How to newsjack any conference in 1 hour.
Last year one of the most popular posts I wrote on the work blog listed the top takeaways from a conference. A conference I never attended. Want to know how I did it and how to get attendees to share it?
If This Then That is a brilliant little web app for connecting services on the web. It is free for what we need here. It works as follows. If THIS happens. Then do THAT. For example I use it daily in work on the company blog. If a new blog post is published. Then it posts a link to the post on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin and Google+.
In this instance I asked the service to attend a two day conference in London on my behalf. Meanwhile I got on with my normal work in the next country over (Ireland). At the end of the conference I spent about an hour preparing a new blog post of the top takeaways from the event and sent it to the attendees and others who could not attend. I also got a handy list of people to follow and a good reason for them to follow me back.
Here is the step by step breakdown of what I did:
- Track down the twitter hashtag for the event. In this case it was #HRVision.
- In IFTTT, I set up a new project and connected it with my Google Docs.
"IF someone on twitter tweets with the hashtag #HRVision, then add it to a new row in a Google spreadsheet."
- At the end of the conference open the spreadsheet and pull out the best quotes and insights to use in a blog post. It will take you about an hour to do this and format it nicely so it is not a wall of text.
Tip: Filter the spreadsheet to remove retweets and duplicates so you have a shorter list to work from. Or you can count the retweets to see what others thought were the most important takeaways.
- Give your post a brief introduction and publish. Ideally publish just as the conference is finishing or at the end of each day when interest is high.
- Tweet a link to your post using the conference hastag #HRVision and attach an image. On twitter you can tag people without adding to the character limit on your tweet. So make sure to tag the conference organisers and anyone you mention in your post. The speakers will most likely retweet your link to their own audience.
- In twitter follow all the people tweeting from the conference using the hashtag. If they look at your profile they will see your post and assume you were at the conference too.
- Use this content promotion plan to promote your post.
Your post does not have to be exhaustive. Top 10 takeaways is fine. Readers appreciate the brevity. Avoid having the post looking very text heavy by breaking it up with some images from the event. Make sure you credit and link images to the source. You can also play with the structure of the post by grouping takeaways by topic or speaker.
Bonus tip: Republish the content in other ways. We did some quote cards like this to make them more shareable during the conference.
That’s it. Of course it will not work for all conferences as twitter usage varies across industries and countries.