How to Use Twitter to Network at Conferences: 5 Tips

Even if you're shy, you can use Twitter to maximize networking opportunities at your next conference. Check out our tips on how to build buzz, be remembered and be valued.

It's tough to find a better networking opportunity than conferences and events—you have a room full of people who share similar interests, top thinkers and presenters in the industry within an arm's reach and the opportunity to catch up with contacts you've made in the past.

But not everyone who attends conferences has an outgoing, Type A personality. "If you're shy and you walk into a conference of 2,000 people and you don't know anyone, it can be awkward and intimidating to join in conversations and meet people," says Patrick O'Malley, a social media speaker and consultant. That's where Twitter comes in.

Twitter is a great resource for anyone who attends events, but even more so if you're an introvert, O'Malley says. "The beauty with social media like Twitter is that you don't need any qualifications to be the person that gets remembered," he says. "Twitter gives you the opportunity to jump in conversations without feeling embarrassed or worried that they'll look at you funny.

How can you make the most of networking at conferences with Twitter? Here are five tips.

1. Do Your Hashtag Homework

The most important key to your Twitter networking success: monitoring the event's Twitter hashtag. Most events will promote a hashtag that attendees can use, O'Malley says, but if there isn't one, perform a search on www.search.twitter.com to see how others are branding the conference. If you can't find one there, O'Malley suggests to starting one yourself.

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