Twitter should not be your only communications channel

A lot of events use Twitter to communicate with attendees and allow 2 way communication, and that’s fine. It’s a popular tool, and there are a lot of good things about it.

But the problem comes when some events use only Twitter to communicate with attendees, under the mistaken delusion that that will include everyone and it’s fine. TL;DR of the rest of this article: doing this will exclude large numbers of people.

Firstly, not everyone is on Twitter. Wouldn’t have thought this point needed made, but apparently it does.

Secondly, not everyone follows the right people on Twitter. This applies doubly if you are organising an event and tweet details from your personal account and not some kind of event account. How vain are you to assume that everyone who matters to your event follows your personal account?

Thirdly, even if they do it’s very easy to miss a Tweet. If you don’t check Twitter regularly it’s easy to miss old Tweets, especially as they show new Tweets first.

And even if you do see a Tweet going past containing a fact you need to remember it’s to easy for it to slip past without you having recorded it, and next time you try to look for it it’s almost impossible to find. (eg “Where is tonight’s event? I know someone tweeted it last week but now I can’t find it!”)

Now we get on the two way communication part. Again, there’s nothing wrong with doing this – the problem comes if you only do this and make no other communication channels open.

Firstly, it’s 140 characters. You can’t discuss any details, or any points of finesse, or a complex situation. You just can’t. Communication is superficial.

Secondly, almost all communication is public and many people aren’t happy with that. Maybe the nature of their comment means they want to discuss it in private?

And lastly, remember that for large segments of the population, Twitter is not a safe space. Not in the slightest. Really not. If someone does not feel comfortable using Twitter, are you happy excluding them from your communications, remembering that they may already feel excluded from many other things already?

TL;DR So by all means use Twitter as one of your communication channels – it can work great. We’re happy with it – follow us here. But do not use Twitter as your only communication channel, unless you are happy excluding a large number of people.

So what should you use? That depends on what your are doing and what is relevant for your audience. Obviously we hope you’ll add tech events to our calendar but at the end of the day, you know your audience and it’s for you to decide what’s effective.

 

Edit: The original article had one very angry and harsh sentence, which I regret and have toned down.

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