Avoid Social Media Limbo: How to Promote An Event on Twitter in Ten Steps

Apr 5, 2016 1:30:00 PM

Burke Gibney

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I recently attended a very large convention on digital marketing, and was very surprised to find that there was very little Twitter activity ongoing during the convention. There had been a fair amount of tweeting and use of the event hashtag leading up to the event, but almost none during and after.

This sudden drop-off in tweeting gave me a sense of abandonment from the event organizers. They had stopped communicating now that the event was in full-swing. Was it because the people tweeting were paid marketers who had done their job to fill the seats and moved on? Maybe so.

In taking this approach, they failed to use Twitter for it’s most basic purpose - to create a sense of community surrounding an event. This sense of community is what drives people to come back to your event year after year.

Twitter creates a micro-culture of like minded attendees who are eager to be engaged. Don’t just leave them in Twitter limbo once you have their money. Finish the job by communicating with them, letting them know you hear them, and assuring them you are responding to their needs to provide the best possible experience to them.

Don't leave your event in Twitter limbo. #eventplanning

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In honor of the upcoming Social Media Marketing World Convention in San Diego, CA, here is the ten step guide on how to promote an event on Twitter:

  1. Do your social media homework. Before you begin, look for partners, speakers, attendees, anyone connected to the event that is influential online and has an active Twitter presence. Contact them and get them involved with planning the event. Ask them if it’s ok to mention them and tag them in your posts where relevant or to re-tweet or favorite your event posts. Leveraging their existing network will greatly amplify your reach.

  2. Pick an event hashtag. The first step in using Twitter to promote your event is to create an event hashtag. Pick a hashtag that’s short and descriptive (preferably around six characters), and unique to your event if possible. Search on Twitter to make sure it isn’t already in use. You will always use this same hashtag in everything you post about the event.

  3. Start tweeting regularly and often. Start at least two weeks before the event and tweet more than once a day. You have to assume most people won’t see all your tweets, so you need to put a few out there to catch most people. You can use tools to schedule your tweets to make this easy.

  4. Engage and have conversations with those who share your tweets or tweet about the event. Keep the conversation moving and ongoing. Your goal is to encourage responses, sharing and interaction. Mention the twitter handles of partners to get them involved.

  5. Mix up your tweets and keep them interesting. Don’t send out the same tweet over and over. Have fun with your tweets. Tweet about event highlights, schedule, registration, speakers, food, and the partners you identified in #1 above. Form some of your tweets into a question like, “What speaker are you looking forward to at Social Media World #smmw16?”

  6. Use images in your tweets. People are more likely to click on your tweet if there is an image attached to it. Post pictures of the venue, photos of last year’s event, the event logo, pictures of the event organizers working hard on the venue, a snapshot of the event schedule, a map to the event.

  7. Ramp up your tweeting just before the event. In the last three days before the event, tweet more frequently to bring the promotion to a peak. Re-cap your speakers, ask who is going, give last minute tips and bits of information about the event, share how many attendees are registered, remind people that time is running out to register.

  8. Monitor the hashtag during the event, and have an ongoing commentary on what’s going on. Capture soundbites from the event and mention the person in your tweets. Give tips such as when food is served, that it's cold in the meeting room, recap a great presentation. Post photos of event attendees. Hold a Twitter promotion during the event and give a prize to the first attendees to respond or retweet. This creates a sense of community during the event. Your attendees will feel more connected to the event and to each other.

  9. Stay engaged with your followers during the event. Don’t just put out the content described in #8, keep the conversation going by asking attendees to tweet about their favorite speaker or tell you what they are liking and disliking about the event. This is a great way to monitor feedback at the event (such as long lines or a messy restroom) and let your attendees know you are listening and responding to their needs.

  10. After the event, summarize and wind down your event hashtag. Assess what worked and what didn’t for next time, thank your attendees, vendors, speakers and partners and to let your followers know if the event is in the works for next year. Ask attendees to recap their favorite part of the event or tweet pictures.  This step is essential for providing closure to the community you’ve created surrounding your event. Your attendees will have a positive take-away from your event and are more likely to come back!

Ask attendees to recap their favorite part of the event or tweet pictures. #eventplanning
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We hope you found this guide useful. Whether you’re new to Twitter or a tweeting pro, these tips can guide you through the process for any event!

 

 

 

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