How To Gain Followers and Massive Exposure by Tweeting at Live Events
“Keep a copywriter close at hand and invest in training them how to write in your voice.”
Mimi Gatens, marketing manager at Trefethen Family Vineyards, gave that advice to a room of about 200 wine marketers in a break-out session at the 2014 Unified Wine and Grape Symposium. She was part of a three-person panel discussing “10 Things You Can Do Today to Boost Your PR and Marketing Success.”
I was there and immediately tweeted her advice to my followers. It looked like this:
#UWGS marketing tip “Keep a copywriter close at hand & invest in training them how to write in your voice.” -Mimi Gatens
Tweeting at live events like this is part of my self-promotion strategy as a web copywriter and online marketing consultant.
Because it increases my authority, credibility, and reach … especially helpful when the event is industry-specific and my ideal clients are those attending it!
Here’s my simple three-part strategy for tweeting at live events …
1. Quote the Speaker
Speakers at events are perceived as experts. The podium and microphone give them instant authority and credibility.
So by quoting them, you piggyback on their authority and elevate your own message. Your message is more credible because the expert said it first.
This can be incredibly powerful.
In effect, their message becomes your message because you were smart enough to broadcast it and share it with your audience.
Do these speakers mind? Heck, no!
As long as you’re properly attributing their words to them, it just builds their own authority up even more. A classic win-win!
Tip: Find the speakers on Twitter and follow them BEFORE the event so you can easily mention them in your tweet using their Twitter handle — formatted as @username. (For example, mine is @WineCopy.) This has the added benefit of getting you noticed by that expert and further increasing your credibility and exposure.
I didn’t do this with Mimi before the wine conference (I couldn’t find her on Twitter), so let me give you an example from when I attended AWAI’s Web Copy Intensive.
By following Ryan Deiss ahead of time, I was able to quote him and mention him by using his Twitter handle (@ryandeiss) in my tweets. Here’s just one from that event:
Don’t nurture your leads … CLOSE THEM NOW!! @ryandeiss #WebCopyIntensive
2. Use Hashtags
The hashtag is the # symbol. Using an event hashtag puts your tweet in the conversation with others from the event.
Using the analogy that Twitter is like a global cocktail party, hashtags identify the separate tables or even separate rooms where people with a common interest have gathered to interact with each other.
So in the global cocktail party of Twitter, there is a “table” set aside for topics like #OnlineMarketing, #ContentMarketing, and #EmailMarketing (just to mention three that I frequently use) and for events like #UWGS and #WebCopyIntensive.
Smart event coordinators encourage attendees to use an event hashtag to take the conversation about the event online. In my first example, the wine conference folks promoted #UWGS by posting it on event banners, programs, and other handouts at the event.
By using #UWGS in my tweets, I associated myself with the event and became part of the conversation.
Tip: If an event hashtag isn’t obvious, ask the coordinators what they’re using or do a quick search to see if you can find the conversation before you use the wrong hashtag.
Learn from my mistake! I tweeted for the entire first day of the Web Copy Intensive using the wrong hashtag — instead of #WebCopyIntensive, I used #AWAIWebCopyIntensive.
Those tweets were by no means wasted … they were retweeted and mentioned by some of my followers. But they weren’t part of the bigger conversation about the event. It’s like whispering in the corner of the party instead of being part of the “in-crowd.”
For maximum effectiveness, the “in-crowd” is where you want to be.
3. Summarize Key Takeaways
At the Web Copy Intensive, Brian Clark said social media is about building an “audience of audiences.” That’s what this strategy is all about.
Think about your audience … about how you can help them overcome a problem or challenge they’re facing. Then tweet key takeaways and insights you’ve gained from being at the event that they will find valuable or interesting.
For example, I tweeted Brian Clark’s quote about an audience of audiences because social media remains a challenge for my ideal clients within my own audience. I thought they would find this definition helpful because it was a different way of looking at it.
Remember, tweeting at events is part of my strategy for self-promotion. So my tweets need to serve a purpose. If you’re going to adopt this strategy, yours will, too …
Tweeting key takeaways from an event, especially those takeaways that relate to services you offer, gives your audience useful information, but it also primes them to want to do business with you. Instead of telling them you can help them, you’re showing them.
Tip: Many times a key takeaway can be a direct quote from the speaker, but it doesn’t have to be. It DOES, however, have to be something your audience will find valuable or interesting. (And, fit intelligibly within the 140-character tweet limit.)
Worth it? You decide …
Since my niche is the wine industry, let’s look at my results from tweeting at the Unified Wine and Grape Symposium …
I sent just nine tweets over the course of the first day of this event … from my phone … quick, simple, and easy.
In return, I got 17 new followers, was retweeted eight times, was mentioned in other people’s tweets 17 times, and 24 people favorited at least one of my tweets about the event.
Let’s look at what those numbers really mean …
Assuming each person who engaged with me has just a modest following of 2,000 (the average of those who retweeted me at the event) …
- My 17 new followers expose me to about 34,000 new people.
- My eight retweets exposed me to a minimum of 16,000 new people.
- The 17 times I was mentioned in other people’s tweets also exposed me to at least 34,000 new people.
So I increased my reach by about 84,000 potential new people — from only nine tweets!
I gained new followers, got massive exposure, and increased my authority within the industry by associating myself with the speakers and the event itself … by joining the Twitter conversation and cocktail party.
By following my three-part strategy, you can do it, too!
If you have a similar success story or experience, please tell me about it in a comment below. I’d love to continue the conversation!
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