Twitter is one of our favourite social media platforms and for reasons beyond aiding our discovery of the latest cat memes. For us, the best bit about Twitter is that it really comes into it’s own in a live event environment due to the real time nature of the platform. This is one social media platform which should be taking pride of place in your event marketing strategy.
So how can you rock Twitter like the social media rockstar you surely are?
Make The Most Of Your Hashtag
It’s one thing picking a hashtag for your event (after checking who else is using it!) but if you don’t promote it, then no one will use it and all your hard work will have been for nothing.
Make sure you promote your hashtag whenever possible – whether it’s the hashtag for the whole event or for individual sessions. Look at your overall marketing and comms plan for the event to hunt out these opportunities but here’s a few ideas to get you started:
- Give your hashtag some prime real estate in your event programme – consider including it on every page and creating a page dedicated to social media too
- Make sure your speakers and chairs encourage visitors to use the hashtag to give live feedback during speaker sessions
- Include your hashtag on all event signage and give it pride of place so your visitors to use it – even better if you can create hashtag specific signage
- Incorporate your event hashtag into the team’s email footer so every email serves to promote your hashtag – ditto for Twitter bios.
Get Your Hands Dirty
Twitter was never designed to be a broadcast platform so make sure you engage with people tweeting about your event. Starting these conversations goes a long way and can generate excellent word of mouth – for more on this, see our last post.
There are always lots of opportunities to start a conversation with your visitors. Your first step is to set up a listening post using a platform like Hootsuite – set up searches for your hashtag as well as the event name. You can also organise your sponsors and exhibitors into Twitter Lists to easily identify opportunities within these groups too.
Once you’ve done this, you’re ready to go – simply scan through tweets that either mention your event or include your event hashtag. Some great starting points are:
- Retweet great feedback and follow up with a reply thanking the person in question for their tweet
- Be helpful – answer any questions your visitors have by pointing them in the right direction
- Respond promptly to any less than positive tweets and offer a solution or your apologies
- Follow anyone who uses your event hashtag and tweet them to let them know you’re looking forward to seeing them at your event
Keep The Content Flowing
Content rules the roost in social media land so make sure you plan exactly what you are going to share before, during and after your event. The cornerstones of great content are usefulness and shareability so keep this in mind when planning your content strategy. Be aware of what you’re trying to accomplish at these different stages and keep your content focused on achieving these goals.
Before Your Event
The biggest challenge before your event is getting people to turn up on the day so keep this in mind when creating your content. Use collateral from previous years and drip feed in key announcements to get everyone excited:
- Video content from previous events so people know what to expect by attending your event
- Exhibitor or sponsor showcases so people know who will be there – make sure you tag them in the post to increase the chance of a RT!
- Speaker session announcements and details to showcase the learning opportunities available
- General updates from your event team on the day-to-day work going into the show – give your Twitter feed some personality!
- Photos of the event being built up always work well in the last few days
During Your Event
This is the moment to make the most of the real time nature of this platform so make sure you have someone within your team who is handling your account. The content you share on the day should focus on the right here, right now:
- Reminders about key sessions and workshops so no-one misses out on the content you’ve worked so hard to create
- Key sound bites and quotes from sessions to show off the calibre of your speakers and to encourage attendance
- Make sure your speakers invite questions and feedback from the audience during their sessions – this can form the basis of follow up Q&A sessions
- Photos of key influencers attending your event – consider taking pictures of your visitors as they arrive and reminding them to check your Twitter feed
- Video interviews with visitors, exhibitors & sponsors to showcase the benefits of visiting, exhibiting and sponsoring your event for the following year
- Important announcements & updates to your schedule so no one gets left out in the cold (or missing their favourite networking drinks!)
- Ask questions to get real time feedback from your visitors to gauge how well your event is really going.
If you’ve already set up Twitter lists for your sponsors and exhibitors, you can keep an eye on these updates too and share the best ones.
You might also want to consider using a Twitter Wall to visually display your tweets to further drive engagement – we’re big fans of ThinkWall as it gives you the option to moderate the tweets displayed.
After The Event
Phew, you’ve made it – everything is packed up and you’re giving yourself a big pat on the back. Except when it comes to Twitter, you’re not quite finished yet!
Follow up with highlights from the show to increase engagement post event and to increase footfall for the following year:
- Share the best content which was created on the day – this could be soundbites, videos or images
- Retweet any nice feedback from your visitors, sponsors and exhibitors so everyone knows what a great event it really was
- Follow up with a thank you tweet to your sponsors and exhibitors so they feel valued and will return the following year
So there you have it, our two cents on how best to utilise Twitter at your next event. Let us know if we’ve missed a trick by leaving us a comment below.
About Noodle Live
Noodle Live brings a seamless social experience to events, conferences and exhibitions using a combination of mobile applications and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) swipe cards to streamline information sharing.
This post was written by Clemi Hardie, founder and MD of Noodle Live.