What’s a very simple yet effective way to integrate the new Twitter Lists feature into your event? Here’s what you can do:
- Define your event hash tag (a “must do” for any event!)
- Create a Twitter List for your event
- If your company or event already has a Twitter ID (“brand”), connect it to that ID (e.g. twitter.com/<your-brand>/<your-event-list>)
- On your registration page, ask registrants to supply their Twitter ID
- Manually or automatically populate your Twitter List directly from registration!
As part of the Twitter API, there are methods in place to interact with Twitter Lists (look in the documentation for List Methods, List Members Methods, List Subscribers Methods). As such, you could automate this process by having your registration page utilize the Twitter List API to auto-populate your list directly from registration.
In addition, you could use the Twitter API to inform registrants which of their Twitter friends or followers are (a) also registered and (b) already a member of the Twitter List. Here are benefits of leveraging a Twitter List for you event:
Registrants promote the event on your behalf
It’s the crowdsourcing method for generating awareness – allow the participants to spread the word on their own. After all, the combined reach of your registrants is far greater than your own. By referencing your Twitter list on your registration page, users who supply their Twitter ID will likely go straight from registration completion to the Twitter list to (a) confirm that they’re now a member of the list and (b) skim through the pre-existing messages.
The concept is similar to a pre-event bulletin board or forum – the beauty of using Twitter, however, is that unlike a forum (which needs a critical mass of initial postings before it really takes off), a Twitter list is “pre-seeded” from the natural activity of the list members’ tweets. You can be sure that as users register for your event, they’ll first tweet that they “just registered” – and then, continue to tweet about the event (especially as the event date draws near). You’ll want to encourage all registrants to include your event hash tag when they tweet.
Facilitates pre-event networking among registrants
Whether physical or virtual, a key reason people attend events is the networking aspect – being able to meet, connect and interact with others, to discuss common business challenges – and to extend their social graphs. Too often, however, one arrives at an event with no idea whom else is attending. A Twitter List changes the game – you’ll not only know the identity of folks who are attending, but you’ll feel like you know them very well.
Consider friends or family members that you follow on Twitter or Facebook – do you find that you come to learn and understand them more via status updates than interacting with them day-to-day (or over the years)? It’s remarkable how social network connections can generate a more complete picture of an individual. With pre-registrants to an event, you may find that you’re really getting to know individuals, based on their intra-day status updates and industry thoughts.
This will lead to events whereby attendees will have pre-arranged meet-ups and appointments (with other attendees) in advance, making their event experience more rewarding. Perhaps someone will build an integration from Twitter List pages to LinkedIn, so that event registrants can also extend their LinkedIn connections directly from the event’s Twitter List.
Allows exhibitors to get to know registrants/attendees
This will need to be managed/handled properly, as registrants surely wouldn’t welcome unsolicited pitches from exhibitors before they’ve even attended the event – but, imagine the potential for exhibitors. You get to know the users who are attending the event. Perhaps you create booth content or special offers that are tailored to what you’ve learned about your upcoming booth visitors. Did they talk about pricing challenges in your market? Well, how about an event-exclusive price break on your product, which you announce at the event?
If users commented about technical challenges using your product, bring the right specialists into your booth so that you directly address this pre-event feedback. Lastly, exhibitors can seed some “must meet” lists based on the registrants who are tweeting within the list – build a profile of interesting users and ask your booth reps to be on alert if those individuals visit your booth.
Can you believe it? Something as simple as a Twitter List can go a long way to making everyone happy: registrants/attendees, exhibitors and … YOU.