7 quick and easy tips on using Twitter to promote events
Events and hospitality companies are already well into planning and promotion for the Spring events season. Social media offers some great opportunities for events management and promotion companies to engage with delegates, exhibitors and suppliers – in the lead up to an event, during and after it. Just look at this roundup of 2014 events and their impact on Twitter #YearonTwitter2014.
Here are some of my top tips on using Twitter to promote events:
(1) Boost your event website SEO with social media
A few years ago, SEO was all about packing keywords into your website content. Now, the search engines are more sophisticated and will rank your website based on a range of factors. One is how “social” the site is – how much it is shared online through social media channels. Google places a lot of importance on sharing through Google+, but Facebook and Twitter are also really important. A good digital marketing strategy should include a plan for social. Make sure Twitter is a part of your plan.
(2) Set up and promote a #hashtag for your event
One of the easiest things you can do is set up and use a #hashtag for your event. Promote it everywhere – your advertising, your website banner, all publicity materials about the event. When other people begin using it to talk about the event, you get a very powerful “ripple effect”. Tie into other relevant #hashtags (in Yorkshire, we have #YorkshireHour). Ask questions and involve people in the process behind the event, and they are more likely to be engaged enough to attend.
(3) Create a Twitter list
Twitter lists are also very useful – set up lists of key industry influencers and bloggers, event speakers and delegates. Not only will they be alerted to the fact you’re promoting them, others will begin seeking out your lists to see who to connect with.
(4) Run a competition or prize draw
You can also run one-off campaigns in the lead-up to your event, such as a prize draw to win free tickets for retweets etc. Make using the #hashtag a prerequisite for competition entry and you’ll encourage many more #hashtag shares.
(5) Share your events blog link through Twitter
If you have a weekly blog, use Twitter to share posts. Blogs are a great way to generate original high-quality content that will showcase your knowledge and skills, and build credibility online.
(6) Employ guest bloggers and Twitter editors
Guest blogs by your keynote speakers are a great way to promote your event. Share the blog through Twitter (a number of times) and ask your guest blogger to share through their networks too. If they are a high profile speaker, this can vastly increase the reach of your events. Another tip is to have speakers, delegates or other industry professionals take over your Twitter account for a week. “Twitter take overs” can inject creativity and new ideas into Twitter content, and your guest editors will help you connect with people and networks you may not otherwise have been plugged into.
(7) Live tweeting and Twitter chats
Have someone live tweeting from the event. Encourage live Twitter chats by promoting the #hashtag on your presentation slides, conference materials and as part of the introduction to each seminar. Then anyone who is talking about your event on Twitter can connect with each other, and people will come away from your event valuing the networking opportunity too. You can arrange Q&As with speakers too. Just set and promote an hour where they will respond to Twitter questions posted using the event #hashtag
Twitter #hashtags help with follow-up learning – they curate an easily searchable online log of everything that’s been shared or appreciated during the day.
Do people really attend events after seeing them advertised on Twitter?
They really do. At last year’s Yorkshire Mafia conference, I bumped into someone who had come along to day two of the conference purely from seeing me talk about day one on Twitter. Word-of-mouth marketing and personal recommendations remain the most powerful form of marketing – as people trust their peers over company advertising messages. Twitter (and social media in general) is therefore a very powerful tool for promoting events.
Good luck with your tweeting and events!
Have you got any Twitter tips and advice you can share? What works best for your events?
To receive weekly social media tips and ideas delivered direct to your inbox, sign up to my blog.