I have been on the Brafton social media team for almost two years. I’d be lying if I said the word SOCIAL being in the job title didn’t catch my eye when applying – I knew it’d be a match made in heaven. I get social media, and I’d like to think social media gets me. We’re both competitive, energetic and always on the fast track to uncovering the “next best” thing. These are also key ingredients to your social marketing success. In today’s competitive corporate world, organizations that are audience responsive – and fast – hold fan interest. Live Twitter chats are one way to engage and nurture leads through real-time interaction.
Not familiar with live Twitter events? These ‘chats’ have emerged as a way for marketers to leverage the microblogging site’s fast-paced nature for real-time engagement. Twitter chats help brands start conversations with followers and prospects by posing questions and offering responses. This is a proven way to build social media engagement. A recent survey showed 64 percent of Twitter users are more likely to buy from brands that answer their questions. Brafton has witnessed this effect first-hand with our CMQs. (If you haven’t participated yet – you should!)
The key to a successful event is providing value for participants while talking about what your company does best. This gives you an opportunity to add value, sharing what you know, while building rapport and potentially gaining leads. At the same time, no one likes someone that only talks about him or herself.
Remember that the real focus of a Twitter event is the participants – you have to be willing to give insights to get trust. Here at Brafton, our CMQs philosophy is to keep the conversation centered on ideas that are bigger than what we do – and to keep it real: No robots allowed. This has been successful in our previous events – and you can decide that for yourself if you join our next CMQs on September 11. We will be discussing video marketing (so hot right now).
Understanding what your audience will want to discuss in an event is an essential first step – but there are plenty of other logistics that go into a successful Twitter event. Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of what you’ll need to know. Think of the following 23 tips as a Twitter Event Logistics Guide.
Here are 23 tips we’ve found are essential for hosting your own branded Twitter Event:
1. Choose a topic – Pick a topic that is industry-based, but broad enough to go beyond your specific products or services. This opens the event to relevant, but high volumes, of potential participants.
2. Pick a hashtag – 41 percent of users click on hashtags to learn more about brands. To hold a Twitter event, choosing a hashtag is imperative. Make sure the hashtag is short in characters if possible, and also represents your unique industry.
3. Select a Date – Give yourself at least 2-3 weeks to advertise the event appropriately. It is essential to advertise and cross promote through all channels of communications.
4. Get internal expert participants – You’ll moderate from the corporate Twitter account, but get a solid crew of industry professionals from your company involved to share expert opinions or ideas.
5. Brainstorm talking points – Build a small outline to structure the event so you can keep the conversation flow steady as a brand moderator.
6. Set a time limit – Determine how long you and internal teams can commit, and how much time you need to offer valuable insights based on talking points.
7. Create a landing page – Give your event a home on your webpage, with a clear event timeline… and instructions.
8. Give clear participation directions – Ideally 3 steps or less – Use the following three bullets, from a previous Brafton Twitter chat, as a SIMPLE way to explain the nature of your future Twitter event:
- @Brafton will pose approximately five questions relating to content marketing challenges, labeling each one using the system: Q1, Q2, Q3 etc.
- To answer the question, relate the query back to your company’s challenges or provide related advice, respond using the system: A1, A2, A3 etc.
- Make sure to include the hashtag #cmQs, or else people won’t follow your Tweets.
9. Create graphic to amplify your promoting efforts – Brafton recently reported that 47% of online users gravitate towards online content with images. Also, networks like Facebook, Google+ and Pinterest are able to reward quality images with better placement on news feeds as well as displaying the posts larger.
10. Share – Deliver the landing page on social sites to increase website traffic
11. Blog it – Write a blog explaining the event on your website, then share it on your social sitess.
12. Email invitations – Share the event with existing customers.
13. Use direct fan engagement to encourage sign up – Brafton does this! It’s a great way to connect with people pre-event, and make a list of handles who want to get involved.
14. Invite other industry experts – Do your research on Twitter and see who is talking about your industry. Reaching out on an individual basis will increase the chances of an industry leader joining the event.
15. Crowdsource questions to shape the event – Let eager participants pitch their own talking points to work into the final event outline.
16. Thank people who sign up early on Twitter – Who doesn’t love a shout out? You’ll help solidify participant commitment.During the event
17. Track the hashtag – Ensure you’re answering all questions and organizing the data flowing in.
18. Don’t be afraid to go “off script” – Real-time conversation is where it’s at with these events. You need to keep the time schedule advertised, but it’s ok to deviate from the brand game plan to answer questions or comment on users’ responses.
19. Interact directly – Include users hashtags if responding to something in the conversations.
20. Reward participants with Retweets – I’ve a shout out to participants with great responses, just make sure no one goes unnoticed. Studies show that 87 percent of Twitter users indicated positive social media engagement impacted their likelihood to buy from specific brands online.
21. Follow up on a personal level – Thank all the users involved. Interacting on an individual level with consumers will increase the chances of them returning to a future Twitter chat and sharing their experience.
22. Share the insights beyond Twitter – Pick some of the best answers to share with your web audiences.
23. Keep in touch – Make sure you reach out to great contributors to nurture the relationships you’ve built. This might fill the pipeline with participants for future events.
Don’t be discouraged if your first attempt doesn’t go as smoothly as anticipated. Like all first attempts, a Live Twitter chat may require a trial run to work out the kinks.
Brafton’s live Twitter chat will take place CMQs on September 11 at 1:00 PM EST Feel free to sign up today and join us to learn about video marketing, and get some Twitter chat inspiration for your own brand.