3 step plan for using Twitter as a backchannel

As any modern event planner will tell you, Twitter has become the backbone for social media at conferences, festivals and other events. Besides simply allowing people to communicate easily, using Twitter as a backchannel allows you to create exposure for your event and organization. Effective use of this backchannel will lead to better engagement, higher retention rates and more useful connections at your event.

One of the cool things about Twitter is that conversation flows so fast, you can actually use it as a direct feedback platform as well. A great example of this is having your audience tweet their answers to questions from a presenter. Because you are using an online medium, you can extend the audience to those unable to attend your event. This will not only give you a broader response group, but also a fresh set of leads to promote your next event to. Now that you know why you should use Twitter as a backchannel, let’s have a look at how you can do this. Below you will find the three steps for using Twitter as a backchannel for your event.

3 steps to using Twitter as a backchannel at your event

  1. Create the perfect hash tag: Deciding on a hash tag for your event isn’t hard, but that doesn’t mean you can just use the first one that comes to mind. Always make sure your hash tag is unique (to create a personal backchannel), short (to leave room for content in the tweet) and clear (to ensure outsiders immediately recognize it as your tag). Once you have chosen your hash tag, display it in every medium you use for announcing your event. Don’t restrict yourself to Twitter, place your hash tag in every email, poster, facebook post and so on.
  2. Start the conversation: In most cases, people won’t just start using your hash tag on their own. Try to use your personal network to get a bit of conversation going leading up to your event. If that doesn’t do the trick, have a contest where you give away a free ticket (or some other prize) to a random tweeter using your hash tag.
  3. Display Twitter at your event: Once your audience arrives, you can really get a conversation going to generate exposure. If your event has 100 visitors with 100 followers each, an effective Twitter backchannel could give you immediate exposure to 10,000 people. The best way to motivate your audience to tweet at your event is by having a visualization of your backchannel. We built TweetBeam for this reason. Give it a try by entering a hash tag of your choice below.

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Now that you know how to effectively use Twitter as a backchannel, you will be able to engage with your audience better than ever!

Twitter on a big touch screen at an Ernst & Young event