It’s hard to remember a time before Twitter. The social media platform has been sitting near the center of the internet world for over a decade, believe it or not. It has developed a critical role in our lives as more and more public figures adopt Twitter as their chosen way to communicate with followers. Twitter is a unique form of social media. It moves at an intense speed, giving observers the feeling that they are always watching and participating in a global conversation. The very spirit of Twitter is alive, and shifting from moment to moment. This kind of natural vibrancy makes Twitter a powerful tool for events, and for event marketing. Such a dynamic platform can be hard to understand though. Here are five ways you can rock your event marketing with Twitter.
1. What’s your #Hashtag?
Hashtags are a central function of Twitter. They work as the unifying element of conversations going on within the world of Twitter. Anyone browsing Twitter can look up a hashtag and see what people are saying right then with it. If you want to get people talking about your event, you need to come up with a unique hashtag. Unlike many other social media platforms where events may want their own profiles or pages, hashtags are the best promotional method for Twitter.
The hashtag for your event needs to be short and concise, after all a tweet is only 140 characters. The best hashtags will be around 6 characters, and don’t use any spaces or special characters. Using your brand’s profile, you get to set the example of how to use it. Hashtags don’t have to be at the end of the post, and leave lots of room for creativity (so long as you don’t break the ever important 140 characters). If your brand’s page has a good following, then you can get the hashtag in front of plenty of eye’s.
Consistent use will help the hashtag catch on. If you are showing decent content to hype the event, then people will start to get excited! They will want to tell their friends that they are going. When they are at the event, they will want to tweet to everyone what a great time they are having! There should be no question of what hashtag to use when they send these tweets.
Don’t limit the promotion of your hashtag should to Twitter. Your flyers, posters, and any other promotional material can encourage potential attendees to join the conversation. This gets your hashtag further out into the world, and gets people to already recognize it when they see it on Twitter.
2. How to tweet
As we mentioned (more than once now), Twitter has a limit of 140 characters per tweet. This has been a major part of the platform since their launch. The limit does a great job of keeping thoughts written on the site joyfully simple. It also does a great job at frustrating event marketers as they condense their marketing messages into a little over a sentence. This the maximum though, not the minimum. With Twitter, shorter always does better. In fact, tweets under 100 characters have a 17% higher engagement rate than ones that approach the limit. The writing is on the wall, keep it simple.
If you don’t feel like you can get all your event information out in so few words, remember that a picture is worth thousands. Twitter loves images for this reason, and a compelling image will do far more to catch eyes than a handful of words will. Twitter is not Instagram, you aren’t required to include an image in every tweet, but having images does tend to increase engagement.
You also need to be aware that your tweets will live a short life. With the speed Twitter moves at, anyone who doesn’t see your tweet thirty minutes after it is posted likely never will. This means that you need to be strategic about when you tweet, and think about when your followers are checking their phones. What kind of audience you attract will determine when exactly is the right time for you, but the best way to find out is through experimenting. Run a tweet one day around lunch time, and then run a similar tweet later at night the next week. Compare the engagements of the two and you can determine when your followers are paying the most attention.
3. What to tweet
Now comes the hard part, actually finding what to say. How can you, in so few words, convince people that your event is worth buying tickets for?
The foundation of your content should be showing people what you have to offer. Post news about the speakers for your conference. Show your followers videos of incredible performances from last year’s festival. Leading up to the festival, the job of your Twitter page is to hype the people who have tickets and convince others to get some. The content you tweet should revolve around that.
During the event is when twitter really shines as a social media platform. Twitter’s focus is on what is happening in the moment, which means you can use it to communicate with your attendees moment to moment! “Live tweeting” the event builds a strong bond with the people of the event, informing them of things happening and connecting them to the organizers. An effective event will assign this task to a person, or group of people and will have them diligently tweeting the day away, answering questions people ask and reinforcing powerful moments.
For some ideas on what you can tweet after the event wraps up, check out this article.
4. Use a Twitter wall!
Twitter walls are an objectively cool idea. These are large screens which display a live feed of what people are posting about the event, during the event. These walls monitor the hashtag you set up and put each tweet with it up for everyone to see. These walls thrill people at the event, and will undoubtedly tweet something for their chance to get spotlighted. To make sure this works seamlessly, post your hashtag on the Twitter wall and around the event.
These social media screens do a great job in bringing your attendees together. Attendees can use them to figure out what cool things are going on at that moment, and go check them out for themselves. Generally, they show everyone that people are having fun. Your attendees will have more fun themselves if they know for a fact that everyone around them is loving the event too.
Of course, all of the tweets going up to your Twitter wall are also getting posted live to Twitter so that everyone in the world can see. Having such a large amount of traffic with your hashtag will gain you a lot more attention from the outside world. That attention can be converted into more ticket sales next year.
5. Follow for Follow
Different social media platforms have different forms of etiquette. On Twitter, like Instagram, rule one is that you follow back people who follow you. This social norm is something that any event marketer can take advantage of to help spread their brand name. On Twitter, you can see what kind of conversations people have engaged in, what they like to do, and who they already follow. When you see someone who looks like they might be interested in your event, you can follow them. Odds are, they will follow you back out of social necessity at the least.
This is a very hands on approach, but there are many applications that will automate finding potential new followers and following them first. Even if it isn’t in your budget to use one of these automated following systems, pay attention to the dialogues on Twitter as you use the platform, and follow whoever you think would fit. This can be a very personal way to spread your following.
Don’t forget, this rule of etiquette applies to you as well. Make sure you follow back your own followers!
What other tips and tricks have worked for you will marketing your event with Twitter? Tell us about them in the comments below!
Want to know more about how social media can help you increase attendance at your events? Click the button below to download the Event Marketer’s Guide to Social Media!