Earlier this week, I attended a Tweetup and while talking about it on Twitter, I got some emails and direct messages from people asking what it was. I thought I would do this post to give you an overview of why I like them so much. There are more structured Tweetups and others are more informal and unstructured. Mashable does a great job of giving you information on how to host a more structured Tweetup, so I’m going to focus less on the how to and more on the why you should attend a Tweetup.
While the 140 character limit on Twitter can be good for many reasons, it can also be limiting in trying to have a deeper discussion with one or more people. By attending a Tweetup, you get to have deeper conversations with multiple people without losing the thread. These conversations are not always work related, but more personal conversations allow you to connect with people differently online and off. You may see an article about a topic that someone you met is interested in and you can tweet it to them.
Personally, I am not a big fan of networking events. I admit that I get a bit nervous at the thought of walking up and meeting people that I know nothing about. I worry about what to say with regards to small talk or introductions. Tweetups help me because I tend to know a little bit about the people I am meeting before I walk in the door. If there is an attendee list, I try to check out their profiles and Twitter streams ahead of time if I don’t already follow them. To be able to recognize people via their user name and avatar also help me to have an immediate level of comfort. You feel like you are meeting a penpal for the first time and you immediately have something in common to talk about.
Another thing to keep in mind is you do not have to be involved in the design, IT or social media field to attend a Tweetup. The more, the merrier. If you are up for meeting interesting people that like to share information and ideas, then you should attend a Tweetup. The conversations do not always revolve around Twitter and social media. At one local Tweetup we actually all brought our kids and talked a lot about being working parents and swapping funny kid stories. Conversations will vary, but you can’t discount the relationships you will be building at the event that will continue to foster through interactions on Twitter.
From a marketing standpoint, I would encourage any retailer, restaurant owner or someone with an office conducive to hanging out and mingling to host a Tweetup. Bring people to experience your venue and even products and services. There are always many discussion of location before, during and after a Tweetup so many people on Twitter will see the feedback from the attendees. I don’t have to explain the power of positive Word of Mouth, do I?
The connections you make at Tweetups can lead to many things, but it will for sure make your experience on Twitter more fulfilling and fun. What do you like about Tweetups?