Leveraging Social Networks
We are working with an exciting new event organization that hosts expos for app (applications) developers. In preparing to launch their campaign, I’d like to share with you some ideas for leveraging Twitter if you are doing events. Social media has made connecting with potential participants, supporters, and vendors easier than ever. Though Facebook is still a powerful force for social networking, Twitter offers more advantages for engaging with people before, during, and after. There are some incredible tools available, that when used effectively can take your reach and engagement through the roof.
Here are some tips for getting the most out of Twitter for an upcoming event:
- Preparation – Get your strategy defined at least a month before the event. This is important because you are going to need those weeks before to connect with your audience, build excitement, increase engagement, and meet your goals for attendance and sponsorship.
- Find your Tribe – Every industry has shakers and movers. Find the top players in your industry, the thought leaders, the popular kids, and connect with them on Twitter. Go beyond page likes and actually engage with them. Designates some of their more fitting tweets as a favorite, retweet their posts, @mention them in your tweets (as long as it makes sense to do so), and respond to their tweets using the same hashtags they are using. Essentially, get in the conversation and make yourself known.
- Reward your supporters – Your attendees, sponsors, and vendors are going to make or break your event. Show them the love by linking to their pages and engage with them the way you are with industry leaders. If you are having a large event, it may be challenging to engage with everyone, so be strategic.
- Create a Hashtag – Each event should have its own hashtag to group discussions together. This will help you stay on top of the activity surrounding the event, build a community with the event as the common denominator, and make communication more broad and efficient.
- Use Resources – Check out these tools to help you set up and manage your Twitter campaign for your event: Tweetdeck – a Twitter dashboard that allows you to stay on top of tweets, like a control panel. Twubs is a platform designed specifically for Twitter engagement for events. Use Storify after the event to create a story version of your campaign. Check out hashtracking for analytics on how well your hashtag is performing, and adjust where needed.
- Bell Curve – Think of your campaign like a bell, where you get the energy and excitement about the event going up more and more as the event comes closer, then full scale during the event, and coming down and tapering off after the event.
- Automation – tools like Hootsuite can be useful for scheduling tweets throughout the campaign. Do not rely too heavily on this, though. It is still critical to be on the site, responding to people and engaging responsively.
- Get Creative – Include in your strategy some fun ways to engage your event supporters. Contests, give-aways, questions, images, highlight individuals, and surprises are fun ways to increase engagement, get people excited about the event, and expand your reach way beyond your audience.
- Be Inclusive – Don’t stop at the obvious supporters to promote at your event, give a shout out to the venue, caterers, musicians, internal coordinators, volunteers, and anyone who has a hand in the outcome of the event. People appreciate being recognized and using a public platform like Twitter is a great place to do that.
- Deal with the bad and the good – If there are questions, complaints, or negative comments, address them immediately and do the best you can to resolve it.
Twitter is a great platform for promoting events. Using these resources and strategies correctly will contribute to a great outcome. Let me know if you have any questions about using Twitter, social media, or digital event promotion.