The tremendous work to produce a quality event experience does not end once the last attendees leave. There are opportunities to extend the experience with participants by creatively using Twitter to stay top of mind and generate positive word of mouth post-event. Here are five ways to keep that positive buzz flowing.
Key Takeaways for Engaging Post-Event
1. Thank attendees.
Acknowledge that participants in your event spent time and resources to attend. A simple email thank you or better yet, personalized video clip to key influencers communicates genuine gratitude. Event organizers post thank you graphics on social media using the event hashtag to ensure they are seen by attendees. The lost art of letter writing breaks through clutter and personalized letter-writing services like MailLift may make sense for specific niches.
2. Remind attendees of the good experience they had.
Like a summer camp photo that serves as a souvenir, send attendees something that reminds them of the good time they had. One event organizer who had a photo-booth themed with cheesy high school yearbook photo props created a physical “yearbook” and mailed it post-event to key influencers. Whether you create digital souvenirs like photo collages or video montages or mail actual items like stickers, send something tangible that reminds them of the experience. If you post a photo collage on Twitter, be sure to tag specific Twitter users so you make ensure they see it.
3. Use social media to follow and listen.
After your event, search your event hashtag and add people to a Twitter list. A simple free automation tool like If This Then That can add Twitter folks to a Twitter list for you based on a trigger like “used a specific hashtag”. An event-sourced Twitter list is a great way to filter your listening to a specific segment. Social and Digital Director for UFC, Shanda Maloney shared on a recent #H2HChat (replay here) with @bryankramer that she uses social media to monitor influential UFC fans.
4. Instigate conversations.
If you are following on social media and listening to your past attendees, watch for opportunities to provide value. Again, Shanda Maloney models this by watching when certain celebrities are in town and giving them notice of upcoming UFC matches. Instigate interaction by following topics or keywords or even searching for geo-triggered mentions. Providing valuable connections or content after your event is another way to keep the experience top of mind.
5. Start a weekly Twitter Chat to keep momentum.
Twitter chats are simply an online gathering (typically once a week) where participants connect using the chat hashtag. Brands and professional communities have used Twitter chats for years as a way to provide thought leadership to their tribes. In fact, the popular weekly chat #CMWorld was birthed out of their 2013 conference marketing efforts as you can see from this quote in an excellent post by Cathy McPhillips on Content Marketing Institute’s blog:
This past summer, as the Content Marketing Institute team was in planning mode for Content Marketing World 2013, we started conducting weekly Twitter chats as a way for us to build our community and, in turn, increase our CMWorld registrations.
Incorporate Twitter chats as a pre-event marketing tactic to build community or after the event to keep the conversations going and your community will consider this a gift. Be sure to involve past attendees in the planning process (e.g. what topics to cover) and you’ll see event attendees who never knew each other connect via your chat each week. An added bonus: you’ll generate content to share with your community through these chats.
What about you? How have you seen event organizers reach out post-event? We’d love to have you post a comment below or send one via Twitter with the hashtag #twubchat.