Dear Social Media Mama:
I’m wondering how to use Twitter in your business to publicize events? I can’t figure out how Twitter can be useful for event PR. It seems very unfocused and random.
In a Twitter Quandry
Or should I say “Tuandry” as in Twitter + Quandry (just a little Twitter insider talk)
I can’t say outright that Twitter is great for publicizing events. That’s putting the onus on Twitter when in fact the power rests in how one uses Twitter, not in how the application itself works. But used as part of an overall, comprehensive social media strategy, Twitter is a key component to galvanize people, tap into word-of-mouth power, get some Googleability and encourage action.
Here’s why and how I use Twitter in the social media campaigns I conduct.
1. Twitter as Gateway
First and foremost, I see Twitter as an active gateway to lead people over to the places where you can provide more information about whatever it is you want to publicize. If it is an event, you can post regular links to event news and developments to keep your followers informed.
2. Twitter as Contacts Builder
Followers are the operative word when it comes to Twitter power. The more actively listening (and responding) followers you have, the more effective Twitter becomes as a marketing tool for your business. In my opinion, just having a lot of followers doesn’t necessarily spell “value” to a Twitterer although there is something to be said for the critical mass of 5-figure followers. The valuable followers are the ones who pay attention when you tweet and are more inclined than not to click on links you provide in your tweets.
3. Twitter as Connection Maker
If you aren’t participating in Twitter, you’re missing an important part of how Twitter works for marketing. It isn’t enough that you broadcast your news or auto-post your blog posts via Twitterfeed, for example. I do admit that I set up Twitter accounts for clients first with a Twitterfeed to establish a steady stream of content that naturally promotes the company or organization. But that can’t be everything. At some point, we begin to work in real interaction with followers to solidify those connections. It is not enough to hold up a megaphone. You have to be willing – and able – to engage in the conversation.
4. Twitter as Brain Tickler
When it comes to marketing an event online, the richer tools are your web site, your blog and even Facebook Events. Twitter should be in the mix as a way of reminding followers what is coming up on your events calendar. Because of Twitter’s built in messaging limitations, you’ll never be able to convey everything someone needs to know about attending your event, but you can lead them to the places where they can engage, explore, register or at least leave their email address for more indepth contact.
5. Twitter as Event Broadcaster
Twitter’s marketing juice doesn’t end when your events begin. Don’t forget to Twitter your events. Have folks on hand with live access to Twitter (via mobile, via wifi) who can tweet bon mots from presenters at the event or to give pithy yet information blow-by-blows of the goings on. But be forewarned: Twitter can be both overwhelming to the Twitterer and to the Follower. Let your followers know in advance what is going on and remind them periodically so they can choose to tune in or tune out. If you are going to tweet events regularly, consider setting up an events-only Twitter account but don’t do this until you’ve hit some good Follower numbers to warrant splitting your audience.
Overall, Twitter can’t be anything more than what you put into it. Like all social media tools, it takes a attention, commitment and participation to be of real value.
How are YOU using Twitter in events promotions? Or are you?
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