Recently, I was asked specifically about the use of Twitter to promote and enhance an event. As I love sharing my ideas (especially with clients), I responded with a lengthy list of all the ways they could utilize this spectacular social platform. Here is an edited list of what I sent them – keep in mind that this list was created for their event specifically. Maybe you’ll find some of the points useful for your next event or maybe it will give you some ideas of your own.
- Shorten the tag to allow longer tweets (e.g. IDEAcon13 or #IDEA13) and include the year so you can simply adjust the hashtag each year.
- Have volunteers wear t-shirts with the Twitter handle printed on it
- Including a call to action on the t-shirt may generate more tweets i.e. “Which sessions are you attending at #IDEAcon13? Let us know @ideaspace” or something like that.
- Signage around the conference can also ask Twitter questions like “Are you enjoying yourself at #IDEAcon13? Let us know @ideaspace”
- If you are promoting your Twitter account and hashtag, make sure you have people tweeting on your behalf throughout the event – and before (and after). Many people simply re-tweet content tweets – which is great for exposure, but you need to make sure you can count on someone tweeting content.
- Don’t be afraid to mention other twitter handles and re-tweet their tweets if they use the hashtag. Always reward participants.
- Consider organizing a Tweet-up (a meet-up for the twitter users) at the event. This strengthens your following and can generate ambassadors for your brand. Send it out as a tweet and make it exclusive for the followers that are at the event. Could be something as easy as “Come by the XXX booth to pick up your free XXX exclusive to #IDEAcon13 followers – limited quantities.” Then have them tweet about what they just picked up! Or perhaps it’s to meet up for post-event cocktails at a local pub.
- Don’t forget to register the hashtag – if possible – or at least ensure it’s not being used by anyone else. Do a Google or Tweet Chat search.
- Consider a Twitter wall where you post all the tweets from the convention. This can encourage Twitter activity.
- Award a prize for whoever posts the most tweets throughout the event. Or the most re-tweeted tweets, etc. If your event lasts all day, you may want to do this for specific parts of the event or with specific speakers. This may be particularly effective with a Social Media Speaker (shameless plug).
- BONUS! Set-up a pre- event Tweet Chat to establish the main payers for the day. About 2 weeks before schedule your tweet chat and promote it (the topic should be related to your conference or event subject). Host your tweet chat about a week before the conference. Encourage them to promote the conference and tell them some of the exciting things you’re planning for any tweeters that day.
And remember that Tweets can help index your brand on Google (less so now than before, but still). Who doesn’t want that?
Obviously, how you use social media should be based on your organizational strategy. If you don’t really use Twitter and don’t see using it past the event, it may not be the platform you want to invest in. Twitter focuses on real-time conversation. If you want something more lasting that you can repurpose, you can use video. There are a plethora of sites you can use with video – and even more ideas of how to use them with your event. But that’s another story.