It’s My Party & I’ll Tweet if I Want to!
2013 certainly was the year of the Twitter Party at Social Media Link’s advocacy activation platform, Smiley360. Smiley hosted more than 30 Twitter parties and will easily surpass that number in 2014. Twitter parties incorporate the same elements you expect to see when you are invited to a birthday party:
- You receive an invitation to the party with all the logistics (date, time, location, theme, hashtag)
- You are asked to RSVP to the party so you can let all of your friends know you are going and see if they want to join
- There are prizes/giveaways during the party
- There is a party host
There are a few elements different from a real party, but you get the idea. At Smiley360 we define a twitter party as:
A Twitter party is a moderated chat based on a specific brand or product using approved questions. It occurs on a set date & time and is not reoccurring. The party is hosted by either the brand or the Smiley360 team. In order to join the party, participants use an approved hashtag(#)with their tweets. This hashtag(#) is provided before the Twitter party occurs. External tools like Twubs or the Tweetchat can be used to follow the hashtag during the party, or participants can also use twitter.com or the Twitter mobile app. Throughout the party, prizes will be awarded. Prizes can be in forms of full-sized products, branded merchandise, premium items, gift cards, etc.
I Always Throw the Best Parties!
So what does it take to make your party stand out from the rest?
- Theme: Every party needs a theme. When coming up with one for your Twitter party, consider if the time of year lends itself to your brand (spring cleaning, holidays, back to school, cold/flu season etc.) or if there is a specific event around your customer’s lifestyle. This is a terrific way to generate great content around a relevant theme.
- Questions: Your questions should not be about specific products, but rather questions should be based around the theme you have set and it should tie back to the lifestyle of your brand’s target customer. Make the questions fun for the participants; if they are enjoying themselves they will become an advocate of your brand.
- #Hashtag: This is one of the most important pieces for your Twitter party. Be mindful when selecting a hashtag and always ask yourself this question: “If this hashtag became a trending topic, would it be the best representation of my brand?” If your answer is no, you may want to reconsider your hashtag. Additionally, it’s always best to get your brand in the hashtag as your brand name could be plastered to millions of twitter users in the trending section.
- Day & Time: This may not sound like a big deal but it is. Make sure to schedule the Twitter party based on when it best captivates your target audience, bearing in mind different time zones as well. If you’re trying to invite moms with kids, it’s probably not a good idea to have a 3pm EST Twitter party on a Wednesday. Early afternoon and evening hours work best and Tuesday-Thursday is primetime for days.
What’s all the Trending About?
We have all been in this situation before: We log into Twitter and look at the trending topics and we do a double take when we see #TheNextBestThing. We say to ourselves, why the heck is that trending?!?! On November 24, 2013, that was the promoted trend of the day, which was sponsored by Samsung. We all have that sense of curiosity as to why certain topics trend and that is a benefit to all brands.
Twitter launched their promoted trends in 2010 and charged brands $80,000 a day to appear in the #1 spot in the promoted trends. Earlier this year Twitter raised their Promoted Trend price to $200,000 a day; a 150% increase since its rollout in 2010. Clearly Twitter sees a value in a trending topic. Your brand can benefit from this during a Twitter party. If your party is popular enough, you cannot only trend (without paying $200,000!), but you are able to capture the attention of anyone on Twitter and attract their curiosity. Wouldn’t you rather earn your trend status from a fun Twitter party instead of buying the #1 spot for $200K and walking away? We think so! Out of the 27 Twitter parties Smiley360 has executed in 2013, 24 Twitter party’s trended nationally (four of those held the #1 trend spot) and seven have trended worldwide. We have trended with the new Pope, NFL, NBA, Miley Cyrus and many other popular topics at that time and we can’t wait to see what brand we are going to trend with next!