The statistics speak for themselves when it comes to Twitter as a viable tool for promoting an event. Remember, this social network is second only to Facebook and has 100 million active users and 500 million tweets sent per day. Twitter is the perfect marketing resource for your upcoming conference. However, effectively using Twitter entails far more than just sending a few pre-event tweets and crossing your fingers that they’ll trend.
The methods outlined below provides a starting point for launching your Twitter campaign.
- The Event Hashtag
Every conference needs an event-specific hashtag. The rules to hashtag creation are simple: it should be brief but just long enough to keep it discernable. A Hashtag like #SanJoseMotivationalConference2017 is discernable but too lengthy. Conversely, #SJMConference is short but not very detailed; it’s a hashtag about some conference but that’s about all that is discernable. A hashtag like #SJMotivConference2017 hits the sweet spot.
Use the event hashtag about eight weeks out from the event. Continue to use it during the event and for at least another week after the conference. Tweets with hashtags, by the way, receive 21% more engagement.
- Get Visual
Don’t limit your posts to text and the occasional emoji. Share images, memes, and GIFs. Don’t limit visual content to social networks like Instagram or Pinterest, both of which are much more image-oriented. Tweets accompanied by images get up to twice the number of engagement.
Look for visual content to add to your tweets. By no means, though, does every tweet need an image. A good rule of thumb is sending an image-accompanied tweet for every three or four tweets. The image should be something related to your company or event, perhaps a group photo of the previous conference with a funny caption, or a clip of testimonials from last year’s event.
- Designate a Tweeter
Encourage every event planner on the organizing team to send out tweets. However, depending on the size of your company, you may have a following ranging in the hundreds and maybe even in the thousands. It’s not feasible for busy staff members to scroll through the tweets and respond to every enquiry. This is where the designated tweeter comes in. The assigned person is responsible for event-related posts, responding to questions and comments, and checking social media analytics. The duty of Tweeter can be a single staffer for the whole duration of the event planning or rotate between the planners.
- Use Twitter Walls
As mentioned, continue to actively tweet even during the event and encourage guests to do so. Do this by displaying a social media wall anywhere in the venue where attendees tend to congregate. A social media wall displays live tweets in real time. When guests see this, they will be more inclined to participate by tweeting how much fun they’re having.
Staff members should get the ball rolling by sending their own tweets, all with the event hashtag. Place social media walls in areas like the venue lounge, waiting room, dining area, and the bar area.
- Tweet After the Event
Tweeting is an ongoing process. You continue to tweet even once the event comes to a close. Start tweeting again within 12 hours of the event. This should be a tweet thanking guests for attending and sending kudos to staff for their hard work. Follow this with a tweet containing a link to a post-conference survey. Other tweets you should add include stats regarding the event. Share your metrics with guests; let them know what the attendance numbers were. You should also tweet about any products promoted at the event or even promote the next event if it’s relatively close. Continue to post event-related tweets for one to two weeks before retiring the event hashtag.
Remember, though, that despite being one of the bigger social network outlets, Twitter is still only one slice of the social media pie. Diversify using different mediums. Twitter combined with other online and offline methods will yield enthusiasm and engagement at your conference.