How To Market An Event On Twitter

While writing the companion piece, What It’s Like To Co-Organize Your First WordCamp, I realized that I had created a list of Twitter marketing tips that should really live in their own post. Here’s that.

I run a number of Twitter accounts, and some people seem to enjoy following them. A few of them, @LititzBeerFest and @WordCampLanc promote annual events. Here are some examples of how I have been an event cheerleader on Twitter. Less than 100% of the tweets from these two accounts are written by me, but all of the tweets included in this post were written by me.

You are in a countdown to the event, so you can link X days until the event to a relevant number.

Everything is an exclusive. Twitter is where all news breaks, so help the reader of your tweet believe they are the first person to receive your message.

Twitterers appreciate the careful use of emoji.[citation needed]

Have a sense of humor. Carefully. Riffing on current events is often hilarious, but risky business for brands. I got away with this one on the night of one of the 2016 Presidential debates to show off our left-over kegs. This is an Instagram photo and caption that I shared to twitter.

The only big debate tonight is which of these kegs do we tap next? #LCBF2016 #Lititz

A post shared by Lititz Craft Beer Fest (@lititzcraftbeerfest) on

I didn’t take any risks with the WordPress audience, however, and instead, I opted for mostly harmless quips in quote-retweets.

Use scheduling software. I like TweetDeck, but I am glad my WordCamp Lancaster team used HootSuite because now I know a bit about HootSuite. These apps allow teams to collaboratively use an account and not step on each other’s toes. (These apps also allow you to tweet early and sleep in.)

Don’t auto-post from Facebook. Everyone knows that you didn’t write a tweet that ends with a fb.me link for Twitter, and Twitter lovers like me refuse to retweet that trash. Even if your primary publishing platform is Facebook, do not auto-post to Twitter. During the first few years of the Lititz Craft Beer Fest, I developed a habit of posting on Facebook and rushing to Twitter to delete and rewrite the auto-posted tweets because someone had already linked the two together. That’s not totally effective or a thing that normal, sane people do. I have since severed the link.

Repeat yourself. Starting a tweet with ICYMI (in case you missed it) is totally appropriate. Quote-retweeting yourself is OK. Tweeting an identical tweet twice a day is not cool, though. If someone feels that a tweet was generated by software, they will be less likely to read and spread your message.

Be generous with the likes and retweets. Most of what you do to grow any account’s reach is to search for relevant terms, click the Latest tab, and like many tweets. For WordCamp, I searched WordCamp and liked tweets about other WordCamps both near and far. For the Lititz beer festival, I searched Lititz beer to find everyone tweeting from local bars. If your sponsors aren’t active on Twitter, like a few of their old tweets to let them know you’re ready to help them grow by retweeting anything they give you. Retweet lots of people that mention that they are excited about or just acquired tickets to your event.

Don’t disappear during the event. This is hard unless you don’t have many obligations the day of the event. If you are using an event hashtag, you should be watching that in addition to answering questions and still cheerleading. I am proud to have prompted this photo of our WordCamp organizer team, and our followers enjoyed it, too.

Do disappear a few weeks after the event. It’s OK that your account goes inactive for months at a time for an annual event. The Lititz Craft Beer Fest sells out every year, so too much action just reminds some people that they are on the outside looking in. I also don’t want to lose followers in the off-season, and it’s hard to want to un-follow an account that isn’t showing up in your timeline. There are also critical milestones that can hold up event marketing, like confirming dates and venues. The marketing should start when you are ready to announce your date. You can even hold the venue to be it’s own separate press release.

I hope these tweets and thoughts are helpful. I am @salzano on Twitter. Maybe I’ll see you at an event?