You don’t really get going on Twitter until you’ve attended a tweetup. Having an opportunity to meet people who you follow and/or meeting people who you might not have met otherwise grows and strengthens your Twitter community.
If you are new to Twitter or even not on Twitter at all, attending a tweetup can place you on the path to greatly enriching your Twitter experience.
Here are a few reasons why I think that tweetups are so damn cool!
A tweetup is a scheduled get together to give people an opportunity to meet members of their Twitter community in real life (IRL). It’s fun to be able to place a voice to the tweets (and in some cases a face to the avatar) of people you’ve been interacting with virtually.
Shards of Ice
No need to break the ice, its already been shattered. At a tweetup, there is usually no need to struggle with an icebreaker because your timeline provides you with material to discuss. I remember the time I walked into a DCTweetTwine Tweetup at L2 Lounge and was immediately greeted with comments on the Twitpics I had tweeted of my lunch. Without having to think of anything to talk about, I was engaged in conversation about the lunch that I had at Tuscana West during Restaurant week. Here are the photos that garnered all the attention.
The Quick Follow
Unlike with LinkedIn or Facebook, which require two actions – (1) an invitation/friend request and (2) invitation acceptance/friend confirmation, Twitter allows a user to “follow” anyone immediately. The follow is one way unless the Twitter account being followed decides to follow back. However, the follower now has an opportunity to initiate a discussion, even if the initial tweet is nothing more than “Enjoyed meeting @ccooks3 at the event”.
The Tweetup Hashtag
Most tweetups have a hashtag associated with them, such as @Sisarina‘s #DCTweetup events. The hashtag helps to build a community around the event. In the days leading up to a tweetup, there are typically several tweets about the event. Tweeps will ask who’s going, mention how they’re looking forward to meeting twitter friends IRL or even comment on how they can’t make it but wish they could. The hashtag is another great post event means of meeting or following up with people.
Tweetup Big Ups
There are three kinds of tweetup big ups or shout outs: pre-tweetup, tweetup and post tweetup. Each one provides you an opportunity to virtually meet and interact with fellow tweeps. These shout outs tend to go hand in hand with the tweetup hashtag mentioned earlier. Some of the tweetup big ups are by virtue of Foursquare check ins.
They all translate into mentions – that’s you big uppin’ or getting big upped by your Tweeps! So give a shout out. Put on a hat, a pair of shades, pretend you’re holding a guitar and do your own Chuck Brown impersonation. Wind me up tweep! Wind me up tweep! Special dedication going out to…
If you don’t have a chance to meet everyone before the end of the tweetup, don’t worry. There will definitely be a series post tweetup tweets the evening of the event as well as the day after, along the lines of “Great to see…” or “Gr8 2 C…”, “Enjoyed meeting…”, “Good catching up w/ …” etc.
Just follow the event hashtag and you’ll have opportunities to virtually meet people that you can look forward to adding to your IRL list at the next tweetup!