Twitter Chats can be scary for companies that have some angst around social media.
What if a “hater” shows up and trashes your brand? What if NOBODY shows up, or even worse, if people show up but there’s no engagement?
We’ve have gotten pretty good attendance and pretty good engagement (sharing) from the dozen or so chats we’ve run over the past year. We’ve created guardrails to make our risk and compliance teams more comfortable with this tactic. We’ve attracted influencers as both panelists and participants. But we knew we could do better.
We decided to hold a “live” chat at the recent Money2020 payments conference, with a panel and audience over breakfast and (hopefully) an audience elsewhere. But this was going to be in Las Vegas at 7:30 am on Day Four of a conference that had a big party on Night Three. That’s asking for trouble. An execution strategy involving a couple of promotional tweets and an e-mail invite to the conference attendees might not get it done.
So we turned to Eventbrite, a leading online ticketing service that allows users to create, promote, and manage events online, to test ways to lock down attendees early on.
- There was no cost to set up our invitation.
- We could create a customized event page that allowed users to register for in-person or online event attendance and find out more information about the event (including featured panelists) and the questions we planned to ask.
- We shared our Eventbrite link through bank-owned channels, as did the conference and individual panelists, driving additional attendance
- Calendar integration allowed users to add the event to their Outlook, Yahoo, Google, or iCal calendars.
- Social integration allowed attendees to share their attendance on Facebook and Twitter.
We received nearly 200 RSVPs, which raised the comfort level of some of our more skeptical senior leaders. Interestingly, we ended up with just about the same number of RSVPs as we had participants…and we now have a pretty good list of interested people to whom we can promote our next Mobile chat, regardless of whether they actually attended.
Going forward, we have the opportunity to try some other things.
- Start promotion earlier, thanks to the calendaring feature, and perhaps send updates prior to the event.
- Identify influencers for promotion of or involvement in future events — and perhaps develop stronger influencer relationships by hosting influencer-specific events on private event pages..
- Build lists for specific topics, testing different things to ask for (e.g., Twitter handles, e-mail addresses).
- Send out post-event surveys for attendees to provide feedback.
- Reinforce the content by sending out a post-event chat transcript.
- Determine what types of events drive the most engagement.
- Get input on potential questions.
Twitter Chats are not always a big part of the social-media toolbox. Eventbrite may be a way to make execution and promotion a lot easier and more efficient…and drive greater engagement.