B2B Blogger’s Guide To Turning Tweets Into Rockstar Conference Coverage

So, you’re craving a surge of fresh, unique, valuable content on the front page of your business’s B2B blog…but scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel for blog post topics that aren’t blatantly self-promotional or boring as ever.

One solution is to attend a few industry conferences, conventions, trade shows, seminars, or networking events throughout the year and churn out rockstar blog coverage on behalf of your company.

Covering events in your B2B industry by way of live-tweets and blog posts is a surefire way to amplify your content and link building strategies, not to mention help establish your brand as an active, engaged, beloved contributor to your B2B community.

The influx of fresh, unique, valuable content, showcased on Twitter and your company blog will attract new eyeballs from interested readers / potential subscribers, customers, and evangelists. More social shares of content from your blog mean more positive social signals sent to the search engines, and impressive coverage can definitely garner inbound links from a variety of relevant sites.

Another great perk of covering industry event is you don’t have to be the thought-leader; you just have to be quick enough, deep enough, and caffeinated enough to rebroadcast the gems, jewels, and pearls of wisdom thought-leaders in your industry share straight from the podium.

Live bloggers in the front row @SMX

Live Tweeting

Live-tweeting is a terrific means to get the goods to the masses in real-time. Instant coverage is welcomed and appreciated by folks who can’t attend, and shows the community you’re a trusted and reliable source to follow during that (and future) events.

The crown jewels of conference coverage, however, are the comprehensive recaps you post to your B2B blog. Real(ish)-time blogging might seem more daunting than live-tweeting, but it doesn’t have to be– and you can provide both real-time tweet coverage to the community as well as follow up (same day) write-ups that serve as stand-alone, powerful resources and live on your company blog.

Follow this 7-step guide to turning live-tweet coverage into rockstar conference blog coverage and you’ll be well on your way. It provides maximum harmony between quality and efficiency so you can deliver amazing work without burning yourself out.

1.  Scrape Tweets

Step 1 is really ”Live-tweet the heck out of a conference session,” but let’s assume you already did that.

  • Go to your Twitter.com profile and with your cursor, highlight every tweet from that session.

Naturally, the initial bits of coverage will be towards the bottom of the page and the closing tweets will be towards the top. So…

  • Scroll back as far as you have to to reach the first tweet of the session.
  • Once you have every shred of live-tweet coverage highlighted, copy onto clipboard.

2.  Sanitize Formatting

  • Paste into Notepad on a Windows machine, TextEdit on a Mac.
  • Notepad automatically strips formatting from where you copied the content. If you’re working in TextEdit, click “Format” -> “Make Plain Text”.

This will remove things like your avatar, hyperlinks, and other messy nonessentials from the web.

3.  Remove The Junk

Sanitizing format won’t strip all messy nonessentials, such as timestamps, your Twitter handle, or hashtags. So…

  • Copy your text from the notepad into a Word document and get ready to prune some more.
  • Take a look at what’s there in abundance and should be hacked out.
  • Do mass “find” (CTRL / Command F) for what you want to hack and “replace” with a single space bar. This will, in effect, remove those nonessentials.

Remember, we’re going for efficiency here. When you approach step 4 and start to turning the tweets into a blog post, you’ll want as little filler present as possible. Sanitizing format and removing the junk will leave you with the Grade A Top Choice meat of the tweets.

4.  Reverse The Timeline

Now you have a long list of tweets from your session, fat trimmed and ready for business. Only one problem: They’re in reverse-chronological order! To quickly flip the timeline of your tweets, head to Excel.

  • Paste your tweets in Column B.
  • In Column A, fill in the numbers, 1, 2, 3, etc – one number per cell.
  • Select your three numbered cells and drag the corner down to the cell next to your last tweet. The numbers are what we will use to reverse the tweets.
  • Highlight Column A, click the “Sort” button.

Et voilà! Column A should house a stream of numbers, largest to smallest, and Column B should house a stream of your tweets, from the start to the finish of the session. Next…

  • Copy Column B, paste back in your notepad to remove formatting carried over from Excel.

5.  Dump In Backend Of Blog

  • Paste tweets from notepad in the WYSIWYG of your blog.
  • Make a fresh pot of coffee or pop open a can of Mountain Dew. Now onto the fun part.

6.  Connect The Dots

Just as infants don’t come out of the womb ready to discuss Einstein’s theory of relativity, live-tweets aren’t ready to thrive in the blogosphere without a little TLC.

Connect the dots between each individual tweet– each individual thought, tactic, tip, and takeaway– until you’re left with cohesive, sensical content. Make it flow. Add transitions, clarification, (perhaps even mild humor!) where appropriate. If you’re a strong live-tweeter and the speaker delivered a strong presentation, there really shouldn’t be too much work to do in this step.

7.  Polish Formatting

Make it look like a blog post.

  • Add images, whether stock or photos from the show
  • Link to speakers’ names or companies, if so desired
  • Break up dense paragraphs with bullet points or numbered lists (like this one!)
  • Add sub-headers to indicate new topics
  • Bold important tips
Use blockquotes to hammer home significant takeaways, or as another way to spice up the aesthetic of the post.

Ah yes, there is one final step to this guide:

8.  Have Fun!

Related Topics: B2B Search Marketing Column | Channel: Search Marketing


About The Author: Lauren Litwinka is an online marketer specializing in organic social media, cradle-to-grave community management, search and social creative, real-time journalism, holistic social befriending, as well as content aggregation, creation, and strategic syndication. Currently serving as Community Editor for Search Engine Land and Marketing Land, she spends her days sharing valuable industry resources and conversing with likeminded professionals / fellow geeks via the Interwebz -- always striving to connect the right people with the right content. Her first Wiley book, "The Complete Social Media Community Manager's Guide: Essential Tools and Tactics for Business Success," was released in January, 2013 and can be found on Amazon.com. You can say hi to Lauren on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Google+.

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  • http://twitter.com/SimonHeseltine Simon Heseltine

    The BlueGlass conferences do a cute little thing where a speaker can pick up a “No Tweeting / Sharing / Blogging” sign a couple of times during their presentation, but as a speaker you still know that what you say becomes public knowledge once it leaves your mouth.  

    Now SMX has done a thing where they embargoed a particular “spill the secrets” style session, but again, as a speaker you know that what you’re saying is going to be out there, even if it’s ‘protected’ for a couple of months, because the livebloggers were there taking notes, and audiences were there listening, writing things down.  

  • http://twitter.com/JTDabbagian James Dabbagian

    Let me make one thing clear: I am not a lawyer. Ergo, I will not discuss the markings on plagiarism and copyright (Especially since others have already covered this.) 

    Still, if I were speaking and someone Live-blogged one of my presentations, I’d be honored. If I’m presenting at a conference or an expo, I’m essentially giving the info away for free anyway. So long as I was properly attributed (and it isn’t a complete verbatim recording,) I’d be fine by it. 

    Plus, I may able to use the liveblog as a transcript for the presentation for anyone who might want me to speak (With permission, of course.) 

    Especially since without a recorder it would be outright impossible to record me line by line. 

    It’s free publicity. 

    But what if you don’t want livebloggers at all? You can do one of two things:

    1. You can state that you do not wish to be liveblogged in your presentation. While a case could still be made allowing a liveblogger to legally do their thing anyway, most will respect your wishes. 

    2. You can talk like this guy does: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cylDT2BpyyU I guarantee NOBODY aside from a policy debater will be able to liveblog (or understand) you or your presentation. 

  • http://twitter.com/MirandaM_EComm Miranda Miller

    re: Blueglass, so that might be similar to the BlackHat session at SES, then, Simon? There is a respect there when someone is sharing something sensitive, people don’t tweet or blog that tidbit on request.  That’s reasonable.  That’s just a piece though, not an entire session.

    I went to Covario’s Inflection Point client event this year and there were, understandably, people who didn’t want me to write about them.  I worked with Covario’s super awesome PR guy Rick, who connected me with companies who were willing to talk on record before and throughout the event.  That’s different again; those are private clients, it’s a client event, and the rules were established beforehand. Danny S was there too, actually – *waves* – and maybe he found this, too, but even those reps from the companies in attendance were mostly willing to share their experiences and take a few minutes to talk, knowing it might end up in an article.  As for the actual presentation content, anyone who went on stage was fair game to be quoted.  Those who didn’t want publicity didn’t speak.  Easy-peasy.

  • http://twitter.com/chrisbennett Chris Bennett

    I have always said, experienced etc… that live blogging and tweeting is one of the best ways for a conference to be naturally promoted. There are so many people back at the office or their house wishing they were there, and that leads to them attending the next one. As a speaker it is like going viral every time you speak. It is such a positive thing for everyone involved. 

  • http://twitter.com/MaryKayLofurno Mary Kay Lofurno

     Barry, Danny et all.  Barry, its not meant to be personal, I may have used your name but I did not say it was anyone in particular and I won’t.  Barry et all, if I used your name and you feel like that means I ‘said’ you did something –then sorry, not my intent.   You guys are lead live bloggers so I refer to you.  Again, my apology.

    Here is a suggestion.  Other event companies make sure seats get left open and have ushers there for that purpose.  You purposely make sure that seats up front with electricity and better access are set aside for people who need it and you make sure it stays that way.  So when the person who has the wheelchair and the computer which they need because of assistive technology or has a cane comes in, they can get up to the place where they can get electricity.  It does not have to be a ton of seats.  They have people there to take that person to those seats.

    Other event companies schedule an extra session during the event if the room capacity for that session is reached.  This takes care of the problem of people squeezing in to get the only session on XYZ.  Sure, I love being a groupie, stuffing myself into a room of people that is overflowing [standing room] when the Google engineer is going to announce something big or some big battle is brewing but I am health and have been blessed with my faculities.  

    Look, I have read live blogger stuff for years now.  I appreciate it.  I like it if I cannot get there.  You all do a great job at it and I want you to keep doing it. 

    I don’t think you guys do the question thing on purpose, you just see each other  a lot and you develop relationships.  I get it, really.  Over the years, I have asked you both a few questions to help me get to the Google person I need to get a perspective on my issue.  I appreciate that as well.

    Just another perspective…again…you all are awesome and I appreciate the work you do.  Mary Kay

  • http://www.rustybrick.com/barry Barry Schwartz

    I should add, those bloggers in the picture above are damn good looking. ;-)

  • http://twitter.com/Skitzzo Ben Cook

    Shari, can you share an example of the plagiarism you’re talking about? If you’ve asked Outspoken Media and aimClear to stop live blogging your sessions I’m quite certain you aren’t talking about actual plagiarism.

    While you might think Chris summed up your concerns nicely, I highly doubt aimClear or Outspoken Media violated your copyright in any way.

  • http://searchengineland.com/ Danny Sullivan

    Mary Kay, I’ve honestly never seen this as a problem at any of our shows. The wheelchair incident you’re describing, are you sure that was one of our events?

    It’s just not been an issue. If someone was in a wheelchair or needed other assistance, I know we’d do everything possible to help them, if we were aware of any problem.

    We’d even go to the degree of setting aside space if we needed to, but like I said, it hasn’t been an issue. If it was, it would have been addressed just like we address all types of other issues (kosher food, wifi, etc).

  • http://www.facebook.com/marty.weintraub Marty Weintraub

    Yes. They. Are. :)

  • http://www.stanleyoppenheimer.com searchengineman

    Hmmm.. I don’t remember a heated debate…since Seth Godins infamous brand jacking incident, Lisa Barone ripped into him… (I believe he backed down) 

    Unfortunately a long time ago in my newbie days, I’d asked Shari words of advice after a presentation in Toronto (My first conference)…I walked away, feeling like an idiot, ..I chalked it up to my inexperience/sensitivity..later I realized, playing back my memory tape..that yes I was wrong, won’t be the first time!.

    There is a delicate line between being blunt/direct & being right/arrogance.
    It’s even worse in print.

    –  “Live Bloggers” – “Blood sucking plagiarists?”

    I also realized too late in life, that you not required to be chummy with everyone, nor agree with all opinions.  Life is too short. And we all must gladly suffer fools. Nobody writes on their gravestone “I was right”.  But the way we suffer fools is proportional to your online reputation and your character IMHO.

    Thank goodness total Douche-baggery is rare and far between: Practiced by dictators – politicians, lawyers, used car salesman & certain 1%’cntrs.

    I dont’ think anyone here is in that category!

    The problem is often one bad thing or bad somebody/group happens along and you’ll paint a whole industry/person/subcategory – with one big brush.

    So we all kiss and make up and blame the lawyers!
    Which I believe 99.95% can agree with.



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