The Foolproof Guide To Trending On Twitter

Seeing your brand as a trending hashtag on a social network that has 200 million active users is enough to make any marketer smile. And while the latest information from Twitter will tell you that a promoted trend will cost around $200,000 a day, many brands have turned to consumer power to boost their brand’s exposure. Enter the world of Twitter parties.

Twitter parties are typically hour-long conversations on Twitter, managed by brands and guided by hashtags. The parties allow consumers to engage with brands and when done well, can generate thousands of tweets and millions of impressions. Twitter parties present tremendous opportunities to amplify the conversation around brands. So what’s the catch?

To wit: over 400 million tweets are sent per day on Twitter. Success is not guaranteed, especially when a party is scheduled to kick off just as big news is breaking. And the Twitterverse is turning its attention to #miley Your party could be in danger of being the one where no one shows up.



It can be done. One brand trended on Twitter the day the new pope was announced. Another managed to bubble to the top when the baby born to William and Kate was named. Here’s how: 

Gather your community -- all of them! The most important element is the people who attend. Invite your brand’s community through your Web site, email blasts, Facebook posts, tweets and all other appropriate promotional channels. Consider leveraging established third-party communities, and participate as a sponsor. Let your fans know what’s being discussed, and plan to give away party prizes. The best ones are full-size products, premium items and gift cards. You can also invite experts or celebrity “co-hosts” to attract attendance and an active audience.

Use RSVP to spread the word. Ask party guests to tweet their intention to attend and include details for how their followers can attend too. To incentivize your base, offer a small prize to one person who RSVPs.

Schedule well. Consider your audience: if your target is moms, don’t schedule the party during the school run. If your party relates to a specific event, schedule it just before or during the event for maximum exposure.

Keep the conversation interesting.  Successful Twitter parties move fast and flow well from start to finish. Guide the party by having party questions that are fun, open-ended and inclusive. The more thought you put into your questions, the more quality tweets you will see during the party. 

Avoid focusing too much on your brand rather than on party guests. Who likes the person at a party who is all me me me? Ask attendees about their lives, habits, opinions and passions. As some brand teams have said, it's like "a nationwide focus group at your fingertips!"

Brand talk. Sprinkle the party with product facts, cool branded content and offers such as coupons and free samples. And if you’re sponsoring a Twitter party, don’t let your brand's Twitter account remain silent. Get your brand involved and engage through your distinct brand voice.

Hashtag smart. A good hashtag will likely catch the eye of Twitter users who would not have otherwise known about your party. Once your topic trends, you’ll have people joining in who weren’t invited (Twitter party crashers, yay!) Brands may even see others brands chiming in, significantly amplifying reach. 

Moreover, creating a compelling topic may entice some heavy-hitting “party crashers." Well-known brands have been known to join parties that are not their own, spreading your hashtag to their millions of followers, significantly amplifying reach. 

Between November 2010 and May 2013, the percentage of Twitter users more than doubled for every adult age group. It’s safe to bet that the use of Twitter will continue to increase. By mobilizing the right consumers and engaging them in a relevant way, you can not only create thousands of posts centered on your brand, but also rise to the top of the conversation pile. 

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