These are my top 10 secrets for promoting an event with Twitter. Use them wisely and treat them well because they really work. Should I be sharing them? Grab them quick before I change my mind…

Make a Plan

“Expect the best, plan for the worst, and prepare to be surprised.” Dennis Waitley never wrote a truer word. Event professionals, and amateurs alike, make sure you know what you want to achieve and exactly how you’re going to achieve it, before you begin.

Tell the World

The first step is always to start twittering. Unless you tell everyone about it how will they know it’s on? Just send out a tweet with the barest details of your event such as the name, date and venue.

Recruit Ambassadors

Get together with a few well-chosen followers and give them each a thorough briefing on the event and ask if they will help you by reweeting your event tweets and engaging in twitter conversations with you and others about the event. Be very clear that this is not about manipulating publicity, but more about revealing all the great things you have in store at your event. They should only take part if they agree with the value and aims of your event.

Influence the Influencers

Pick your ambassadors carefully – ideally choose people who have plenty of followers that are likely to be interested in your event. The very best ambassadors are influencers – those people who help to shape attitudes and opinions. True influencers come in all sorts of flavour, not just on Instagram. Many people call themselves influencers but it’s about more than having lots of followers. It’s about being an active part of the community that they are influencing. It’s about having trust and enough authority for that community to listen when you tweet and act upon what you say. So take your time choosing people to represent your brand.

Build Momentum

One tweet does not make a campaign. Remember that the whole world isn’t waiting with bated breath for just for you to talk about your event. It’s quite possible that they missed your original tweet. So do another one. Some people only go on Twitter in the mornings, others in the evening. Remember to take account of differing time zones if it’s an international event. It’s okay to repeat your messages (in moderation) – just do one thing: try to find an original angle each time.

Ask for Retweets

How do you get people to RT your messages? Be interesting and occasionally just ask people for a retweet. Most twitter users will oblige if they respect you.

Converse

Twitter is an ongoing conversation with your followers. Don’t just broadcast your event details. Ask people what they are going to do there. Talk to them about what they want from the event. Find out if they’ll be tweeting from it and see if you can help them with that. For example make sure they know which hashtag you’d prefer them to include, particularly if you have an official event hashtag..

Tell a Story

Make the build-up to your event an event in itself. We all love a story and why not share the tale of your preparations and adventures as you have them? Let us know if you’ve had difficulties booking a venue. Tell us when your keynote speaker develops laryngitis. It all helps to build the drama. Remember that stories have a structure so try and create a story arc with your event posts. 

Use a Little Mystery

We all like a present. Get a few surprise presents to give out at your event just for your twitter audience. Ask people to guess what’s in them and award the ‘prize’ at the event. Offer prizes for the funniest guesses.

Create a Hashtag

It is absolutely essential to have a sensible hashtag for your event. This way people can attend the event remotely by following the tweets associated with your tag. Just one important point: keep it short. A hashtag of 140 characters doesn’t leave enough space for a message!

What’s Next?

Once the event is over, don’t stop. Keep in touch with your attendees and followers by using the hashtag afterwards. Share stories about the event and find out how people enjoyed it and how you can give them more the next time. Oh and there’s one last thing: if you use any of these tips, send me a message and tell me how you got on. My twitter name is @inspirationguy – I’m waiting!


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Ash Mashhadi is a Web Designer, Social Media Consultant and a popular business speaker. He's the founding Partner of Design Inspiration, a highly experienced digital design agency. Ash also acts as a consultant to small and medium-sized businesses in the use of social media for inbound marketing. He is also the author of "The Pocket Guide for Nervous Networkers".
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