The other day I found myself doing some research through Twitter search and happened upon a live Twitter event. I stared at my screen in shock and horror as the event got more confusing. What’s the point of tweeting an event if it doesn’t offer any value to your followers, gain you followers, build positive “buzz” around your event, or encourage event participants to network with each other?
Here are some key factors to conducting a successful Twitter event:
- Create an event #hashtag. This is the most important component of a Twitter event. Establish an official hashtag for the event – keep it under eight characters long. Search Twitter to determine if it has been used before. If it hasn’t, stick with it and use it in every tweet, preferably at the end. If the event is annual, keep the hashtag consistent from year to year (don’t add 2010 to the end).
- Promote the event using the hashtag. Include the hashtag on marketing materials sent to attendees and guests. Use it in tweets leading up to the event. Create a public Twitter list named after the hashtag and invite attendees, speakers, and guests to use it. Write a blog post mentioning that the event will be a Twitter event and reference the #hashtag and Twitter list. All of this encourages participants to tweet about the event and network with each other before, during, and after the event.
- Keep tweets short. Even though you have 140 characters available per tweet, try to stay under 120 characters. That way others can easily retweet and add a comment.
- Include Twitter names and links. Reference speakers with their Twitter name, if available. And include links to your Facebook, blog, website, the speaker’s website, or any other relevant pages when possible.
- Post interesting tweets. Make sure your tweets are relevant to your event followers. Don’t add tweets that simply state “fantastic presentation.”
- Retweet often. Retweet questions or feedback from followers to stay connected. Retweet comments from speakers or other participants at the event.
- Follow-up after the event. Send direct messages to participants of your Twitter event. Post tweets with links to recordings or materials regarding the event.
Although there are many other tips and tricks to executing a successful Twitter event, implementing these basic components will provide a solid foundation for utilizing the unique opportunities Twitter events offer.