is the most confusing (so people say), so let’s begin!

Twitter 101

Twitter describes itself as, “a service for friends, family, and co–workers to communicate and stay connected through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” – Mashable, The Social Media Guide

Twitter gives the ability to send/post content, start a conversation, ask questions or post pictures, video and other media to a micro-messaging platform. Most importantly, it’s a platform to build a community or join an already existing network of like-minded individuals. Twitter gives the opportunity to connect to many, but also provides a stage to discuss YOU or your BUSINESS! Building on the concept of status updates, users have 140 characters to write ANYTHING! Successful Tweeters always have links to external content (your website, blog, pictures or articles) in order to provide followers with relevant information! Through the use of ‘hashtags’ (this means putting # in front of a word or phrase in order to make it clickable and searchable) users can associate their tweets to trending topics which makes it easier for people to find you and your content. Your followers are those who enjoy what you tweet and your friends are those YOU follow. Tweets of your friends will show in your live feed for you to read, reply or re-Tweet, which becomes a viral conversation. Associating your tweets with people is the best thing you can do! Sound confusing? Probably! Let’s move forward and give examples!

Eric’s Tweet: ericlukazewski Hashtags are filters for content management and community development. #ex10sm #exhibitor2010

Eric makes a great point on why hashtags are used and then he associates the Tweet to two different communities – ex10sm and exhibitor2010.  These hashtags are event conferences and anyone tuning in online, can now click and see EVERYONE tweeting in this network! The conversation with like-minded individuals can move forward and you can build your online community!

Mentions, Reply & Re-Tweets

What I mean by associating your Tweets to people is this: If I wanted to Tweet a link to my new blog post and know that certain people really enjoy my writing, I will ensure to use their Twitter handles in my Tweet (Your Twitter handle is your name – mine is @JaredGolberg). Here’s an example of association:

@EricKazekewski @LindsayFultz @Akthe5th you’ll enjoy my new {Blog} post re: #SocialMedia Rehab #eventprofs

I’ve picked three individuals who I know would enjoy the information in my post. I have also put a link to the blog itself and also hashtagged the eventprofs network and social media so other event professionals can read and join in! By associating people, you have now started a conversation (if these three people don’t know each other, even better – Building your community as a leader through introduction). This is actually called a ‘mention’. Knowing Eric, Lindsay and Aaron, all three would reply and also Re-Tweet the information through their own networks! This is where your content can receive further reach and become viral! Just ensure that the content you are sending is great and people will take notice and engage in conversation!

Re-Tweeting is a way to help get a specific point, article or content out further than the original Tweet. It’s what makes Twitter so viral! Here’s an example of a re-Tweet!

RT @LindsayFultz 6 Simple Ways 2 Give Older #Blog Posts Additional Exposure via @flipbooks

By putting RT in front of this Tweet and sending it through your network, you are letting your followers and community know that you are pushing a point that is not yours! It’s common courtesy and social media etiquette. It’s appreciated and helps to build trust and friendship through your online peers. Without the RT, it’s almost like plagiarism (it is). Always RT a few times a day and put a little intro to it. This lets everyone know you have read the content.

#EIR Engages, Interacts & Re-tweets

The hashtag #EIR has become a sign for those who engage in conversation, who interacts on all levels and who re-tweets content. It’s almost putting a sign over someone’s head saying “I LIKE TO TALK AND DISCUSS – FOLLOW ME! FOLLOW ME”. People use this in order to inform other community members that this individual is a thought leader and can provide great content you can learn from and use. Example:

#EIR @EricKazekewski has a fantastic point of view on tradeshow marketing using multiple #SocialMedia platforms #eventprofs

I am letting other #eventprofs members know that Eric is someone to engage with and learn from! While also hashtagging social media (always a trending topic), #eventprofs can also figure out that Eric knows how to leverage multiple platforms. Finding great resources will help your journey and also build your trust online! Trust is your currency, so ensure you KNOW the people you engage with! Pick up the

phone, email and get to know your peers! That’s how social media works! Twitter works very well if you reach out rather than reach in – meaning, don’t just push out content. Associate your content to people and converse!

I leave this with you…

I hope this has been helpful for those in need of Twitter help! Through my research and discussion with individuals who have not engaged in social media, or Twitter to be exact, most say “I don’t get it!” Of course, the information above is not the full POWER SESSION, but it’s a start to get your feet planted. I am always here to help you on your way and please feel free to connect with me on any of my personal platforms: Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or WordPress.

Tips: is your online bible for Social Media. Anything you want to know about any platform is available in great articles and learning tutorials. is your link shrinking application. Keep it handy when you need to shrink links in order to fit into tweets, blogs and other digital mediums.