Putting on a Last Minute Event? 7 Tips to Promote it on Twitter

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In a perfect world, we would have months to prepare for an event. We would have nicely organized lists, a smooth process, an effective team and no stress.

But, as most marketers know, this is not a perfect world. Sometimes, plans get derailed and communication breaks down. Sometimes, an opportunity for an event comes up at the last minute. And sometimes, we’re just plain too busy to think that far ahead.

If you’ve ever put on an event – last minute or not – you know that it is essential to get the word out among potential attendees, so that the conference halls aren’t empty on the day-of. And this can be an extra challenge when you’ve only got days – not weeks or months – to raise awareness.

Here are seven tips for using Twitter to promote your last-minute event:

1. Leverage your partner network

Remember all of those retweets, shares and favors you did for friendly businesses and organizations? Now is the time to cash those favors in.

You probably have a list (even if it’s just in your head) of the organizations that you tweet to regularly. And better yet, another list of your partners, vendors and other friendlies – whether you’ve engaged with the on Twitter or not.

Ask these organizations to share your event on their Twitter account. Most will happily support you, but they won’t know what to tweet unless you give them great guidance. Don’t forget to include the date, start time, location and relevant hashtags or promotions when asking them to help you promote your event.

2. Reach out to influencers

Just like partners and friendly organizations, influencers in your space can help you reach a wide, targeted audience for your event.

Influencers are the individuals who have a lot of sway with your target audience. You might not know them directly, but it doesn’t hurt to ask if they will help spread the word.

Tip for reaching out to influencers: If you don’t already have a relationship with them (and even if you do), it’s a good idea to make sharing your event as easy as possible. Send them an email with several pre-written tweets, so they can copy+paste if they choose.

3. Don’t dilute your hashtag

Hashtags are the absolute best way of organizing the conversations that happen before, during and after your event on Twitter, so pay attention when creating yours. It can be tempting to develop hashtags for promotion, hashtags for event discussion, even hashtags for individual panels… but this will dilute the conversation. Keep it simple, and stick with one.

4. Offer incentives

OK, it’s a last-minute event. People might already have plans. So how do you get them to commit? Offer incentives! You can tweet about door prizes, raffles, and other great stuff that attendees could win if they show up. Or, create special Twitter-only deals (like 20% off at a local restaurant for lunch) to encourage them to share and attend.

5. Stick with a single message

There are probably lots of reasons why your event is going to be great. Awesome keynote speaker? Great networking opportunities? Cool vendors? Since you’re working with limited time, you should choose just one feature to really hammer home on Twitter.

Tweeting too many “benefits” at once will confuse your audience and dilute your message. You’ll get better reception if you highlight a single feature, and mention the others more subtly or less often.

6. Share lots of images

Twitter is a visual network. Tweets with images appear larger in people’s timelines, and see more engagement across the board. So by including images in your event promotion tweets, you’ll stand a better chance of being seen and engaged with.

There are plenty of images you can include. Have you hosted a past event? Real-world photos of the crowd, vendors and speakers would be great. If not, no problem. You can create custom graphics using a service like Snappa, or use stock photography.

7. Create a sense of urgency

Last but not least, make sure your audience knows that time is running out for them to get their ticket to your event! This sense of urgency is very real for you, as you are promoting last minute, but make sure you tweet about the urgency as it relates to your audience. What will they miss out on if they don’t attend?

You can do a countdown to the day of the event, tweeting one feature or promotional point each day. Or, offer last-minute deals on accommodations, restaurants or local attractions. Anything that builds urgency will work.

Have you promoted an event last-minute using Twitter? What worked for you? Share in the comments below!

Photo credit: Media Evolution via Visual Hunt / CC BY-SA

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The Paradigm Shift of the Acquisition Model: The Best Customers Are the Ones That Last a Lifetime

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Author: Matt Zilli

Companies spend the majority of their marketing budgets on customer acquisition, but once acquired, those hard-won customers tend to languish. Marketers invest their hard work and precious dollars in pay-per-click ads, online promotions, and electronic coupons in an effort to get customers to make that first purchase, but once those customers are in the door, they’re left largely to their own devices. And this is particularly prevalent with companies marketing exclusively to consumers.

Yet, nurturing customer relationships is a crucial element of marketing, and budgets need to start accounting for this. One of the biggest trends I see happening now is that companies are finally starting to emphasize this over acquiring new customers. Now marketers are turning their attention to investing in the customer lifetime value (CLV): acquiring new buyers, growing their lifetime value, and converting them into advocates. And thanks to advances in technology, marketers can listen and respond to customers at every stage of their journey, keeping them engaged and helping accelerate them toward purchase decisions.

A Strategic Shift Is in the Air

Companies pour money into attracting new customers with creative campaigns. But up until now, for a lot of companies, the ensuing retention marketing strategy has largely consisted of a lazy combination of phoned-in loyalty programs and generic discounts (10% off for signing up for your daily newsletter? No thanks). Even automated emails have traditionally been one-size-fits-all.

Quite frankly, a lot of this has had to do with the lack of good tools. But as better customer nurturing technology has hit the marketplace with advancements in marketing automation, it’s driving a more intense focus on engagement marketing strategy. In the great nurturing versus acquisition debate, it’s largely about metrics. Today, marketers can finally justify their investments in nurture campaigns because we can measure and track the results of these efforts precisely. That allows marketers to shift focus from just the first click to the entire relationship lifecycle.

Email Is Your Best Retention Ally

One of the biggest drivers of this new focus on the value of the entire customer lifecycle is the introduction of more sophisticated email marketing tools over the last few years. Why the fixation on email marketing? Because it works. When it comes to building relationships with customers over time, email marketing trumps social media: 91% of US consumers use email every day. Furthermore, email has been proven to prompt purchases three times more often than social media—and the average order value is about 17% higher, according to McKinsey.

Email is the perfect medium for retaining customers and nurturing relationships—if (and it’s a big if) done right. With the right tools, email marketing allows you to create custom content series, respond in real-time to customer behavior, and offer each individual customer deals and information about products and services he is looking for at that moment. While other digital marketing mediums can do these things too, email remains the singular medium for marketers to reach consumers when it’s most convenient for the consumer.

Marketers may argue that mobile trumps email these days, but we found in a recent survey that 30% of people disable all mobile push notifications and 50% of people only allow push notifications from apps they love. So while mobile should be a core component of any customer engagement strategy, email still wins as the best place to start.

Over time, the right answer is to combine your nurturing efforts across email, mobile, the web, paid media, and social. Email works best when combined with mobile push notifications and web messages to deliver true convenience for the customer. Almost half of marketing emails are opened on a mobile device—and that number is sure to grow—so optimizing both emails and landing pages for mobile is no longer an option but rather a necessity. Consumers have no patience for poorly-performing pages. They’ll simply switch brands in a heartbeat if they can’t reach a page on their smartphone.

Happy Customers = Loyal Brand Advocates

It’s far easier (and cheaper) to sell to happy, existing customers than to find new ones. When you gain the loyalty of a current customer, you don’t just reap the rewards of continued purchases from that person; you also get his vocal advocacy as he endorses your brand to his peers and social networks. Every “Like” you get on Facebook is potentially viewed by that person’s entire social network, acting as a digital stamp of approval.

The takeaway: it’s not acquisition versus engagement. It’s acquisition as a first step to better engagement. Shift your mindset away from having to choose between these two paradigms, and instead start focusing on the big picture, and you can have it all.

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The Paradigm Shift of the Acquisition Model: The Best Customers Are the Ones That Last a Lifetime was posted at Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership. | http://blog.marketo.com

The post The Paradigm Shift of the Acquisition Model: The Best Customers Are the Ones That Last a Lifetime appeared first on Marketo Marketing Blog – Best Practices and Thought Leadership.


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