“Monitoring is like the camera on the traffic light that captures people running the light. Listening . . . is knowing which car was having an emergency and on the way to the emergency room.”
Such a simple statement. Such a true statement.
So I found it timely that on the heels of EventCamp I came across this blog post from one of the pharmaceutical bloggers I follow. If you read the post, you see that MaverickNY is simply letting her readers know that she is heading to a medical meeting, and that she would be sharing her experience via Twitter. However, she notes that due to the length of the ‘official’ hashtag—a whopping 12 characters including the hash mark!—she, along with many others, would be using an unofficial and shorter hashtag.
This post is not about the importance of keeping the character count of your official conference hashtag low to allow attendees to easily tweet without struggling to stay under 140 characters. This post is about monitoring and listening.
Are you listening to your attendees? What about the non-attendees that are trying to follow your event via Twitter?
It is important to monitor (year-round, not just around your event) for mentions of your association, meeting name (and variations), and keywords related to your industry/event using tools like Google Alerts, Twitter Search, Addictomatic, and the list goes on. Subscribe to your attendees’ blogs and tweets—and read them. It may seem time-consuming, but it is not difficult to find the people you need to listen to if you consistently monitor social media.
Imagine if the social media staff at the association putting on the medical meeting that Sally is heading to are not aware that a considerably large—and definitely socially savvy—set of attendees are planning to cover the meeting via Twitter, but not from the official conference hashtag they plan to monitor.
I hope that association is listening.
[Image via Purple Unicorn]