You want it, don’t you?
That awesome feeling of searching your event and seeing that it’s trending on Twitter. That hundreds upon hundreds of people are talking about it. And, it’s all because of the stellar work you put in.
But there’s just one problem…
You have no idea how to promote your event on Twitter to get it trending. You’ve seen events trend on Twitter. But actually getting there? That’s a whole different ball game.
Today you’re about to find out some of the answers. Below are 15 expert ways to get your event from occasion mention, to trending powerhouse, in no time at all.
1. Nominate Your Event Tweeter
The perfect live Tweeter is:
- Six foot one
- Around 180 to 200 lbs
- Incredibly witty
…okay, I’m lying. But still, It’s important to nominate someone to be your event tweeter for the day. You know, that person who’s only job for the day is to tweet the who, what, when, where and why’s of the event.
If you’ve got a company or event account, that’s easily done. You just grab Dave from Marketing, list his duties for the day, and explain there is free cake at the end if he does a good job.
But, whether you’re working on business or personal accounts, make sure the tweeter’s profile gives you the most exposure possible.
That can be anything from including your hashtag (more on that soon) to linking back to the event organiser, like in the picture above.
Another nice-to-know idea from Social Media Examiner to help you get trending is to create an event landing page, with free download, and include that link in your bio. This might only work for certain events, but get creative and you could boost your exposure for little effort or expense.
2. Create A Compelling Hashtag…
The next step in the process is to create a hashtag that people will want to interact with. Now, not only is this essential to get trending on Twitter, it’s also based in science too.
There’s plenty of research to suggest that hashtags, no matter how silly they might sound (#susanalbumparty anyone?), are incredibly important to social media users. Because not only are they a part of social media, they’ve become a part of life, too.
And they get more retweets than tweets without them, which just adds extra fuel to your trending fire:
So what makes a hashtag compelling? For events, it comes down to:
- Brevity: Studies show that the optimal length of a Hashtag is six characters, but if it needs to be longer, try not to go over three or four words.
- Relevance: Does it fit your event? Try creating abbreviations, or a fun phrase, that suits the event your throwing. Or you could take the really literal approach like this one for the next Super Bowl…
- Uniqueness: Don’t jump on a Hashtag that is already out there. Make it unique to you and your event.
- Fun: If nothing else, make it a Hashtag that people want to Tweet about. For example, Kendal Calling festival in the UK gain a lot of attention with their #seeyouinthefields hashtag. Not only is it fun, but it’s easy to remember, too.
3. …And Get Everyone Involved With It
Before your event even starts, think about all the people who are already there, primed and ready to interact with you on Twitter:
- Event Staff
Make it recommended (or compulsory, if you have that kind of power) to include your hashtag in any Tweets they write at your event. Every little helps when it comes to trending, and here are tens or hundreds of people who can help you make it happen.
4. Give All Of Your Tweets An Informative Angle
Research from Rutgers University found that social media is split into two different types of users: Meformers, and informers.
A Meformer is your friend, Linda, who only posts pictures of her baby and filtered pictures of her lunch (Sushi, again? How original, Linda).
An Informer is someone who writes tweets that add value and information to the reader. Like articles, event updates or useful links.
The research also showed that Informers have 2x more followers than Meformers and get more likes, comments and retweets. Which is great information for your event tweeter(s) to know. Because it’s easy to leverage.
Instead of posting inward facing tweets, like this:
You can post outward facing, informational tweets like this:
5. …And Be Sure To Evoke One Of These Emotions
The boffin’s at Harvard Business also took a look into what emotions make a marketing campaigns go viral. They found the most popular marketing campaigns contained one of these five emotions:
So, while you’re creating those informative Tweets, be sure to look at evoking one of these five emotions as well.
For example, take a look at this tweet from the CES 2016 conference, it ticks at least two of the boxes above (amazement and interest), and the engagement is wonderful:
6. Respond To As Many Tweets As Possible Within One Hour
Depending on the size of your event, this could be a mammoth task. But it’s one that will pay off in the long run, trust me.
Research from Lithium found that consumers expect to be responded to within one hour of a tweet. If they aren’t responded to in that time, they’ll punish you. Either by disengaging with you, or taking a negative view of your brand.
But, what does this have to do with events? I’ll tell you…
If you do respond to them, they’ll be 42% more likely to mention you and your event to their friends and family. That’s more uses of your Hashtag and more talk about your event. Which leads to more exposure and a higher chance of trending.
Now for an event, this doesn’t have to be a written response, people will understand you have a lot on your plate. But, even a simple favourite (or like, if you’re into the new twitter lingo) will go a long way:
7. Make It A Visual Campaign
You want the people who are there to know what’s going on. And the people who aren’t there to know what they’re missing.
The best way to do that is with visual content.
In a study of 4,000,000 tweets, Stone Temple Consulting found that tweets with images on them get more than double the retweets, and almost double the amount of favourites.
Images like speakers on a podium, people using products or anything else that people might want to do at your event are great ways to get people salivating for more.
8. Find A Power User Who Can Live Tweet
There are going to be people at your event with large twitter followings. It could be an attendee, a speaker, a brand, or Colin from sales.
As long as their audience is relevant to your event, which if they’re in attendance there is a good chance it will be, you should try and get them on board. Get them to tweet or update about their day using your Hashtag. Or, they can share content too:
9. Run A Competition
People love competitions. Even though I never win, I still enter them all the time. And you’ve probably got a lottery ticket or two (hundred) behind you as well. So, why not leverage them to help you get trending on Twitter?
- Sweepstakes: Where a winner is chosen randomly and by chance.
- Competition: That requires a level of input from the person(s) involved.
Luckily for you both of them are really effective for getting your event trending on Twitter.
From getting people to visit a booth:
Throught to the basic Tweet and Win campaign:
If you’re worried about this being a slow starter, you can make people aware of this competition at your event too. Create signs, or announcements, that let people know this is happening and how to enter. Make a fuss about it, or create a big enough incentive, and people will by dying to enter.
10. Have A Gimmick
Okay, I know, I know…this sounds really tacky.
But the beauty of gimmicks in marketing is that they work. And, people eat them up. For example people who visit South By Southwest festival (SXSW) are bombarded with them. Gimmicks like:
- Glow in the dark drinks
- Comedy buses and food trucks
- Dogs in t-shirts
All of them promote engagement using the Hashtag, because not only do they evoke the emotions before, they’re also just pretty damn fun:
Think about different gimmicks – locations, events, performances, drinks, wristbands – that apply to your event, and your audience will want to talk and tweet about.
11. Create Twitter-Only Specials
This is something that’s growing at music festivals. Bands will often hold ‘secret’ gigs within an event that can only be found, or gained access to, from Twitter.
For example, insiders at Kendal Calling Festival tweeted about the band Twisted Wheel playing a ‘secret gig’ at one of their stages:
You would be too, if you’d missed this guy crowd surfing on a mattress there:
You can use this for speakers, events, parties, talks and anything else that you might be going down at your festival. Make it unique, and let the people who attend feel like they’re part of something exclusive.
Even if it doesn’t generate a lot of hype for this event, it’ll get you a lot more attention on your next one.
12. Preload Tweets (Just Incase)
Whether there is a computer malfunction, a phone breakage, a lapse in service or you just want to make sure there is always a constant stream of tweets coming in, preparing in advance can save a lot of headaches.
There will be some events that you can easily predict or know are going to happen in advance, so you can save yourself a load of time and have them in the pipeline ready to launch.
13. Get Geo-Tagging
Geo-Tagging is an underrated feature on Twitter. And, it’s perfect for events.
It allows people to show where they are at that time, and let’s other twitter users follow the Geo-tag and view:
From around that location, too. Even if you only ask your live tweeters and event staff to do it, it can still create a buzz around the location and create more local knowledge that the event is happening.
This feature is normally turned off as standard, so you’ll need to activate it by following this guide.
14. Be Human
Live Tweeting is all about the personal connection.
It’s not about marketing; it’s about having a personal connection with your event goers. There’s no room for marketing buzzwords or impersonal writing. Use personal words like, “I, You, We, Us” and make sure your tone is conversational.
Let’s say you’re at an event and you read one of these tweets, which one would you be more likely to interact with?
“Stuart is here to speak today about how to get your event trending on Twitter. Join him at the Blue stage”
“Want to learn how to get an event trending on Twitter? Get to the blue stage. Knowledge bombs imminent.”
The second one, right? Because it’s fun, engaging and like you’re talking with a friend. Twitter’s slogan is “Join The Conversation” for a reason.
15. Just Because It’s Over, Doesn’t Mean It’s Over…
If your event was good – and i’m sure it was – people will still be talking about it afterwards. So, don’t neglect it just because you’ve closed the doors.
Ask questions, get people to talk about their favourite memories or moments, and remind them about next years event too:
Don’t Just Follow It, Be The Trend…
There you have it, 15 expert ways to get your event trending on Twitter. Here they are again for you, you know, to save you reading the whole article again:
1. Nominate Your Event Tweeter: Give someone the sole responsibility on the day of creating your tweets.
2. Create A Compelling Hashtag: Between six characters and five words. Make it fun, catchy and easy to remember.
3. And Get Everyone Involved With It: Find all the people involved with your event, and get them to tweet using your hashtag.
4. Give All Of Your Tweets An Informative Angle: Informers get 2x more followers and engagements than meformers. So, be sure to give your tweets an informative angle.
5. …And Be Sure To Evoke One Of These Emotions: Amazement, Interest, Serenity Astonishment and Admiration all promote sharing and engagement. Create tweets that evoke them for best results.
6. Respond To As Many Tweets As Possible Within One Hour: Or risk people losing interest. Even a simple like or favourite can go the distance.
7. Make It A Visual Campaign: Tweets with images get double the engagement, so show people what their missing with strong visuals of your event.
8. Find A Power User Who Can Live Tweet: There is always someone at your event with a large social following. Get them to tweet about their day for more exposure.
9. Run A Competition: Sweepstakes and Competitions are a great way to get people to tweet your hashtag and get you trending without realising. And, it doesn’t have to cost you anything to run.
10. Have A Gimmick: Gimmicks are tacky, but they work. Create something people want to talk about and you’ll see a big surge in your engagement.
11. Create Twitter-Only Specials: Like secret gigs, events or speakers.
12. Preload Tweets (Just Incase): Because you never know what might happen.
13. Get Geo-Tagging: To give people local, and more in-depth, exposure to your event.
14. Be Human: The marketing jargon stops as soon as the event starts.
15. Just Because It’s Over, Doesn’t Mean It’s Over: Keep mentioning it after the event is over to keep the buzz flowing.
Phew! Now, over to you. Where are you going to start with your event?