The Do’s and Don’ts of Live Tweeting

This is how I feel when I have to live tweet. Photo credits: jimgrant

Live tweeting may be one of the most stressful things that a PR practitioner can be asked to do. Whether for a group meeting, guest speaker or a sporting event, live tweeting involves particular skills that other PR practices do not require.

I have had to do my fair share of live tweeting as a sports volunteer for KWVA radio. While producing the broadcasts, I was also in charge of tweeting live updates of plays, scores and highlights. It wasn’t easy. 

I’ve had successes and failures in live tweeting. Additionally, I have also seen the successes and failures of some professional teams while live tweeting.

Here is are my guidelines for live tweeting sporting events:

Do use images.

The Golden State Warriors tweeted a video of its first made bucket in the Western Conference Semifinals on Sunday. Photo Credit: Warriors

People love seeing gifs, memes, videos, photos and any other sort of content.

These tweets generally get more impressions, too. 

I mean, let’s think about it. Who doesn’t want to see their team doing sweet things on the court.

Don’t share unnecessary content.

Too many images or just too many posts in general tend to overwhelm someone’s feed. As a sports fan after my team has lost, the last thing I want to see is a million posts about the game. Only share when things are necessary if you want to have that good following-to-follower ratio. Also, don’t act like you don’t care about it. You do. 

Do tweet at players and teams and use hashtags.

Oregon women’s basketball tweeted at Sabrina Ionescu during a game. Photo Credits: Oregon Women’s Basketball

Tweets generate more engagements when it uses hashtags. Use this to your advantage and tag opposing teams and players and by using hashtags to describe plays.

It’s fun to see teams tweet at on another and share a little smack talk.

However, this leads me to my next point:

Don’t be unprofessional.

The Blazers released an incorrect game score on April 21, 2019. This could have been prevented, but at least they apologized. Photo Credits: Trail Blazers

Do not say anything that you would not want someone from your organization to say. There is a thin line between being funny and being offensive, and you do not want anyone to have a negative view of your organization because of a tweet.

On this same note, make sure you spell everything right and have the score of the game correct. The last thing you need to do is stress out a fan because he or she believes that the team is losing when in fact the team is ahead.

Being professional is more than just tweeting good statements. It involves tweeting things that are correct. If your tweet is a few seconds late but has no errors, it’s worth it.  And if you do mess up, take responsibility for it. 

Do get creative.

The Sacramento Kings are known for its great use of Twitter. Photo Credits: Sacramento Kings

People don’t want to share, “The Lakers signed Lebron James.” They want to share, “A new King is in town. Welcome to the city of stars, Lebron.” 

Give players nicknames. Use analogies. Think about different ways that you can describe the experience beyond, “Mike Trout hits a home run.” By doing this, you’re going to excite fans a different way. Just as people listen to lively radio and tv commentators, they look for these same qualities on social media.

Don’t say anything negative about your own team.

Don’t do it. Don’t do it. Don’t do it. I do not care about how bad that airball was. I do not want to hear about it from my own team. Do not talk about how someone choked at the free throw line. Loyal fans will be frustrated and do not want this content. Just like the player, put it behind you and move on.

Obviously, there are a ton of other rules to follow too. But, by doing these small things, your Twitter will at least be on the right track.



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