Successful events are those that create a "buzz" - before, during AND afterwards.
The "buzz" is what makes an event exciting and memorable for attendees, makes exhibitors very happy, and event management even happier.
Using social media, especially Twitter, is consistently proving very successful for more events than you can imagine.
By growing your Twitter following in the right ways you will attract more of your target customers, increase engagement and generate a buzz that catapults your next event.
Sounds easy doesn't it? Don't be fooled - building a following takes time and some strategic planning, but it's worth the effort.
Here's some tips to help you on your way:
1. What does your Bio say?
Your Bio has to help potential new followers immediately understand why they should follow you. Try to make it clear in a few simple sentences exactly what you/your business does and how it can help them.
2. Use the Twitter Search Tool.
Find other people who use the same keywords or terms associated with your business and follow them. Twitter etiquette encourages you to follow back those that follow you. (Though we would always recommend checking new followers are relevant to you and/or your industry before following back to avoid connecting with spammers.)
3. Follow experts in your niche.
You can not only learn from the experts yourself, but others may connect with you after finding that you've followed them.
4. Reply to Tweets Publicly.
Of course, when sharing sensitive information or dealing with a sensitive issue, Direct Message is best. At all other times try to reply and Tweet publicly so people don't think you're inactive or not "Twitter-Savvy".
5. Focus on helping others.
Share content that's useful and create blog posts, infographics and other original content that your ideal Followers will love and want to share themselves.
6. Stay positive and avoid negativity.
No one likes a moaner! Try to turn negatives into positives when you can and always be professional. Should anyone Tweet something negatively towards you, try to deal with it in a professional manner, invite them to connect by phone, email or direct message. If they are abusive report them and/or block them.
7. Analyse and learn from your Followers.
What do they respond to? Can you provide more of that content? Don't forget to mix it up though too - people like variety.
8. Check out other Users' Followers and who they're following.
If you follow a user, the likelihood is that they will somehow be connected with other users who you may want to connect with too.
9. Do more than just Follow.
When you first follow someone, take a few seconds to scroll down their Tweets to see if there's anything you can ReTweet or Like. This is a far more subtle way of getting noticed without blatantly shouting for attention by Direct Message or multiple "salesy" Tweets.
10. Do not auto-follow users.
It's all very nice to automate some of your daily tasks but auto-following, as well as auto-replying when someone Follows you, sends all the wrong signals to your Followers. Social Media is supposed to be Social - so when someone is followed back within seconds of following you (and even worse when you also get an automated message) they are likely to think that you won't be interacting or having a conversation, only replying them with automated Tweets that will be trying to sell them something.
11. Put your Twitter @handle in your email signature.
An email signature with a clickable link to go directly to your Twitter profile isn't hard to do. Also put it on your website or any printed business cards etc.
12. Use a #hashtag or two in your Tweets.
Hashtags originated on Twitter, so they're right at home there. Just don't use more than two or three in a single Tweet. Using key words for your industry is usually the best strategy so you come up when people search for the terms. You can even use a few in your Bio to help get you noticed.
13. Watch out for #trending topics.
Is there a trending topic that is relevant to your industry? If so, include it in your Tweets to gain more exposure for your business.
14. Tweet often.
Find a rhythm of Tweeting that fits with your daily routine. If you don't have anything to say yourself or any fresh content for your followers, share other people's content that might be useful to your followers. Tweeting conistently keeps you front of mind and builds trust.
15. Tweet at peak and off peak times.
Don't just focus on key times you know your Followers are online, also Tweet at off-peak times too. You can reach different users at different times during the day and Twitter is so fast moving, it's easy for people to miss a Tweet the first time round.
16. What happens on Twitter doesn't have to stay on Twitter!
Don't be afraid of sharing information and links with your other Social Media networks - every now and then invite them to follow you on Twitter or Tweet Followers to Like you on Facebook. They may not even realize you're on there!
17. Use Twitter Lists to hyper-focus on users to interact with.
Do you get overwhelmed when you look down your Twitter stream.... All those Tweets, how will you ever find people to interact with?
Well if you keep key influencers, great content providers etc. in lists, you can view their Tweets without all the other noise on Twitter. You're then more likely to notice those who engage with them and spot others who you could help or connect with.
Word of WARNING: Although having a high number of Followers can be impressive, don't get too hung up on quantity. Concentrate on accumulating Followers who are interested in what you have to offer or are in your industry. Fake or low quality Followers will never engage with your page, and could be detrimental to you in the long run. After all, if you have 10,000 Followers and very few RT's or Favorites on any of your Tweets, it won't make you seem very interesting to your potential customers.
Of course, all the above tips assist you in increasing your Followers before and between events - once your event goes live it will all be wasted if you don't increase momentum and keep your social channels buzzing. And we don't think there's a better way than having a Social Wall where attendees are thrilled to see their Tweets (and themselves) on the big screen.
Think a Social Wall could be a great addition to your social media event strategy? We do too - give us a call, we would love to chat with you about it.