The Brand Marketer’s Guide to a Successful #TwitterParty

The Brand Marketer’s Guide to a Successful #TwitterParty

By Lucia Schepps

It’s time to party like it’s 2016…online! Today, parties aren’t just happening IRL. In this crazy, digitally-driven world we live in some of the best, most happenin’ get-togethers are being hosted on Twitter. Brands from Hasbro to Covergirl are gathering fans for Twitter parties (or Twitter chats). The goal: to discuss a range of topics (typically in Q&A format) via a stream of live tweets using a designated hashtag to connect the conversation. It’s a new way to engage fans, increase your social following and attract new customers.

So how can your brand get in on the action and throw a great Twitter party? Below, 7 tips to get you started:

1. Partner with an Influencer: Teaming up with an influential blogger, spokesperson or publication relevant to the Twitter party topic at hand is a great way to increase your reach and attract attendees. It’s also a good way to gut-check the topics you plan to discuss, and make sure you’re providing valuable content that isn’t too self-serving for your brand. Look for an influencer with a large, engaged social following and work closely with them to craft discussion questions and co-host the event. Hosting is always more fun with a friend!

2. Discuss A Timely Topic: Rule number one of a Twitter party is to provide some sort of value for attendees. One way to do that is to talk about something timely and relevant. For a deal-hunting website, that might mean hosting a Twitter party to discuss the best deals and steals leading up to the holiday shopping season. A financial company may want to host an informational Twitter party in tandem with the deadline to file taxes. Think about the value your brand provides to customers, and schedule your party strategically.

3. Use a Catchy Hashtag: The ideal hashtag is not too long, not too short, and clearly states the topic or message of the chat. Be careful with slang terms, and opt for just 1-2 hashtags per party (more than 2 may actually cause engagement to decline). Think about including your brand name in the hashtag if possible: something like #SmileWithCrest or #FordRoadTrips. Finally, make sure a member of your team is following the hashtag closely in real time to re-tweet key moments and respond to potential customers as they share their insights.

4. Timing is Everything: The time of your party is just as important as the date or season. If you’re looking to attract attendees across different time zones, make sure you plan the party to start at a time that’s beneficial for all your target audiences. If you’re targeting a specific group of people, think about any outside factors that could impact a user’s ability to attend the party (i.e. targeting parents at a time they need to pick up children from school, or professionals at peak work hours). Also take into account any trends you see with your existing Twitter audience. Are fans most active at a certain time during the day? Lastly, make sure to cap your Twitter party at 60 minutes—it’s the ideal length of time to spark an interesting discussion, without attendees losing interest.

5. Include a Giveaway to Increase Engagement: If possible, raffle off some gifts and prizes throughout the party. Twitter party attendees love being rewarded for their input on a topic. Incentivizing them with a prize will encourage more attendees to join the fun and speak up throughout the event. It’s also a great way to get your product in the hands of some new customers, and potential new brand ambassadors. The prize doesn’t need to be anything that breaks the bank. A simple gift card or sample of a new product is perfect.

6. Promote the Event Beforehand (But Not Too Early!): Twitter is an “in the moment” platform. Many users scrolling through their feed may only see content that’s been posted within the past 30-60 minutes. That in mind, your heaviest event promotion should happen the 24 before the event actually starts. We recommend creating a Facebook event page where folks can RSVP to the party (and add it to their Facebook event calendar), though most will opt to join in on the fly as they see the event unfolding in real time. If you’re able to, try sprinkling in some paid promotion on both Twitter and Facebook the week leading up to the event, and posting a link to your Facebook event page in relevant Facebook groups.

7. Track Results: It can be extremely overwhelming to sift through thousands of tweets and track the success of your Twitter party. Prep before the party by adding UTM-enabled links to your tweets. These links allow you to track the people that click over to your website or other relevant content. Then, with Google Analytics, you can track their journey on the site, noting how long they stayed and how many pages they visited. This will give you valuable insights into which content on your site resonates the most with this particular audience. Also check out tools like hashtracking, which automatically tracks how often your party hashtag was used, and how many different tweeters attended the virtual event.

Thinking about hosting a Twitter chat? In the planning stages? Sound off with your questions below, or send us a tweet @LaunchSquad.

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