Twitter is the best social marketing tool for event professionals. That’s a bold statement but let me state my case. Twitter is the only platform that allows you see what anyone is talking about in real-time. It is also the only platform that allows you to interact with anyone. Unlike Facebook or Instagram, Twitter has an open-door policy for being heard. You don’t need a following or permission to interact (though it helps). Let’s jump into some actionable Twitter tactics you can use today to market your event.
1. Sharing & Posting Relevant Content
I know you’re thinking, “Duh, that’s the point of Twitter" but hear me out. Too often, I see an event prof create a Twitter handle and blindly retweet any mention of their event. This is just plain lazy.
Invest time in sharing content that’s relevant to your target audience. Important event announcements and content hyper specific to your event type are just a couple examples. Building an audience requires time & effort but results in real engagement. Luckily tools like Buffer or TweetDeck make posting dead easy.
Storytelling expert Gary Vaynerchuk writes about the concept of trendjacking in his book “Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook”. What it boils down to is curating content around Twitter trends relevant to your audience.
Keep tabs on trends in your area and use those hashtags when tweeting. Don’t worry if trends aren’t directly correlated to your event. Just make sure that it’s relevant to your audience. Check out how Oreo won the marketing super bowl using trendjacking.
3. Co-promotion through local blogs or publications
If your attracting a local/regional audience, try engaging with blogs in your area that have a presence on Twitter. These guys have a pulse on what to attend around town and post about events like yours. If you can get them to promote on your behalf, you’ll unlock a new audience through their following. This can be looked at as a form of affiliate marketing for events.
4. Ticket Giveaways/Contests
A solid tactic for raising awareness is organizing contests via Twitter where the winner gets a couple free tickets. To enter into the giveaway you could ask for a retweet, follow, or reply with a friend’s twitter handle. Going back to #3, having local tastemakers help co-promote a contest can work wonders. This tactic plays into the viral aspect of the Twitter platform.
5. Attendee Engagement
Once again don’t be lazy about this. Yes, it makes sense to retweet and follow attendees who are posting about going to your event. Go the extra mile though by engaging with these people. Be quick to answer any questions about your event and ask for thoughts on their experience. If you’ve ever had a brand respond directly to you through social media, you know that warm, fuzzy feeling. Be that brand!
This tactic really deserves its own blog post. Followerwonk is a slick Twitter analytics tool that is perfect for finding potential attendees. What are the typical job titles of people who’d be interested in attending? You can use FW to search Twitter profiles by job titles and location. From here, you can start creating (and exporting!) targeted lists of prospects.
7. Piggybacking off of similar events’ followers
Organizing a social media marketing conference in Seattle? Do some research and find other Seattle marketing conferences with a Twitter presence. There’s a good chance their followers are interested in your conference as well. Test this out by following those accounts and see if you get a follow back.
8. Cross pollinating to other social networks
Just because Twitter is the best marketing tool doesn’t mean you should ignore the other guys. Facebook, Instagram, even Reddit all have their place in event promotion. If your’e gaining traction on Twitter, try feeding into other platforms to increase their following. An example would be reposting an Instagram photo of your event via your Twitter feed. You’ll expose your audience to a new side of the event and increase brand awareness.
9. Live Tweeting
Live tweeting allows attendees to talk about your event and stay updated on current happenings. Creating an event hashtag is a no brainer and has been written about Ad nauseam here, here, and here. If you can get your attendees tweeting, you should see a network effect as a result. Outsiders will see your trending event hashtag being used and it'll intrigue them enough to find out more. We recommend using a service like Tweetwall to create buzz at your event and increase hashtag engagement.
10. Promoted Tweets
I saved this for last since a lot of the previous tactics can grab more attention through promoted tweets. Twitter’s advertising platform is awesome. Promoted tweets is one of the options you can use to reach a larger audience. While growing your audience organically is the long-term play, using promoted tweets is a quick way to gain followers and increase awareness about your event.
Here’s a deep dive into using Twitter Ads to attract attendees. You’ll learn all the tricks to targeting your audience and how to create ads that generate ticket sales.
Now you have 10 tactics in your Twitter marketing arsenal. Use them wisely! We also published a 43-page guide with Techsytalk on how to become an event planning badass. Get it now for free: The Badass Event Planner's Guide.
I'm pumped to contribute here. You can read more from me over at Ticketbud's blog for actionable event planning tactics.