How to use Twitter to Increase Reach and Engagement During a Webinar
For B2B companies, social media has has created new opportunities for bridging the offline-online gap for connecting and engaging with your community. For example, traditional offline communication via direct mail, billboards, telemarketing, etc. can be continued and bridged to an online engagement by leveraging technology and social networks. Examples include adding a Facebook brand page URL to a billboard find out more information about your advertisement on your Facebook page or adding a QR code to a printed whitepaper abstract to scan and download the document from your website.
For our webinars, reach a greater audience and increase engagement by using Twitter to simultaneously live-tweet the event. The Twitter community is a great forum for sharing ideas and content and engaging in conversation in real time.
Why live tweet during a Webinar?
- You reach a greater audience than just the people that attend the webinar.
- You give another option for people to engage with your webinar even when they can’t login to the event.
- The content is promoted outside your closed webinar channel by your business and your engaged audience.
- You leverage the social network of people tweeting about the webinar. Someone in their network might not have know about your webinar but the people they follow are tweeting about the content and now they are exposed to your messaging.
Tweetcasting a webinar is an opportunity for you extend the reach of your webinar content. Here are 5 tips and best practices to review before you get started.
5 tips and best practices
- Plan ahead – If you know what content the speaker will be presenting, on you’ll be able to draft your entire tweetcast ahead of time. It’s quite difficult to listen, process the key points, and write 140-character recaps – all in real time. You also don’t want to tweet everything the speaker says so an outlines allows you to highlight the most interesting points. Also be sure to send a tweet at the beginning to kick off the event so the webinar attendees and your followers will know that you will be live-tweeting a webinar.
- Create a unique hashtag – It’s easier for people to follow the webinar content on Twitter when you choose a hashtag for your event. Try and choose a short hashtag that is related to the webinar. We’ve used ones such as #BuyersJourney or #Inboundmetrics. Tag all your tweets with that tag, and you’ll create a conversation thread when someone clicks on that hashtag. It will also make it easier to create an archive of tweets after your event.
- Use rich media – Twitter allows you to include more content in a Tweet than just text. Include screenshots of the presentation or presenters ‘behind the scenes’ phots. The attendees wont have this access to this exclusive content when they login to the webinar, and if they cant attend the webinar, they can still visually follow along. You can also link to websites, reference sources or videos that your speaker mentions in their presentation.
- Engage – When you are monitoring the hashtag and see people tweeting about webinar content, asking follow up questions for the speakers, or retweeting your webinar tweets, remember to engage! This is the whole point of Tweetcasting a webinar. To be able to engage personally with your webinar audience and extended Twitter audience in real time.
- Follow up – Follow back or @reply with a ‘thank you’ tweet to people that engaged with you during the webinar. This may be an opportunity to identify key influencers and evangelists since they are actively engaging and sharing your thought leadership content. If you didn’t get to respond to all the mentions or questions during the event, search the hashtag to find ones you missed. You can also use Storify to create a webinar recap to post on your blog as a follow up and a way to extend the life of your tweets. As an example here a Twitter recap of our Top Inbound Metrics to Measure for B2B Marketers webinar.
— Optify (@optify) June 26, 2012
Concluding facts and findings
- During the Tweetcast although we saw a slightly larger unfollow rate than an average day, the net new increase of followers was 32% higher than an average day.
- @optify tweets continued to received additional engagement (clicks, faves, retweets, replies) even 5 hours after the webinar ended.
- @optify tweeted and engaged with people on Twitter about the webinar content even though they didn’t actually login to the webinar event.
- Tweets with links to websites and pictures had a 50% higher engagement rate (faves, retweets, replies) than tweets without links.
Ready to start tweeting your webinars? Have you tried other tactics or integrated other channels to create more lift from your webinar event?