How to Get Your Event Trending on Twitter
Since its inception in 2012, Twitter has stepped onto the social media stage as a force to be reckoned with.
With its live messages and a constantly updating news feed, Twitter has helped change the general perception of what outreach looks like, especially for the event industry. And with over 9 million monthly active users on Twitter every day, and over 500 million tweets per day, it’s easier than ever to get the message about your event out there to the world, and faster than ever before.
For many event organizers, using Twitter means employing their paid promotional features for a standard marketing strategy.
But what makes Twitter especially powerful as a marketing resource lies in its ability to promote your event organically, IF you build up enough excitement and buzz around it.
Becoming a trending topic on Twitter helps to not only build awareness around your event, but it can be influential for building your reputation with current and future attendees, pull in speakers or sponsors for future years and get your name known to a larger portion of the population, all without having to pay for any exposure.
Unfortunately, as you may imagine, becoming a trending event is much easier said than done, and takes a level of finesse that many organizers aren’t willing to put in.
While it can be a tough goal to achieve, it’s totally attainable ONCE you know and follow a few key steps. And luckily, this what we’ll be breaking down this week!
We’ll show you the basics of trending and the five steps you can begin doing in the months leading up to your event so that you are consistently building enough consistent buzz to start trending on Twitter.
Let’s dive in…
The Basics of Trending on Twitter
According to Twitter, trends are determined by an algorithm that “identifies topics that are popular now, rather than topics that have been popular for a while or on a daily basis, to help you discover the hottest emerging topics of discussion on Twitter”.
Which means, as an event, your goal is to build as much new buzz around yourself as quickly and consistently as possible.
Unfortunately, this also means that your tweets will be in constant competition with anything else new and popular going on in your city or country.
And this results in a lot of competition if you’re in a bigger city than you’d find in a small one. Likewise, if you schedule your event during a nationwide event, like the Oscars, your tweets will be competing with millions of others which will make it harder for your event to trend.
If getting your event to trend is really important for you, you’ll want to consider these factors when it comes time to picking a venue and deciding when your event will take place. This will allow your tweets to really be able to shine during the event.
Trending Tips Leading Up to Your Event
Now, let’s look at the basics of how to get your event trending on Twitter, step-by-step in the months leading up to it.
Step 1 — Have a Designated Hashtag
The simplest way to begin getting your event to trend well on Twitter is to have a simple, easy to remember hashtag. This allows the algorithm to pull all the posts about your event together so that you can begin building recognition.
The shorter and clearer your hashtag, the better. You want your attendees to remember your hashtag, and you want it to have few enough characters that they don’t omit it from their posts.
Likewise, picking a hashtag that is inline with your branding, and is similar to your event’s name or theme, is always a must.
If you’re running your event for multiple years, you’ll want to use a consistent hashtag throughout so that your participants know it without having to think about it. In this case, it can also be a good idea to create a hashtag that stays consistent from year to year but includes a year number at the end, for example, #Event2018.
Finally, when it comes to creating your hashtag, the last thing you’ll want to check is that no one else is using your same tag. That way when people go to search to your event, they won’t be met with a mix of content.
Step 2 — Broadcast the Twitter Hashtag Out to Your Audience
A hashtag on its own does nothing for your event’s awareness. What you ultimately want is for as many of your attendees as possible to use it. So, the more you can broadcast your hashtag out to your attendees, the more chance you have of them using it regularly themselves.
For example, if you’re sending out emails to your audience you can tell them to use your hashtag and link back to your Twitter page. Likewise, you can use your hashtag throughout the content of the newsletter or on any branded images.
Mentioning your hashtag during podcasts or Facebook Lives can also be a really good way of sharing it out to your audience. Also, remember to link back to it in the comments or show notes.
Ultimately, the more places you can put your hashtag, the easier it will be for potential attendees to learn about your upcoming event and interact with you through it.
But your audience alone doesn’t have to be the end all be all…
Step 3 — Share the Hashtag with Your Sponsors and Speakers
Leveraging the audience your sponsors and speakers have built for your event is a huge resource, Click To Tweet that shouldn’t go overlooked.
If you’ve done the work and chosen speakers and sponsors who are influencers in your industry, then the chances are they probably have large followings on Twitter as well.
Having them tweet to share about their experience, or let people know they’re speaking or sponsoring your event can be a great way to build more momentum and spread your hashtag.
One really effective strategy to do this is to provide anyone working with you on your event with branded marketing materials (Twitter posts, Facebook posts, newsletter content) that all include your hashtag for them to release out to their audiences before or during your event.
Not only are you spreading the word about your event to more people, but Twitter’s algorithm can see that your hashtag is popular with more people.
Trending Tips During Your Event
Leading up to your event, much of your strategy is aimed at getting the ball rolling for you to trend, but it isn’t until the event starts that you can really do a big push and get your hashtag trending.
Once your event starts, there are a couple different strategies you can begin employing.
Step 4 — Gamify Twitter Posting
Getting your attendees to post about your event while it’s running live is always the best way to build momentum around it, and a really easy way to do that is to incentivize posting.
Building in a game function, like a raffle, or giving away prizes to the people with the most shares, likes, posts etc. Click To Tweet is a great way of encouraging attendees to share about their experience.
Make sure that only posts with the hashtag are eligible to win a prize, as only these posts will actually help your trending rank and make you seem even more popular in the Twitter threads.
Step 5 —Choose Someone on Your Team to Live Tweet for You
The final step to help you get to trending levels is to have a designated person on staff during your event, sharing about what’s happening during your event. This is key for making sure that there is an adequate buzz going out about your event.
As always it’s important to have them use that hashtag, like or share other people’s experiences, and let people know what is going on with the event.
If this sounds daunting, it can be helpful to pre-determine a full schedule of social media posts they can send out on the day of and then a template for any interesting or helpful things that might come up while the event is running live.
In the end, getting your hashtag out to your audience on Twitter in as many ways as possible will pay off time and time again. The more your audience can see it, and the more they can remember to use it the better chance you have of getting it to trend.
Can’t wait to see you trending with your next big event!