What good is Twitter for promoting a brand? Sure, it increases visibility and allows for engaging with the audience. But the format is so limited. In 140 characters, what could one person possibly have to say of any importance? And the network is so vast. People follow hundreds and even thousands of accounts, many of whom post virtually nonstop all day. How can one tweet expect to be seen and paid attention to amid the tumult? How can a brand be effective and make itself stand out on Twitter?
The answer is to turn tweeting into an event that people won’t want to miss. The best way to do this is with live tweeting. Live tweeting is when a Twitter user takes something that’s going on and posts their thoughts and comments on it as it’s happening. The event could be something big and important, like a conference or an awards ceremony, wherein the tweeter posts about important announcements as they’re made, special guests in attendance, or exhibits that are making an impact. Or the event could be as simple as the tweeter sitting down on their couch at home, popping in the DVD of their favorite movie and posting funny quips and favorite quotes as they watch. Anything can be turned into a live tweeting event, as long as the user can find a way to make it engaging to their followers.
It’s easy for a brand to promote itself with a live tweeting event as well. The first thing that’s needed is something to tweet about that pertains to the brand or its field. It can be anything at all, as long as it has a specific time and definite duration. That way, tweets to tell followers about the event can inform them of exactly when they can expect it to begin and end, in order to build anticipation. Live tweets can be spontaneous, but for promotional purposes, it’s best to announce it at least a day or two in advance. Then, fans will be looking forward to the event and know when to start checking Twitter for updates. The event should last no more than a few hours.
The next step is to choose a unique hashtag with which to tag all tweets about the event. This makes it easy for followers to track the posts being made that relate to that event. It also encourages them to join in, posting their own thoughts and comments using the same hashtag. Getting fans actively involved in a live tweeting event helps to increase excitement and further the brand’s reach, while reinforcing a positive image of the brand itself. In addition, it can greatly increase visibility. Each follower who uses the hashtag is spreading the word to their followers. And if enough people use the hashtag, it can become a “trending topic,” posted in the sidebar on Twitter’s main page as something that people are currently interested in and talking about.
And finally, it’s important to have tweets that are unique and personal. Everyone has an opinion on last night’s big sporting event. Someone live tweeting the event needs to ask, what makes their opinion unique. What perspective do they have to offer on it that no one else does? What will make throngs of Twitter users so excited about hearing those opinions that they don’t want to miss it? That’s the thing that will turn an ordinary Twitter post into a powerful promotional tool.