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Dan McDonnell on Using Twitter to Add Value to Your Evaluation 2013 Experience

My name is Dan McDonnell, and I am a Community Manager at the American Evaluation Association.

Evaluation 2013 ( #eval13 in Twitter hashtag speak) is less than two weeks away, and already, social media is abuzz with conversation around the conference.  Twitter is a truly incredible tool that can greatly enhance your conference experience. You can connect with speakers and other attendees before you arrive in DC, engage in dialogue, capture your key learnings and observations throughout the week — and then evaluate the key trends and topics discussed when you return home.  Here’s how to get started.

Hot Tip: Tweet on the #eval13 conference hashtag to engage with fellow attendees. The hashtag has quickly become one of the most iconic and powerful Twitter features. When you tweet with the Evaluation 2013 hashtag (#eval13), your tweet is saved to a threaded conversation alongside every other tweet that uses the same #eval13 tag. This allows you to create and participate in a meta-discussion about the event itself, whether it be live-tweeting observations from the sessions you attend, retweeting or favoriting great quotes or takeaways from speakers or attendees or expanding your network through meeting new people via Twitter. For starters, check out this list of Evaluation 2013 attendees who are on Twitter.

Hot Tip: Create content and add value. Heard a particularly noteworthy quote or idea from a session you’re at? Tweet it. Want to thank a great speaker or give kudos to a colleague or friend for their contributions to the event? Tweet them with an @ reply. Want to share a photo or your observations on Evaluation2013 overall with the world? Tweet! The more you tweet, the more likely your knowledge will be shared with a wider audience, and you’ll increase the chance that you’ll connect with interesting evaluators attending the conference.

Hot Tip: On that note, make sure your Twitter profile picture looks like you! I’ve been approached more than once at an event and asked, “Hey, are you @Dan_McD ?” based on my tweets and photo. It’s an incredibly rewarding experience to connect with new people you may have never met otherwise, and allows you to do the digital equivalent of exchanging business cards with a one-click follow.  But how do you keep up with the numerous tweets on the conference hashtag, not to mention your own personal @mentions?

Rad Resource: 


Hootsuite, alongside other free third-party social media monitoring platforms (including SproutSocial) make listening to social media conversations and responding a cinch. You can set up feeds to see who is Tweeting @ you, the latest tweets on the #eval13 hashtag, and if anyone has retweeted your content. With just a few clicks, you can respond in real time or schedule a tweet to go out at a later time to spread the wealth. There is a great Hootsuite app on both iOS and Google Play, so regardless of your mobile device, it is easier than ever to  get the most out of Twitter while on the go at the Evaluation2013 conference. Happy tweeting.

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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