As the 6th ranked app in the world, and with an advertising audience of 353 million users, it’s safe to say Twitter is one of the most powerful business marketing tools around.
The platform works famously well for events thanks to its quick-fire interactivity and live-action feel. But – it’s not a given that you’ll see your event trend just by signing up to the platform and pushing out random content. Like with any marketing tool, it pays to learn some key strategic moves before you put your fingers to the keyboard to Tweet.
Let’s get started.
Master the basics
To get started, set up the essentials. Create an account for your event if you don’t already have one, and then start brainstorming ideas for a memorable hashtag that can be used across all of your Twitter content – both by you, and those Tweeting about your event. It doesn’t need to be overly catchy or witty, something that’s easy to remember and intuitive will do, like #CiderFest21 or #DigiConferenceLDN
Next, make sure your header image is made to the right dimensions – otherwise you risk losing credibility thanks to a blurred or badly cropped photo.
Know your timings – learn when to Tweet for maximum engagement
If someone Tweets and there’s no-one there to read it, does the Tweet make a sound? In short – not really. Tweets that are sent out at poorly chosen times are far less likely to have an impact on your event marketing activity.
For this reason, it’s really important to get familiar with peak times for Tweeting. Luckily, there’ve been whole studies done on this kind of thing – this Buffer article on the topic is particularly insightful.
Get familiar with using tools
Social media pros rely heavily on tools to monitor activity, measure engagement, figure out the best kind of content to push out (and to who)... and so much more. There’s no reason you can’t do the same for your event.
Here’s a list of really user-friendly tools that could seriously help you up your Twitter-game:
Tweriod - lets you figure out the best times to Tweet.
Followerwonk - gives invaluable insights through analytics.
HootSuite - lets you monitor your Twitter activity and schedule posts.
Buffer - lets you schedule your Tweets so you can scale things up.
tweetreach - lets you monitor the popularity of your Tweets.
Enlist an event Tweeter
While you’ll definitely want to use Twitter to promote your event in the run-up to it, don’t underestimate the power of utilising the platform during it too.
Live-Tweeting throughout your event is a great way to build hype, spread the word and keep attendees engaged. For sure, you won’t have time to take charge of the Tweet-decks yourself, so it can be really helpful to appoint someone who’s dedicated solely to the job.
If you can afford to pay someone, great. If not – try enlisting the help of a friend in exchange for free tickets (and drinks?!).
Plan all the ways you’ll promote your hashtag before and during your event
Once you’ve decided on your hashtag, it’ll be crucial to make it as visible as possible. Before your event, make sure you use it on absolutely all communications (not just on Twitter). This should help get the hashtag wheels turning in your favour.
To step things up, you could run a competition to promote your hashtag even further. For example, you could get everyone to use the hashtag when Tweeting a question for your event’s key speaker. The best question would then win a prize – say, free tickets to your event, or something even more enticing.
During your event, you’ll want to make sure your hashtag is displayed prominently. Include it on bar stands, printed handouts, the walls – wherever it’s going to get seen. You should try to encourage all staff or stakeholders working at your event to use the hashtag too. With a little bit of coordination, you’ll massively improve your chances of reaching a wider audience on Twitter.
Get your attendees to interact with your event through Twitter
Twitter can offer a great way to interact directly with your attendees during your event. For example, you could set up a scheme where attendees can Tweet feedback throughout your event, or even ask questions that can be presented during a speaker presentation. This will not only increase the visibility of your event online, it’ll leave attendees feeling more valued, and probably more satisfied with your event on a whole.
Use Twitter to monitor engagement with your event
Twitter can be an invaluable tool in monitoring how successful your event has been. You can use one of the tools listed above to gauge engagement, for example, or even just check through hashtags to see what attendees’ general responses have been. The more you measure the success of your event, the more likely you are to improve the next one, and to make sure you’re consistently meeting your objectives.
Using Twitter like a pro for your event doesn’t have to be overly convoluted or stressful. With a few clever tweaks to how you approach using the platform, you’ll be putting yourself in a much stronger position when it comes to what really counts – attracting, retaining and impressing your attendees.