Twitter 102: How To Build Buzz For Your Next Event

So you’ve got your event planned out. You’ve spent weeks, maybe even months planning your webinar or luncheon down to the last detail. Now how do you get the word out? One way to do it – Twitter.

In an earlier post we talked about the easy things you can do to help promote your next event with Twitter. We focused on the easily overlooked details and planning that has to be done in order to be successful with this ultra powerful social media tool.

So now we’re going to take a step further and walk through how you can use Twitter to get event guests super excited, while building buzz, leading up to and during your next event.

1 Create A Hashtag For Your Event

Step #1 for creating a Twitter campaign – create a hashtag. Sounds obvious, but don’t close your browser window just yet. It’s more complicated that just picking a phase related to your event. Here are a couple tips that are important to consider:

See who’s already using your hashtag – You may not be able to find a hashtag that’s unused by anyone but you. But if a Kardashian is using it, so are a lot of other people, which can hurt the chances of people seeing your hashtag.

Consider character length – If you want event guests to add your hashtags to tweets it has to short and sweet. You don’t want hashtags to be a burden, or make guests have smash it in to make the 140 characters. Because chances are, they’ll just chop out the hashtag and move on.

Consider the flow – A long string of words smashed together to create your hashtag can be difficult to read. #thebesteventever disorients the eyes and can easily be mistyped. Consider abbreviating or breaking up text heavy hashtags with a number like #best3days. Just make sure it’s an obvious number that’s relevant to your event so guests don’t get confused.

2 Market Your Hashtag

In a way, a hashtag is no different than a coupon or other promotional marketing tool. It needs attention and some advertising to be successful. Meaning, if you’re trying to give your hashtag some traction, you need to have a strategy in place before the big day.

3 Capture Handles

Chances are your guests are signing up for your event through an online form. And since they’re filling out their name, email address and other important information, consider adding an optional Twitter handle field. You can then either follow your guests as a way to connect, or put them on an attendee Twitter list to see what your attendees are talking about leading up to and during your event. This may take a little bit of extra work, but if you’re an active Twitter user and committed to growing your followers, this may be just the thing to give your audience a boost.

4 Create Twitter Exclusives

Twitter, like all social media, is an excellent tool to build buzz and market your event and business. But just because you build it doesn’t mean they’ll come. There are tons of distractions online, so you need to offer something really juicy to make people pull out their devices and engage with your business on Twitter. This could be extras, prizes–but if that’s not in the budget–great tips, information and other fun content can go a long way.

Event Quick Tip: Encourage event guest to tweet questions to you using a specific hashtag, and answer them throughout the event. Sweeten the deal by giving away a special prize at the end of the event to whoever asked the most interesting question.

5 Keep Up The Energy

Last but not least, don’t forget to stick to your Twitter strategy throughout the event. Events, especially large scale ones, can be physically draining. There are 1001 things going on at the same time, all of which need your immediate attention. But keeping up the social media energy can mean the difference between excited guests who are fired up about your event, and a dull event that didn’t leave an impression.

Make things easy on yourself by going into your event with a schedule or plan. This includes knowing how many times per day you’re going to tweet, who is going to tweet (maybe an assistant) and any other social media rules you want to stick to.

Twitter 101: How To Promote Your Next Event The RIGHT Way

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.