How to Use Twitter to Market Your Event
First you will want to create a hashtag for your event. Don’t make it too long, or it will take up too much room in the tweet. So use the initials of the event like #SXSW (as used in South by Southwest). Everyone who puts that hashtag in their tweet will be able to see the others who use that as well. Before you use a hashtag, you may want to see if anyone else is using it so your Garden Expo isn’t overlapping with a Punk Rock concert hashtag. You can check your hashtag at http://hashtags.org.
If there are many using that hashtag, it will create some buzz. People will click on the hashtag to see what’s going on.
Before the event
Before the event starts, make sure the people who are coming to the event and have a twitter account know about the hashtag and start tweeting with them prior to the event. Use the hashtag.
If you have some Keynote Speakers, let them know about the hashtag so they can also promote the event and use the hashtag.
You may want to organize a pre-event “tweetchat” so that people get used to using the hashtag and “meet” each other. You can also organize a tweetchat to have people meet the speaker. You can do a Q&A or something else fun. You can use a website like www.TweetChat.com to make it easier to use the hashtag. It will automatically put the hashtag into your tweets and break out the chat for you to see. You will only see tweets that have the hashtag in them on Tweetchat.
Publicize the tweetchat through the e-mails collected at the registration. Tweet out the details of the tweetchat several times a day for the few days beforehand ie. “Join us for a tweetchat at 7 p.m. ET on Wednesday to talk about the #SMC bike race Memorial Weekend! Pls RT” (I will add the Pls RT at the end to encourage the retweeting). Then when you “host” the tweetchat, be prepared with a series of questions to ask, welcome people to the tweetchat and find out who is already registered.
At the Event
Once at the event, get people talking and using the hashtag to connect. Make sure you follow all the people who are chatting and at the event, because you may not be following them. Have signs around the event and on your opening slides to let people know what hashtag to use to tweet about the event.