Event marketing and public relations has come a long way in the last 15 years. It used to be that if you were running an event you’d have to know people in the media and cough up the cash to purchase TV ads. Not only was this time consuming and expensive, there was very little feedback as to if people were hearing your message.
Fortunately, times have changed.
Social media tools like Twitter have allowed business owners to get the word out on their events and promotions without spending an arm and a leg on marketing.
So if you’ve been scratching your head trying to figure out how to get people talking about your upcoming event, here’s a crash course on getting your event in front of the right people with the help of Twitter.
1 Determine Your Goals
Before you can start marketing, you need to have a solid plan. This means asking yourself, what do I want to accomplish with this event? Who is your audience? Where will you send attendees after the event? Whether you’re hosting an in-person event or an online event, having goals are critical. Without goals, you run the risk of getting off track with your marketing and wasting valuable time and money.
2 Join The Conversation
The great thing about Twitter is that you can jump right in and start chatting. Unlike Facebook, Twitter conversations, hashtags and tweets are out there for everyone to see and be a part of.
So if you’re new to the world of Twitter and you’re not sure how to get up and running, start with something easy like piggybacking popular hashtags.
How can you do this?
Log into Twitter and see what people are talking about in the trends column. Next, find topics that relate to your business or event. Then start creating tweets that include those popular hashtags.
If you want to go deeper, browse keywords and hashtags with the help of Twitter’s search feature. Then browse through topics that relate to your industry and event to see what kinds of questions people are asking, and strike up a conversation. Just don’t be too pitchy!
3 Find Influencers
The more people you get talking about your event the better. But the more influencers you get talking about your event, or people with a lot of Twitter followers, the better(est).
Don’t know who the movers and shakers are? It’s time to do a little homework. Start researching the big trade events and conferences to see who will be speaking. Then follow them on Twitter to see what they’re all about – who they mention, what content they share, what they talk about, etc. Keep an eye on influencers by creating lists which include all the biggest names in your niche or industry.
Creating partnerships with influencers is a relationship building process. So don’t reach out and ask them if they can promote your event right away. As time goes on your relationship will grow, and in no time they’ll be asking how they can help you.
4 Don’t Just Be A Salesperson
People don’t want to be sold to. They fast forward through TV commercials, throw away junk mail and leave their phone books out on the porch until they turn into garden mulch.
Same thing goes for marketing on Twitter.
If you’re getting amped up for your event you’re probably sending out tweets to get your followers excited. But if each of your tweets is the same boring message your followers will eventually start to ignore it.
Try mixing it up by sending out fun facts, pictures, videos and other content relating to your event. If you need ideas, check out a few summer music festivals to see how they promote their events. Even if your event is educational it doesn’t mean it can’t be fun!
Long Story Short
Interested in learning about how to use Twitter at events to increase exposure and position yourself as industry expert? Stay tuned for a future blog post on using Twitter during your next event to increase exposure and audience participation.