Social media and Twitter especially have become a quintessential part of entertainment: TVs, movies, concerts and live events are augmented by the “second-screen” experience. TV networks like Bravo are adding additional web elements and apps that are part of the show experience. Additionally, people are chatting about big event topics

ImageNow instead of passively watching your favorite TV show, or the Superbowl, you can join others in a mash-up of conversations, commentary and relevant discussions with like-minded people.

But how can brands apply this to their social media marketing efforts? The key takeaway of the second-screen experience is the live, “in real-time” element that it offers.

Here are 5 tips to boost the success of your live tweeting efforts.

1. Use Relevant Hashtags

If you’re thinking how to find others who are talking about a topic, hashtags are the answer. Whether you’re live tweeting the World Cup, the Oscars or Facebook’s latest press conference, it’s good to tag your tweets with a relevant hashtag, preferably one that other’s are using on the same topic. When you prep to tweet live, check and see who else is live tweeting, what hashtags they are using and what ends up trending. For example, it might not just be #Oscars it might be #Oscars2012. Check a few variations to see what gets the most traction.

2. Engage with Users

Live tweeting is a perfect time to connect with influencers who are interested and talking about similar topics. Favorite and RT their tweets, follow them and start conversations with them. Conversations around a mutual topic adds value and will lend credibility and authority to you as well as earn some valuable followers that are likely to engage with you after the live tweeting is over.

3. Show, Don’t Just Tell

Make sure your live tweets are still adding value to your network as a whole. Let your followers know you are live tweeting an event and tweet pivotal moments with quotes and descriptions, instead of flat updates. Share rich media including videos and photos that will draw in larger audiences and set your updates apart.

4. Promote Across Networks

Your live tweeting efforts don’t have to stand alone. Take time to promote your actions across your other platforms and alert your audience so they can participate along with you. Send out a few tweets prior to the event, Make post on Facebook and let everyone know when and what hashtag you will be using. Write a short blog post to promote the event and consider doing a wrap-up for those who missed it. Make it a cohesive part of your strategy to regularly promote your live events.

5. Be Live Regularly

The best and most effective way to use Twitter as a live tool is to regularly use it as such. Join or host a regular tweet chat in your industry.  Two of my favorite social media and marketing tweet chats include #BareItAll and  #cmgrchat on that often lead to great social relationships, new valuable followers and a more targeted network of people whose tweets are interesting to me. Participate regularly, share and connect with others in the chat or host your own with other interested parties.

By examining the takeaways for what fuels the live engagement, we can apply some unique marketing tactics and a personal live touch to social media, which is what audiences crave and will set you apart as a valuable asset and resource in your field.

Are you currently using live tweeting as a part of your social media management? Tell me what has worked for you. Tweet me at @ErinSRichards or share in the comments below!