The difference between a Meetup and a TweetUp [Part 1]


BostonTweetup hosts a social media, entrepreneur, technology & networking calendar for individuals in the Boston area. As you can see on our calendar TweetUps are marked red, Meetups are green. But what exactly is the difference?

A meetup can vary depending on the location (bar, restaurant, café, etc.), but most meetups include networking and sharing thoughts and ideas based on what the event was created for. For example: Social Media Meetup at a bar would include having drinks and talk about different types of social media networks and listen to what social media experts have to say about their top social media websites.

First of all, the term Tweetup was coined by Scott Monty on March 21 2007 and it originally meant

Scott Monty
Scott Monty Head of Social Media for Ford Motor Company

“face-to-face meeting between two bloggers who connected via Twitter”

It is currently defined as

A real-life meeting organised on the social networking site Twitter

Quite simply it’s an event that is primarily promoted on twitter, and allows people who have made connections through twitter to meet up and talk in person.


The majority of TweetUps are primarily social and are simply meant to connect like-minded people or those who wouldn’t normally have a chance to connect. Boston has hosted many tweetups like #BurritUp (people interested in a burrito tasting), #trustagents (book signing), #SMM09 (fashion show connecting social media personalities with fashion enthusiasts), #LoveTheCool (hip-hop performance based Tweetup).

From spontaneous to organized
Initially, the majority of TweetUps were very spontaneous and easy to promote given the real time nature of twitter and the small amount of people on twitter at the time. Simply sending out a tweet to let people know that you were in the area was all that was needed for a successful TweetUp to happen. The TweetUps of today have to be more organized and are sometimes planned months in advance.
Now a tweetup mainly consists of an event that involves leveraging twitter to communicate about the event before, during and after the event. This means that even before the event people can communicate whether or not they will be attending the event and thus indirectly promoting the event. Throughout the night attendees post “tweets” about the event that includes a hash tag, (#) with the shortened name, that has been assigned to the event. For example during the Social Media Club 2011 you could tweet something like this: “Having a great time at #SMC11”. Tweetups are basically events where being on your phone at all times is by no means disrespectful. However people are rarely on the phones all the time, which is a common misconception. Tweeting generally occurs in between conversations or sometimes as a group activity ie sharing a joke, a picture, etc

Using a hashtag
One of the biggest differences between meetups and traditional events is the usage of Hashtags. If you are new to Twitter, a hashtag is simply a word or series of combined words that begins with #, i.e. #SMC11. Remember, a hashtag never contains spaces. Twitter has been designed to easily filter all tweets that use a specific hashtag. This allows everyone at the event to follow the tweets about the event easily and connect with people afterwards.

And those who are on the way or couldn’t make it, will still be able to follow the most interesting information that was shared by searching on that particular hashtag in real time.

In a future blog post we will cover how to measure success between meetups and tweetups.

What do you think? What other differences are there between meetups and tweetups in your opinion?

Like the info? Here is the short link