In an increasingly technological world, event promotion isn’t just about pounding the pavement anymore. Whether you’re attempting to drive ticket sales to a corporate convention, wellness retreat, music festival, or monthly farmer’s market, advertising on social media could help increase attendance at your event. With over 211 million Twitter users reported last quarter, learning how to promote an event on Twitter could help take your event marketing to the next level.
In this guide, we’re taking a comprehensive look at social media marketing — specifically, how to promote an event on Twitter. A social media platform with less visual content than others, and a conundrum for many event hosts, navigating Twitter isn’t always easy. If you’re in need of assistance, know you’re not alone.
Follow our tip-by-tip guide to learn how to promote an event on Twitter
We’ve compiled a list of 21 different ways you can use Twitter to promote your next event. Promotional needs vary from event to event, venue to venue, and planner to planner, but we tried to cast a wide net and provide Twitter tips to fit plenty of different scenarios.
1. Book a brainstorming session.
Before launching a Twitter-based marketing campaign for your event, set aside time to have a brainstorming session with everyone involved in the event. Come up with an effective, yet realistic, event marketing plan.
Discuss a variety of topics with your team:
- What is the general objective for your Twitter campaign?
- How are you going to generate buzz?
- Will you drive online traffic elsewhere to sell more event tickets?
- How will you be engaging with attendees pre-event?
- What is your budget for the event? For marketing? Staff?
- What is the event’s overall message (not the “topic,” per se)?
From establishing the event’s theme and marketing objectives to discussing travel options, major event details should be clearly established first.
2. Develop a pre-event strategy.
What would you like Twitter to help you accomplish pre-event? Would you like to generate interest for your event? Drive ticket sales? How will you be generating interest: Sharing information, running a behind-the-scenes series, or speaker promotion? A little bit of everything?
Outline your goals, strategy, budget, and team member duties. If you find it helpful, work backwards. Beginning with the event date itself, work backwards to establish timelines, deadlines, and event objectives.
3. Delegate responsibility for the Twitter account.
Who is going to be responsible for promoting your event on Twitter? Will you be creating content and tweeting, or will another person on your team be responsible? Responsibly and thoughtfully delegating duties can lead to a smoother, stress-free event.
Successful social media marketing relies, in large part, on posting and responding consistently. Even if posting responsibilities are shared, or an “on-duty” schedule is created for your campaign, we recommend nominating one person to oversee all of the Twitter activities for your event. Busy planners frequently find themselves stretched thin. Handing over the reins to a teammate with fast, flexible “Twitter fingers” could be a relief for many.
4. Determine a response schedule.
Successfully promoting an event on Twitter requires that account managers respond to Twitter activity quickly. The average response time for most companies is five hours, with complaints being responded to typically within one day. According to the Sprout Social Index, however, up to 39% of Twitter users, expect a response within an hour.
To busy event planners or marketing professionals, that kind of limited timeline may sound overwhelming. Keep in mind, however, that a response doesn’t necessarily require writing a response. Sprout Social also identified that simply liking a tweet can make Twitter users feel seen.
Can your event team share the responsibility, each being “on watch” a few hours each day?
Tweetable content creation
5. Be an informer, not a “meformer.”
A Rutgers University study found that there are two primary categories that social media users can be separated into: “Informers” and “meformers.” While the informer’s purpose for posting content is to provide valuable information to their followers, the focus of the meformer is to post content about themselves in the form of life updates, selfies, etc. Use Twitter as an opportunity to build credibility with potential event attendees by providing them with information of value, not vanity.
6. Get your message across.
Sharing content that’s too specific could alienate some followers or turn them away from your feed while its content is focused around the event. Try to share valuable information that isn’t hyper-specific.
What is the overall message of your event: Teamwork, productivity, creativity, mindfulness, or something else?
Tweet links to free resources, tools, and other sources that relate to the overall message you want event attendees to take home. Providing followers with content of value is one of the keys to unlocking more event registrations.
7. Evoke emotions in your content.
Create content that evokes a variety of emotions. Focus your Twitter marketing efforts on creating content that elicits a powerful emotional response, such as anger, joy, amazement, astonishment, admiration, intrigue, serenity, or compassion.
8. Address attendee pain points in event marketing.
What issues are event attendees facing? What problem is attending your event going to help solve? Address attendee pain points, as well as how attending your event is going to help attendees overcome these challenges. Use Twitter marketing to connect with your audience. Illustrate the fact that you can relate to the obstacles they face, and demonstrate how attending your event is the just the answer they’ve been looking for.
9. Get gimmicky.
While the idea of having an event gimmick, such as a food truck rodeo, glow-in-the-dark cocktails, acrobats, or even an animal mascot, may sound out of this world, marketing gimmicks really can make an impact on the power of an online marketing campaign.
When it comes to memorable marketing, a thematic moment-maker can help drive event promotion by encouraging users to tweet, share, tag, and favorite other user-generated content. Gimmicks can evoke emotions, help capture a theme, and add a unique element of fun to an event.
Event marketing made for Twitter
10. Create a visually stimulating marketing campaign.
Because Twitter is, by design, more text-based than many other social media platforms, tweets that include an image, video, or GIF may have a better chance of standing out than text-only tweets. In fact, an internal Twitter study of 3.7 million users showed that tweets with a GIF gained 55% more engagement than those without. Don’t GIF just to GIF, of course, but try to spice it up when it makes sense.
11. Promote a Twitter-only exclusive.
Advertise a promotional code or coupon code that’s available exclusively for Twitter users. Run a 10% discount on ticket sales, for example, by promoting a limited-time offer for your event. In addition to being a helpful tactic to sell more event tickets, running an exclusive offer can help planners track the success of different marketing strategies by measuring the use of different codes.
How many attendees are using a Twitter code? How many are using a Facebook code? Keep track of coupon codes for event ticket sales to help track which social media platform is performing most successfully.
12. Create a catchy hashtag.
Create an event hashtag that’s short, sweet, and easy to remember. Come up with a pun or catch phrase related to your event, and include it in all of your event content. Tweets that include a hashtag get more retweets than tweets without them, and tweets with only one hashtag get more retweets than those with two. Focusing the Twitter marketing campaign around a hashtag that sticks could lead to increased audience reach for your event.
Before launching your event hashtag, make sure that it’s visible in all of the appropriate places: on-site, other social media sites, company page, etc. Inform all event sponsors, vendors, speakers, and special guests about your hashtag as well.
13. Geo-tag your content.
Geo-tagging allows users to attach a location to their posts, showing where they were located at the time of posting. Other users can click the geo-tagged location and view other videos, photos, and content around the area. Standard Twitter settings are set with geo-tagging turned off; you’ll need to turn them on. This helpful tool is not always noticed by event planners, or marketers less familiar with Twitter, but geo-tagging is an excellent tool for drumming up more local interest.
14. “Moment marketing.”
Work to include moment marketing, or right-time marketing, into your event’s promotional campaign. Moment marketing strategies are based around providing the right content to the right audience at the right time. Give event attendees something to talk about. Create something so unique, special, and awe-inspiring that attendees feel compelled to share it on social media.
Boost engagement to promote your event
15. Team up with vendors, sponsors and speakers.
Ask companies, individuals, teams, and brands associated with your event to engage with your Twitter feed. Request that everyone associated with the event includes your hashtag in their event-related tweets. Encourage vendors, special guests, sponsors, and your keynote speaker to tweet, retweet, and engage in Twitter activity for your event.
16. Designate a “power user.”
Are you familiar with the Twitter term “power user? NY Magazine defines a power user as someone who is part of “a fractional segment of obsessives who post constantly.” A power user could be a celebrity, speaker, special guest, event planner, or anyone else associated with the event.
Decide who your event’s power user will be and promote that information in the pre-event stage. Let your followers know that the power user will be live-tweeting the event, providing exclusive behind-the-scenes content, and more. A power user who already has a large Twitter following could bring about a lot of interest in your upcoming event.
17. Count your characters.
While Twitter now allows users to post up to 280 characters in a tweet, double the previous character limit, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should use them all. Tweets that use 100 characters or less tend to see the most engagement, so keep character count in mind when crafting online marketing content for the event. Write a handful of posts within the ideal character limit and schedule them to post ahead of time.
18. Host a contest to boost engagement.
Offer a valuable prize and stick within the limits of the two types of contests that Twitter allows to be hosted on the platform: Sweepstakes or competition. Breaking Twitter’s posting policy is an easy way to get your account suspended or deactivated quickly. Be sure to always follow the social media platform’s guidelines for running promotions. Double-check any rules or posting procedures you may have questions about to avoid getting your event account activity interrupted.
19. Advertise regular sweepstakes.
Randomly choose a winner each week, month, or similar time period leading up to the event. Encourage attendees to retweet, use the event hashtag, or follow your account to be entered for a chance to win. Potential prizes could include free event tickets, a hotel stay, exclusive event merchandise, a meet-and-greet with a special guest, or even exclusive backstage access to meet the event team.
20. Run a competition.
Unlike running a sweepstakes, which is a random drawing that determines the winner, a competition requires some level of effort or input from the entrant. Hold a competition to see which attendee will be granted the title of “power user” to live-tweet your event. Ask prospective entrants to explain what your event message means to them, how your brand has affected their life, or why they should be granted power user.
21. Keep up with event attendees.
Despite what your instincts may say, event promotion does not end once the event itself begins. Harness the energy that’s present after an event wraps to keep the promotion train on the track. Whether a one-time event or an annual affair, post-event engagement can continue to build brand awareness, attract new customers, and boost interest in future events.
Throughout every stage of promotion, regardless of the Twitter strategy you choose to use, encourage followers to get involved. Get past, present, and potential attendees to engage by asking questions, prompting post sharing, marketing your event hashtag, or any of the other social media-based event marketing ideas and best practices we reviewed.