Using Twitter to market your training event
As the training market changes, increasingly more and more trainers are looking to promote their on-line and open courses events, But how do you get people to attend and how do you keep costs down?
If you are a member of TrainerBase or Training journal (TJonline), both have the ability to promote your events, however it is doubtful if either can fill a course. Some use paid for services, where a high percentage of the revenue goes to attracting participants. But how can you do this and retain the majority of the income for little cost? The real power to fill a course has traditionally been the email list – be that list self developed or a purchased list from many of the (reputable) list providers. But now times have changed. Twitter is the new key channel.
Twitter is a great way of engaging referrals from people you do not know – and we all know the power of referrals.
So “How, exactly, can I use Twitter to promote my event?”
Some approaches to twitter just will not be appropriate for all events, you approach will also vary depending on the twitter following you have currently.
One approach that is successful for many does not require you to have an established following. That is to create a twitter account specifically for an event or course for example:
This can act to attract people to the event based on specific needs. This then enables the course to have its own life and journey.
The more specific the name and the event the more success you are likely to get. Having a name like @leadershipworkshop means very little to people.
When you set your twitter account up – remember the bio and link to your dedicated event page. Also create a background for your twitter home page which provides additional information.
What to tweet? – or gain the attention of your intended audience
Well if your name is @salesingrantham not every message you send needs to say “Attend [xxxx course] in London” as what you are is in your name so you can start to be a little more creative. On twitter people appreciate value. Give value and they will follow you and re-tweet you, then if they do not attend the programme that are at least part of your marketing ‘team’!
For example a plan of you tweets could be:
- First write a list of 4 key words that people would search for if looking for the event
- Write a series of top 20 tips relevant to the topic
- Find 10 quotes relevant to the course content
- Have a page on a website which clearly says what the course is, who for, where, when and how much – AND a way of booking
Then run all of these as tweets, using the keywords as # (hash) tags – different tags on different posts.
Give information, useful stuff, if all you do is say “come sign-up to my event” you will disengage more people than you engage. Sure you can announce the event, IF you are going to do that, have one promotion every 15-20 posts or so – content first! Otherwise people will treat it as spam and not read what you have to say.
Next build your twitter following
Start sending the messages developed above – and retweet using your own account – remember to add the “please RT” at the end to encourage people to send your message to their followers.
As your name is the event name, each time you follow people, that name alone is a promotion of the event – if they are interested they will look you up. Its like sending each person a targeted email!
Next using the twitter search facility http://search.twitter.com find others that are interested in your keywords – follow them. Engage with people that have similar interests – talk is good. DON’T DIRECTLY PROMOTE YOUR EVENT TO THEM – let you name do that for you.
For example, if your event is about gaining sales, you could find other people who are Twittering on the subject of sales, gain their attention, and by engaging with them via direct responses and getting them to follow you, you also gain the attention of all the people following them. It works.
If you subscribe to tools like hootsuit, tweetspinner or socialoomph, you can use there follower building tools too, again use your keywords.
You need to gain momentum, so make sure that this twitter account is linked to your LinkedIn profile – so that others in your network see. If you can encourage people to tweet about that fact that they are attending (or in the case of on-line events participating) this also build momentum
Twitter is a great way to aggregate the attention of like-minded individuals. This lends itself well to cultivating an audience towards which you can promote your events over time.
Twitter and other ‘update’ or micro-blogging services is more effective than e-mail, timely Twittering can keep your audience connected to your messages. In the persona of your next event, post links, share resources and call attention to any of the ideas you consider important. Then, when you’re ready to promote your next event, you’ll have a ready audience of potential attendees right at your fingertips.
TOP TIP – offer people that retweet you a discount to attend the event! say 5% for one RT, 10% for 10 RTs….
TOP TIP – keep the account live after the first event – use the momentum to deliver maore particimants to future events
For more information on using Twitter see our other Twitter marketing posts