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Magazine
June 2011

SARAH O'DONNELL: TO TWEET OR NOT TO TWEET ?



If I mentioned the word 'Twitter' to anyone six months ago, I would have been met with either blank faces or a furiously shaking head saying "why bother? It won't affect our business".

Now is a very different environment, with most either having dipped their toes (or fingers more to the point) in the medium of social networking or having read another glowing article of the benefits of such a marketing avenue. You're interested, aren't you?

The very reason why you should be part of it is in the name itself: Social networking. 

As we are in the events industry (or in my case, reporting on it), the nature of the business is to be social and of course, network your heart out. The only element, which is different, is the face-to-face element. 

For the handful of cons some might say, the application of a little effort can reap enormous awards for businesses. Take for example organising a conference networking event, where you are worried about the possible flagging attendance levels proposed. No matter how well you sell the event in the invite, most are being invited to possibly three more events, that very same night; or could be drawn to the outside nightlife instead. Attributes such as free alcohol and bowl food are therefore weighed against entertainment and business opportunities. You might win, or you could lose!

By using a medium such as Twitter, you can subtly and non-abrasively, keep the event in the back of the minds of your guests. Announce elements of the night in drips over the upcoming weeks and offer out questions that allow guests to feel they have more of a role in the running of the event. Get people talking (even better if they do it without a nudge from yourself).

I promise, this interaction will not only make the prospective guests feel like the event is something worth paying attention to but it offers the chance to drum up interest from those not even attending. 

After the night, use twitter to extend the event further with more discussion and the uploading of photos. Don't shy away from any negative feedback on this very 'public' site but show how much you are listening to your audience and see the loyalty grow.  

Hopefully I am already preaching to the converted, if not, you soon will be!