I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: Twitter is my all-time favorite social media platform. Why? Several reasons, but one is the simplistic nature of it. There’s not all these different types of pages like Facebook has. You can just scroll down a timeline and see a news tweet one moment, a witty one the next, and so on. It’s my “one stop shop” for updates. Because of the simplistic nature, however, it can be tough to discern the best strategy for promoting an event. Your job as a Social Media Manager (or something similar) is to create “scroll-stopping” content. How can you do that with a social media platform that treats everyone (relatively) equally, you may ask. Well I’m here to help! Here’s three ways to promote an event on Twitter:
1. Account takeover
This is my favorite strategy on this list and I have simply not taken advantage of it enough. With any event, there is a subject who is at the center of it (a band, a speaker, an athlete, etc.). This subject is most likely why people would be (and, in some cases, already are) interested in it. If you have access to that person/group of people, promote WITH them! Let them take over your account (with you sitting next to them, of course) and answer questions for an hour, a half hour, or whatever you deem appropriate! Likely the person at the center of this event is more popular than the organization running the event, so it seems like low hanging fruit to give the people what they want, right?
2. Unique hashtag
This one is pretty obvious, but it needs to be followed strictly if you want to do it right. Also, you cannot look over the word “unique.” If the hashtag is not unique and has been used before, a hashtag search will pull tweets unrelated to your event. Let’s say you’re the Social Media Manager for a popular arena who is having a Taylor Swift concert soon. People want to go to one specific place to find giveaways, breaking news, and other vital information for this specific concert without having to sift through your entire Twitter feed to find it and a unique hashtag can help with that. What can that hashtag be? I would first start with some combination of #TSwift[Your arena name/nickname]. Always, always search the hashtag on Twitter to see whether or not it has already been used. Once you land on a hashtag you and the other people on your team agree on, do not tweet about this event again without using that hashtag.
3. Scavenger hunt ticket giveaway
Ahhh, the ticket giveaway. The classic go-to way to promote an event. You get a certain number of complimentary tickets, so why not use a couple pairs to promote your event? Instead of just running a random “pick a winner” contest, try running a scavenger hunt. You can get very detailed when you create your own, but there are several different ways you can go with this. My only suggestions are to: 1) Make posting on social media a MUST for someone to win (i.e. go to certain spots and take photos with something they find there, etc.) – this creates more buzz on social media and uses the people posting the photos as free advertisement for you and your event and 2) Use a unique hashtag. This hashtag can be the same one you use for the actual event (as mentioned in point number two), or a completely separate one used only for the giveaway – I can be swayed to either side of the argument. This helps people know what the scavenger hunters are posting about and it also helps you as a Social Media Manager find those hunters’ posts.
Twitter can be tough to navigate. It seems like it’s constantly moving. Every time you refresh, there are 10+ tweets ready to be consumed. This makes promoting an event on Twitter especially hard. As a Social Media Manager, your job is to step back, go to the drawing board, and create a strategy to achieve a goal (i.e. sell tickets, get impressions, etc.). I hope that these three strategies I outlined help in your preparations.
Kyle is the New Media Engagement and Promotions Manager for the Columbia Fireflies, a Minor League Baseball team affiliated with the New York Mets. Follow him on Twitter @Kyl3Martin.