If you’re not making Twitter an integral part of your events’ lifecycles you’re just flocking around. Here are eight ways you can add value to your events via the Twitter-verse.
Part 1: The Mechanics of Flight
Before you can become a tweeter of renown who makes every event a conversation there are some basics to be mastered.
- Offer Value. Marla Erwin (@wholefoods) interactive art director and Twitter-master at Whole Foods advises this one thing above all others: If you want to have a successful Twitter-for-marketing experience be a source of value for your followers and customers. Incentives and promotional offers are great ways to do this. For example at the O’Reilly Twitter Boot Camp in April where Erwin was a speaker she gave away a Whole Foods gift card to the attendee who got the most retweets of a promotional message (a retweet is when a Twitter follower receives a post from a person or a brand and forwards it to everybody on their Twitter list without any major commentary). She regularly runs similar contests through the company tweets.
- Grammer and Spelling Kount. Remember even though this is the Twitterverse and Web 2.0 can be more casual than your average inter-office memo you are still representing your brand with every tweet says Carri Bugbee (@carribugbee) owner Big Deal PR and mastermind behind AMC’s “Mad Men” tweets. So follow the rules of good writing and add some new ones like: When someone asks you a question incorporate it into your answer otherwise no one else will know what you two are talking about. And abbreviate with extreme caution (when you find out what LEMENO means let me know).
- Don’t be a Smart-ass. Unless you are really funny (and you probably aren’t) don’t send snarky tweets. Since most tweets appear out of context recipients won’t get it and the joke will be on you.
Part 2: Good Feeding Habits
Now we get more advanced and more specific. Once you know enough to look good you have to be good.
- Create More Value Than You Capture. According to Tim O’Reilly (@timoreilly) founder and ceo at O’Reilly Media the way to engender trust and establish your brand as a social media influencer is to remember that it is better to give than to receive. “The secret of social media is that it’s not about you your product your brand or your story. Forget about what you get ” he says. Information about your industry and the world at-large and random-esque links that amuse entertain and enrich your followers are a great way to get started. O’Reilly says that if all you do is chase leads and plug your brand you might find the Twitterverse an empty place. Make it a point to give up the goods maybe even going so far as to scoop yourself sometimes. Tweeps love insider info. If you do the click-throughs traffic followers and purchases you want just might fly your way.
- Don’t be Obnoxious or Self-centered. “Twitter is a cocktail party. Don’t be the person who only talks about themselves “ says Megan Calhoun (@twittermoms) founder of twittermoms.com a social media site for “influential moms.” Give up the shout-out reference outside articles respond to other people’s tweets and you’ll see that your reach will span the twitter-verse.
Part 3. Leading the Flock
Now that you have joined in the conversation and you are on the path to becoming an influencer (twee-fluencer?) here are some key things to remember about launching your next event into the Twittersphere thanks to Sarah Milstein (@sarahm) co-author of “The Twitter Book.”
- Publish your Hashtag (#). Before during and after your events make sure everyone knows what your event’s hashtag is. That will allow you to follow what’s going on on-site what people are chatting about beforehand and how much they liked or were disappointed by parts of your event.
- Encourage Tweeting. Use event signage and event literature to invite your attendees to tweet their experiences (don’t forget your hashtag). This will give attendees the feeling that they’re experiencing your event together and that will extend to people who are not there but wanted to be. A key thing to remember: inform your presenters about the on-site tweeting and ask them to promote the practice for Q&A sessions and feedback.
- Post “The Rules.” Make sure your attendees are clear on what’s OK to tweet and what isn’t. Be respectful and no personal attacks. Don’t be sarcastic unless you have a good defensible reason (and there usually isn’t one). Make sure attendees feel free to disagree but that they do it respectfully and remember: a second on the smart phone forever in the Twitterverse.
Return on Influence
When it comes to social media your primary investment is time. That investment when used wisely can transform into influence which is where you can start to see your return says Mike Volpe (@mvolpe) vp-inbound marketing at HubSpot an Internet marketing consultancy. What are the results you can expect? Increased traffic to your website buzz about your content inbound links for search engine optimization increased brand recognition and (the almighty holy grail) leads and sales. Don’t believe us on that last one? Ask Dell. In June Dell Outlet reported it had earned $1 million in sales from customers who came to its website from Twitter over the previous six months. The company reported another $1 million in revenue from people who clicked through from Twitter to Dell Outlet to dell.com to make a purchase. Tweet that. em