Encouraging attendee activity on social media is typically is a measure of an event’s success, but it can be difficult to ensure guests log on and post.
Content Marketing World 2016 exemplifies how to encourage Twitter activity from guests, speakers and influencers.
In four days, its official hashtag — #CMWorld — reached more than 45 million unique users on Twitter:
The stats throughout this post are from this Keyhole hashtag and keyword tracker.
Here’s an explanation of how the event became popular on Twitter, which you can use to market your next meetup:
#CMWorld Had Informative Presentations Beyond Its Keynote Speaker
Whereas many events rely on keynote speakers to deliver tweetable quotes and bits of information, #CMWorld gave guests lots to post about.
Although tweets about Mark Hamill — the main attraction and Star Wars star — appeared on the feeds of almost 632,000 users, they accounted for less than 1.4% of total event hashtag reach.
To give another perspective, fewer than 165 users tweeted “Hamill” during the event. That compares to more than 9,400 people who tweeted using #CMWorld. There was a clear spike in activity during his keynote — seeing more than 90 posts at 4 p.m. EST on Sept. 8 — but few tweets before and after the fact.
This is largely because Content Marketing World 2016 offered tweet-worthy material on top of its keynote.
There were 225 speakers in total. These included content heads from well-known companies such as Lego, Visa, Google and LinkedIn. Previews, quotes and recaps of their presentations mostly made up the remaining reach of more than 44 million.
The lesson? Your keynote must be informative and entertaining, but so do the speakers and attractions leading up to it.
It Harnessed Influencers
Activity from marketing influencers helped #CMWorld rack up almost 350 million impressions, reaching millions of unique users in the process.
The influencers who tweeted using the hashtag have thousands of followers, and some are close to the million mark. The average Twitter user, on the other hand, has fewer than 210 followers.
Leaving out @CMIContent, here are the top five influencers in terms of total impressions generated in the week of the event:
These influencers combined to earn almost 39 million impressions.
But many users built high impression counts due to the number of tweets they sent. Impressions per post (IPP) takes this into consideration. This metric averages the number of impressions a user generates, showing how many a single post earns.
Based on IPP, here are the top five #CMWorld posters:
Whereas noteworthy social figures may pay to attend quintessential industry events such as Content Marketing World, event and digital marketers running smaller gatherings may have to:
- Give keynote or speaking opportunities
- Offer financial incentives
- Provide other promotional opportunities
Whether you value IPP or total impressions, both will rise as thought-leaders tweet with your hashtag.
@CMIContent Was Its Own Influencer
The Content Marketing Institute demonstrated a way to boost reach and impressions without the help of influencers, or even other accounts. @CMIContent created the most exposure for its event hashtag by frequently tweeting.
Backed by 538 tweets throughout the week of the event, the account earned more than 97 million impressions for #CMWorld. That’s more than twice the number of impressions generated by the combined efforts of the top five influencers.
So, how did the institute’s social strategists post during the event? They:
- Live-tweeted presentations. In terms of engagement, @CMIContent’s most popular tweets are quotes from speakers.
- Gave frequent updates. Before the event started, @CMIContent tweeted about progress setting up. When Sept. 6 hit, the social strategists frequently informed guests about when presentations were beginning.
As well as tweeting like @CMIContent, you can post about your event by:
- Running contests for attendees
- Sharing tips related to the event’s theme and purpose
- Retweeting relevant, informative posts using your hashtag
These tweet ideas will help you reach more users without the help of influencers. But who knows? A few thought-leaders may wind up retweeting you anyway.
#CMWorld Discouraged One-and-Done Tweeting
Since the general purpose of a hashtag is to drive and categorize conversations, tweeting once and ignoring other users can limit its effectiveness.
Doing so draws attention to neither the trend nor discussions around it. So, many events that are social media smashes — such as #SMMW16 — encourage users to repeatedly tweet with the hashtag.
#CMWorld is also an example of this.
The hashtag saw 41,650 posts from 9,429 users. This means the average user posted around 4.4 times. Specifically, 54.7% were original posts, whereas 40.1% were retweets and 5.3% were replies.
How did #CMWorld encourage users to post? And how can you do the same? Try to:
- Sell virtual or live-streaming tickets. Broadcasting your event online allows users to participate from their computers, giving them convenient access to their social media channels. Depending on your desires and capabilities, you can stream certain parts or the entire event.
- Feature speakers with large social followings. In terms of shares, Hamill led the way with 88 retweets per post.
- Advertise your hashtag beyond Twitter. Put it on posters, and in videos and blog posts. When applicable, you should also include it in other forms of digital and physical content. This should help drive people to Twitter, instead of just appealing to people already logged onto the network.
Discourage one-and-done tweeting using similar approaches, and your next event should see a rise in hashtag reach.
Content marketing’s main event, #CMWorld reached more than 45 million Twitter users in four days by:
- Featuring hundreds of speakers leading up to the keynote, giving users lots of material to post about
- Getting influencers to participate, using their large followings to increase awareness
- Acting as an influencer through @CMIContent, posting more than 500 unique tweets throughout the week of the event
- Encouraging guests to tweet more than once, interacting with each other
Events differ based on their goals and audiences, but marketers and organizers can study Content Marketing World 2016 to learn about encouraging guests to participate on social media.
Getting your hashtag to appear on 45 million unique timelines may seem out of reach. But as #CMWorld shows, it may be more realistic than you think.
The Marketing Thought-Leader
- Lee Odden, TopRank Marketing Founder
The Social Media Professor
- Aurora Meyer, University of Missouri Adjunct Professor
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