A Simple Business Guide For Using Twitter At Your Next Event

Article by Todd 30.11.15

  

If you’re in business then you’re probably either on Twitter, or you go to networking events.

Twitter became popular at a huge event in the US called ‘South by South West’ (SXSW) which is the place to launch anything in the tech world.

Although Twitter was already live by the time the 2007 SXSW show started, it was the way that Twitter was used at this event that propelled it into the limelight.

When Twitter first launched, no one ‘got it’.

It was simply too strange-a-concept to grasp and many joined Twitter, started to use it and then stopped as it confused them – it didn’t make sense!

Off the back of MySpace and Facebook, which were very visual, we weren’t ready for Twitter. Its short and concise nature didn’t suit everyone straight away and most users simply didn’t get why it could work.

… until SXSW that is…

At SXSW 2007, Twitter was used to share the journey and stories from the talks, and the people there. The live, up-to-date information-rich platform came into its own.

It was perfect for the event.

The ability to post frequently in a stream, coupled with a hashtag to tie it all in one place, suddenly made more sense.

Twitter became the tool to use at live events and it’s been my go-to weapon of social choice since I found it back in 2011.

 

Are You Using Twitter For Events In The Right Way?

Have you got Twitter sorted and all worked out for events?

You’re probably doing OK – but I guarantee there are things you’re not doing.

I tweet live for events and I thought I’d share with you my top tips for using Twitter at events. 

I’ve recently published a guide on using Twitter for events and you can get that here for free 

But here’s a snippet to get you on your way.

Before, During And After… Twitter Is A Storytelling Tool.

Most people I talk to only use Twitter on the day of the event and only when they’re actually there…

… if you’re doing this then you’re missing out on most of the action, leads and potential business!

For me, Twitter for events is before, during and after. 
1) Before Your Event – Planning And Following 

Before you go, before you buy your ticket or even before you know for sure that you’re going – get on Twitter!

There WILL be a hashtag for the event (or there should be).

Find the right one (best place to go is the website or Twitter for the organiser).

Find it and pop on and talk to people.

Make small talk, ask some questions, and follow them.

This is the perfect time to build connections as you have a common ground to base your conversation on.

My advice here is to build a list.

• Create a Twitter list for the event

• Call it something sensible

• Make it public

• Add anyone on the hashtag and anyone you talk to on this list.

This way you’ll have a great place to go back to on the day and after to find all the people you talked to.
Twitter is busy – really busy – so don’t make it hard for yourself.

Build a list early, and add people in after you reply or meet them. 

You can make this private if you don’t want them to know that you’re stalking them… but I never worry about that – it’s Twitter!

Keep connecting in the build up to the event and share your thoughts and feelings about the event.

 Be part of the build up – and tell others what you’ll be doing there and what you’ll be expecting. Use anything interesting to start a conversation.

 I read a book recently by Stefan Thomas. It’s called Business Networking for Dummies and Stef is a great believer that ‘everything starts from a little conversation’. I’m inclined to agree.

Start the conversations… and start them early. 

 

2) During Your Event – Storytelling And Sharing

“I never know what to say” is something I hear a lot as a social media trainer

“No one wants to hear about my breakfast.” 

That’s true I guess… unless you’re a personal trainer or nutritionist, that is. Or unless you have an unusual breakfast or you’re in a cool place.

But they will want to hear about exciting shows, and if you’re going to a show that’s relevant to your industry then even better.

 Events give you the perfect excuse to flex some Twitter muscle and get some interaction going. 

Share the day, the pictures, the talks, the events within the event.

Get your phone charged and share the speakers’ one-liners and the facts and insights that you hear.

Don’t forget that your smartphone can take photos and video. It saves you from typing and it’s better for your followers too, so tweet them out!

(Take loads of pictures and keep them as you can use them later. 

With all this interaction remember one thing. 

USE THE HASHTAG! 

Use it on everything and use the right one (hopefully you will have checked this before you even started).

Every tweet you send on the day must have the hashtag in so your tweets appear on the hashtag timeline – and maybe even the big screen if they have one.

You may want to go and check out the hashtag timeline and chat to people while you’re there too. This can be beneficial but don’t forget there are real people there too, will you!?

You have your list too. So you can easily go and see what they’re saying.  

Not everyone will use the hashtag!

 Yup, not everyone will read this blog or have a copy of my Twitter guide  

Having those early tweeters and the hashtag users in your list means you can go and see what they’re saying at the touch of a button… even if they’re not using the hashtag.

When I run Twitter for events I monitor the hashtag AND the list.

 

3) After Your Event – Don’t Stop Now – It’s Homework Time

 Now the event is over don’t get any ideas about stopping your tweeting.

Share your thoughts and those pictures from the day. Hopefully you’ll have a good stock of images.

Powertip: Take photos of the exhibitors and speakers and then @mention them when you share them on the hashtag – exposure for them often means retweets for you, and then potential conversations. 

Also keep your eye on that hashtag and the list you created.

The conversation won’t stop so get involved and see what everyone else thought and see if you can make some new connections.

Follow people who were there and try to start conversations – you have the perfect excuse!

Follow up on any tweets or mentions that you may have missed and maybe take all your content and create a blog from it.

You have images and text… pull it all together for a post and share it with the organisers for some nice traffic to your site.

Business cards can be a ‘who to tweet’ reminder too.

You’re likely to collect some of these so get them out on your desk and go and hunt down their Twitter account and just tweet to say “nice to meet you at XXX event” and add the hashtag in, too.

 It’s a nice a friendly follow up and I find better then a dull email which everyone else will be doing. Don’t forget your follow up!


Don’t Just Tweet: Plan, Action And Follow Up 

Twitter is a powerful tool for events and if you’ve not seen any results from it in the past then maybe look at how you’re using it and make some positive changes.

 If you want more help on Twitter and how to use it for events then you can download my FREE guide 

It’s a full plan for attendees and organisers and goes into loads more detail.
Good luck and tweet me @SocialMediaTodd if you liked this post or want some more help

6 Ways To Grow Your Business With Social Media

Article by Todd 14.09.15


Social media is many things to many people. It can be great for keeping in contact with friends and family, knowing the score for the latest football match, or hearing about favourite celebrity antics. 

But social media can also help you grow your business –and you should be using it if you’re serious about your growth. 

I’ve been using social media for over five years for business and now I spend all day using it to grow other people’s businesses!

 

Here Are My Top Six Ways To Grow Your Business With Social Media

 

1) Build Your Tribe

Let’s start by actually growing something. You may have heard of the phrase ‘social tribe’ before. What this means is that you can have a collection of fans and followers who are not only getting your messages and are aware of what you do, but they care. 

They care enough to help you, stick with you, they care enough to stand up for you when you need them to – and they buy from you when they need to, as well

To build a tribe you must first work on trust and you must also build authority. A blog is a fabulous way to do that. Blogging about what you do and how much you know helps others and they become grateful for the information and interested in you. 

These people can become part of your tribe and will follow you on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or wherever you share or send them. 

This is powerful as these people will be indebted to you and your helpful content. Keep on sharing, keep on helping, and your tribe will grow and grow and you’ll have a large number of online fans online who will help you to get where you’re going. 

Offer value – lots of it – and show you care by engaging with your tribe. It takes time, but by jove it’s a powerful tool when you need it! 

 

2) Grow Your List

“You don’t have a business without a list.

 It’s been said a million times but some people still haven’t acted on this

Your list; your email or contact list, IS your business. If you can’t communicate to people then how do you expect them to know what you’re up to, what you have on offer or when you can help with what’s needed? 

Growing an email list with social media works like this:

 

• Have compelling content on your website, like a blog or white paper.
• Share insightful content and tips on social media and push people to your website content.
• When they’re reading your content, offer them something of value for freelike an eBook, CD, download – or anything that you can create once and give away that will help them in exchange for an email list.
• Then rinse and repeat. Get people on your list and then make sure you email them great content and keep them engaged until you need to sell to them or tell them something important.

 

3) Expand Your Awareness 

Brand awareness sounds sexy and like it’s only for the big guys, but it’s not – and you need it. As a small business in Leamington, or indeed any town, you need to be known. You must build awareness so that people can buy from you when the time is right. 

I recently bought a new mattress from Dreams. This is the second time in my life that I have bought a mattress and the second time I have bought from Dreams. I’m aware of them because they have many stores, many adverts and of course huge balloons flying at many of their flagship stores. 

You don’t have a balloon budget? No problem – social media is free (to a point). Getting your business and brand on social media gets it into a position to be seen, be heard, and more importantly engage in local, national and international conversation. 

The percentage of buyers whose purchases were influenced by social media is growing and at last count was 78%!  

Be seen, be heard, be remembered – be social!

 

4Grow Your Team

Social media can actually grow your business team as well as your sales and list. 

We have around ten associates working for Spaghetti Agency who we met online. In fact, looking at iteveryone in Spaghetti Agency met online!

I met Jo on Twitter. Jo met Matt our designer on Twitter. We got Craig the IT chap on board after meeting him on Twitter. We met and hired Laura, our content and social media manager, through Twitter and Facebook, and our new social media assistant we got to know through Twitter, Facebook and email marketing. Our marketing strategist came via social media and came on our digital marketing workshop. Our business development team came through Twitter and LinkedIn and we found our SEO guy through Google thanks to strong social shares (tenuous but still through social).

Social media opens doors. It opens doors that you wouldn’t have opened and ones you might not have even knew existed. 

If opportunity doesn’t knock today it might well tweet tomorrow. 

 

5) Drive Your Conversations

Social media is all about conversation and if you’re selling instead of listening and responding then you’re missing the point… massively. 

Hashtag hours like #LeamingtonHour are a great example of what social media is about and what it’s not about. Some businesses head there to chat and have conversations with other businesses. Some head there to spam anyone and everyone with links. #BuyMyStuff!

One of these approaches works well to build relationships and drive conversation. One of them falls of deaf ears. I’ll leave you to work out which is which. 

Talk, and most importantly, listen, to other people and businesses to get your brand or business in the right conversations. Everything starts from a little conversation and you’ll be amazed what you’ll talk about after sharing the most simple things on social media. 

 

6Your Website Needs To Be Social To Grow

You spent time, money and effort on that website of yours and now it sits online, quietly waiting, wishing for people to come and visit. 

You might already know that social media sends traffic to your business website but how does that help and how does it make your business grow?

Social signals (traffic and conversations about your website from social media) affect your ranking on search engines like Google. Google in particular are very keen to see activity on a website. Think about it: you Google a service and land on a site and it has everything you need… only to find out that the business is no longer around… it’s just that the website still has years left on its hosting. 

Google doesn’t want this, and neither do you. So Google looks for signs of life and social media is a perfect signal that your business is alive and well.

The more of this that happens, the more likely it is that people will find you in the search results. It’ll take time,and of course you need a great blog there too to keep people coming back. You’ll need to think about WIIFM (What’s In It For Me) from your readers’ perspective. You also need a really clean, simple layout that your visitors can use to find everything they need. 

But over time all this means one thing – more signals. Google will see this activity and it will take an interest in it. If people find it so useful then so will others and that means Google will want to share it more.

This then gets you higher up, with more chance of clicks.  If you have a good social media sharing and connecting strategy on your website then it all helps to fuel the follows and shares even more. 

It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and it’s all helped hugely by social media

 

Social Media Is Growing Business – It Is Growing Yours?

 

Fact is: your competition are on social media. Whether they’re any good or not is not in your control. What is, is how good you are at it, how often you appear, how much value you give and what you do to follow up. 

What you say, how you act, and the connections you make on social media, are powerful and they’re driving the growth of businesses like yours every minute of every day. 

In Leamington there are some fantastic business and events totally driven by social media. Tweetups, awards, meetings, ventures and hashtags are developing – and you simply can’t ignore the potential in them. 

Even this website, Grow Leamington, has happened because of social media. Gary spent time on social media and spotted a gap for this in the conversations and the businesses. Social media is opening doors and all you have to do is turn up and offer something useful. 

 

It’s your choice if you grow it or not.


My name is Todd and I’m a social media manager and content creator at Spaghetti Agency. 

Our business helps people grow their business with social media and online marketing. Tweet me at @SocialMediaTodd  


 I’d be happy to help.