Event Planning Tips

Engaging Audiences with Live Twitter Feeds

By June 17, 2015 One Comment

Social media is your gateway to untapped marketing potential. Its effectiveness, though, is dependent on how well you use it for generating a long-term rapport in your B2B or B2C interactions. The power of a 140-character tweet should not be underestimated and should be leveraged during a live event or seminar. Studies show that social media users are 71% more likely to purchase a product from a brand they’re connected with.

Incorporating a live Twitter feed for your next conference or trade show is a great way to keep the interaction with your guests flowing. The last thing you want is for your guests to become disengaged by tending to personal matters on their phone or leaving early. Learn the top strategies for using a Twitter wall to keep the attendees’ attention.

Encourage Proactivity With a Live Twitter Feed

The idea of a live Twitter feed is to encourage guests to tweet about your event as it’s in progress. It’s not enough, though, to just spread a few digital signage screens over the venue and expect an instant Twitter explosion full of tweets about how awesome your event is. Use these following tips to get the ball rolling.

1. Use an Event-Specific Hashtag

Twitter To Screen On Large ScreenCome up with a specific hashtag and include it for all your tweets related to your event. When guests begin using that hashtag for their own tweets and Instagram photos, the posts will automatically be pulled into your Twitter wall where it will be seen by the attendees. Tweets with one to two hashtags are also 55% more likely to be retweeted, so use them to create buzz both before and during your event.

Ideally, the hashtag should include the name of the event, the year, and the geographical location. However, only incorporate these elements if you can do so while keeping the hashtag short. Use abbreviations whenever possible to prevent the hashtag from becoming too drawn out. Here are some examples:

Yes: #ImportAutoShowNY
Yes: #ImportAutoShow2015
No: #ImportAutoShowNewYork2015

Yes: #B2BExpoLA2015
No: #Business2BusinessExpoLA2015

Yes: #FashionFest2015
No: #FashionFestAlbuquerque2015

 

2. Be the Conversation Starter

Twitter To ScreenHave you ever experienced that awkward silence when a friend leaves after introducing you to a mutual buddy? The same can happen with a live Twitter feed where the conversation just comes to a halt. That is a deathtrap and is a bigger indicator that your audience is losing interest. Remember, you have to be the one to get the ball rolling. To do just that, have your staff members exchange tweets with one another and include messages that will encourage guests to chime in with their two cents.

How can this be done? Here is an example exchange:

Tweeter 1: The guest speaker is about to come on stage, Can’t wait. ☺ #TradeShowSF2015

Tweeter 2: The anticipation is giving me goosebumps. Wonder how excited the guests are? #TradeShowSF2015

Tweeter 1: Just a holler from one guest about what they’re feeling right about now would make the anticipation even awesomer. #TradeShowSF2015

In the sample exchange above, the Tweeters are clearly speaking indirectly to the audience to elicit a response. Once the guests begin tweeting, try responding to each tweet to get each person to continue tweeting. Obviously, you won’t be able to do this with every tweeter if your wall becomes bombarded with tweeters, which is of course what you want.

When beginning a tweet exchange feel free to get creative and incorporate humor and text-speak to come off as approachable and respond-worthy. Just be sure to keep the posts relevant to the event or at least your industry in general.

3. Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Selfie

Selfie At ConferenceSelfies are the rage these days and are what comprises the collection of most celebrity Instagram accounts. How might you use selfies to your advantage? Just as you get people to submit tweets, you can have them do the same by submitting a selfie, which will then appear on the Twitter wall. To make it more interesting, encourage attendees to submit a funny-face selfie, or challenge them to take a group selfie with someone they don’t know. You can actually make this into an ice breaker. Here are some other selfie ideas:

  • A selfie with a staff member
  • A selfie pose with a product they purchased from the event
  • A group selfie of five people or more (selfie stick required)

I remember a recent trip to the grocery store where a young female customer approached me at random and asked me to take a selfie with her while making a funny face. I don’t know what the purpose was for, but why not incorporate something similar for your event? You can even encourage participation by letting the people know that the pics may be used for marketing purposes. Most people would love for the opportunity for their photos to be seen by the mass public.

This marketing trick is especially useful if your industry caters to the young adult demographic. Over one million selfies are taken each day, and one out of three comes from those in the 18-24-year-old demographic. If your industry is in a sector like video games, muscle cars, or teen apparel, then this is a must-try tactic.

4. Promote Your Content

Windows Tablet Twitter To ScreenA live Twitter wall can be used for other purposes other than just displaying tweets. Here’s an interesting marketing stunt to give a try:

Use the monitors to show some sort of marketing material. This may be a promotional video for a product launch, a montage of customer testimonials, or even a general company video. Show the video at regular intervals and then switch to a message encouraging attendees to share or like the video on their social media channels. Include a real-time meter of the total amount of social shares generated. Let them know that if the meter surpasses a certain threshold, then every guest gets a prize. You can keep the prize a mystery, or give out something small, perhaps a discount code exclusive to the guests or a promotional gear like a company T-shirt.

If a prize is involved, the audience will be more inclined to participate and share with their friends and encourage them to “like” as well. In lieu of a prize, you can also promise something amusing. Perhaps a CEO or other high-ranking company member will do something video-worthy like dunk himself in a water tank while fully clad in an expensive suit. You can even make it more appealing by promising to use that video to raise awareness for a charitable cause, similar to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge.

The Power of Technology Is at Your Fingertips

You want to provide value to your guests who took the time out of their schedule to attend your event. The goal is to raise brand awareness while adding entertainment value to maintain the engagement factor. Guests who leave the event on a high note will be more likely to become long-term customers whom which you can rely on for maintaining brand loyalty. With a live Twitter feed, you have an out-of-the-box resource for taking customer interaction to a whole new level.





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Author Dan McCarthy

Dan McCarthy is an Event Manager at VenueSeeker, a comprehensive online venue guide based in the UK. Dan has 5 years of event project management under his belt. He has worked on many successful events, and currently he shares his knowledge by writing on the company blog while having fun. Follow him on Twitter @DanCarthy2.

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