By now, we all know about the business case for webinars — they bring in warm, pre-qualified leads for sales opportunities. In order to capture those leads, you first need them to be aware of the fact that you’re having a webinar. Much like a tree falling in the forest with no one around (which doesn’t make a sound), a webinar being hosted on a given Wednesday with no viewers doesn’t make much of a sound either — and definitely not in terms of leads.
How can you promote your webinar, then? There are dozens of different approaches. Back in 2014, we covered some webinar promotion ideas. This post will focus specifically on Twitter, and using Twitter effectively to promote an upcoming webinar. Let’s walk through five key approaches.
Make sure to use a branded webinar hashtag
This is important for several reasons. First of all, before the webinar, it allows for discussion around the topic. You get to see who’s interested and engaged, and if you use any hashtag tracker (there are many, including our tool Social Alert), you can get more information off that.
You can also use Twitter’s advanced search coupled with a CRM (such as Hubspot) to set up custom streams around hashtags. This allows you the opportunity to invite people directly based on their interest. It will look something like this:
If you invite 10 people who have used your branded hashtag, there’s a good chance at least five will attend. If you email 10 people off your list, the number is likely to be closer to 1-2 at most. The return is greater by creating and monitoring a webinar hashtag.
Use Twitter-friendly, optimised images, which can be created on third-party sites too!
Here’s an example that we’ve used:
You can pretty easily create these optimised images in Canva or Pablo, a tool that Buffer acquired recently. In fact, the image above (with the mountains in the background) is from Pablo. The Pablo tool gives you a host of different backgrounds to choose from.
Harness the power of your presenters and make sure you are working with their strengths
Most presenters on webinars tend to have a larger social following or some degree of influence digitally. Often that’s on Twitter, but it could be on LinkedIn, Facebook, Pinterest (relative to brand), Snapchat, or another social platform; or maybe even all of them. Harness the power of your speakers and presenters. They should be sharing information about your webinar in their social streams as frequently as they feel comfortable. Make sure they have a checklist of everything to include, such as:
- Registration link
- Landing page with more information (if that’s different from the registration link)
- What will be discussed / the value
Feel free to write some tweets for the speakers and presenters. Tell them that they can edit them to sound more like themselves of course, but writing a few out will give them a baseline to operate from.
Be the “crooked finger”
Imagine someone with a crooked finger. Many in this situation try to hide their abnormality, but the author’s friend embraces it. She knows it’s different or weird, but doesn’t look at it that way; rather she sees it as original. People respond to originality, and they will with your webinar on Twitter as well. Start by defining the core elements:
- What is the value of the webinar?
- What will attendees get from it?
- When will it occur?
- Will it repeat?
Once you’ve defined the basics, think about original ways to present this on Twitter. Could you use memes? Quick videos? Old-school comic books? There are thousands of ideas if they work within the potential value of the webinar. Be original. A lot of people on Twitter do or say the same thing, or repeat others. If you stand out, people will come towards you and become leads within your webinar.
Ask for Twitter handles of all attendees (and of course participants)
We saved one of the simplest but most powerful for last. In the registration process, ask people for their Twitter handle. Create a specialised list of all the attendees who have provided a Twitter handle. Check out what they’re tweeting around, including:
- Their own content
- Outside links
When appropriate, respond to those conversations. Mention your webinar (if contextually appropriate). Ask if they have specific topics or questions they want addressed. Be present, but not overwhelmingly present, and provide value relevant to what they are already interested in and share. They will begin to see your value, and the value of your webinar, as a result.
Live Tweet during the webinar – according to 1 of 2 strategies
Many of the approaches above happen before the webinar and help you get more people to attend. Live tweeting would happen during the webinar and is a way to increase engagement. If the webinar is on an active link (meaning people can join live, without having pre-registered), then you may even attract new guests on the fly with live tweeting.
There are a few different approaches to this. You can assign someone on your team to live tweet as the webinar is going on, or you can look at the webinar script. When you look at the script, you’ll have an idea of what topics will be discussed at what point. You can then load tweets about those topics into a social automation platform, such as Buffer or HootSuite, and those will be tweeted out at the same time as the discussion is taking place.
You can also use a mixed approach with pre-populated tweets in Buffer and someone live tweeting the webinar as it unfolds.
Twitter has 313 million active users and over 1 billion unique visits monthly. Because of the way it works, retweets and likes are common and a huge “extended audience” is created around interesting topics or pieces of content. Your webinar is going to be interesting and unique. If you use the approaches above, you can reach an extremely broad audience for it including some people you didn’t even know existed, who may then become business partners or collaborators. It’s all about making sure you follow the steps properly and check the right boxes to optimise and maximize webinar promotion on Twitter. The above should be a great baseline guide.