For Living Well in Later Life and Living Well with Frailty (25th and 26th October 2015) we were keen to have a strong presence and engagement on social media, and we were aware that in order to build momentum, we were going to have start this work well in advance.
Twitter is an invaluable tool for communicating with a broad range of audiences. However, there is a problem with information overload: it is a constant stream of real-time information and people don’t necessarily check every tweet on their timelines. As people are faced with a constant flow of tweets, it’s vitally important to ensure that your posts are engaging, and that you post at different times of the day to capture different audiences: it isn’t enough to post something once and hope that people will see it.
The beginnings of a plan
We knew that we would have to tweet our messages multiple times to capture as large an audience as possible. However, we also knew that it wouldn’t be enough to simply keep reposting the same tweet again and again.
This was the beginning of our Twitter plan. We looked at social media plans for previous events as a model for our activities and the key messages from our event communications plan that we wanted to get across on social media and started putting together a strategy to set out what we were going to tweet and when we were going to tweet it.
We gave careful thought to the different reasons why people would want to attend our events and incorporated different hooks, such as questions, in our tweets to attract attention and start building hype around the events. We also included pictures and relevant hashtags wherever possible to increase the visibility of our tweets and encourage retweets.
Scheduling was very important: we wanted to ensure that we were tweeting when our followers were most likely to see our posts, so we used Tweriod to find out when the majority of our followers were online and planned our activity accordingly.
A particular challenge was that we were promoting two linked events at the same time, and needed to ensure that we were promoting both equally. We addressed this by promoting each event on alternate days, starting two weeks before the events.
It is useful to be able to tap into people’s personal networks, so in the two working days prior to the event we planned tweets to promote the plenary sessions and workshops from each event which incorporated speakers’ Twitter handles to encourage them to retweet these posts to their own networks.