Using Influencer Targeting to Grow Attendance and Sponsor Revenue

Attendees and Twitter users exhibit similar behaviors. In fact, Twitter mirrors virtually the way that business professionals act and connect in the real world. Because of this similarity, it’s possible for businesses to use the connections, (the social graph) that people develop on Twitter, to identify prospects. Savvy event organizers are using Twitter to mine for attendee prospects and provide exhibitors and sponsors with access to potential customers they are otherwise unable to target.     

Attendees and twitter users are a lot alike.

People attend conferences and trade shows to network with others they already know, meet professionals with whom they share common interests, and hear from speakers on topics that interest them. Likewise, Twitter users follow people they already know (in real life), individuals with whom they share common interests, and thought leaders they find relevant. Influencer targeting is an effective way to take advantage of the similarities. 

So-called Twitter influencers aren’t always celebrities like Richard Branson or Seth Godin. In niche industries, influencers can be anyone—from a lone blogger to a company CEO—who has opinions and perspectives that attract attention. Any person or any brand that manages to amass a following and supports the event is an excellent candidate for an influencer targeting campaign.

Here’s how influencer targeting works in the context of an event:

The organizer identifies the influencers who exist within their own community—speakers, attendees, even exhibitors (especially sales staff) and sponsors—that have large numbers of followers on Twitter. Patterns often emerge. For example, several speakers may share followers. When that happens, those followers are deemed to be even more likely to be interested in attending an event where the speakers are presenting. 

The organizer develops a Twitter advertising campaign that targets—shows a specific promoted tweet and/or visual—to the followers of influencers. The tweets can be designed to prompt the recipient into getting more information on the event and/or simply registering to attend.  Obviously, using the promoted tweet to leverage the relationship the influencer has with both the event and the recipient is an effective messaging strategy.   

There are other advantages to targeting Twitter influencers:

Online influencers emerge as such for a reason. Often they are authors, bloggers, educators, or subject matter experts, which means they are also good candidates for speaking at or endorsing an event. In addition, it’s simply a good idea for event organizers to know who are the tastemakers and thought leaders within their communities of interest, since they can influence opinion and product purchases.

Influencer targeting allows event organizers to offer promotional packages that include advertising to specific Twitter users. With visibility into Twitter social graphs, organizers can identify influencers and execute Twitter advertising campaigns of behalf of exhibitors and sponsors. The offering yields either a revenue stream or an offset to the costs of delivering the service and purchasing the ads.

Twitter influencer targeting is simply one component of an event organizer’s comprehensive social media marketing program that can include social registration, content marketing, paid social media advertising, and other tactics. Gleanin’s Twitter Influencer program is an easy and low-cost way for event organizers to harness the power of social media to increase attendee registration and activate new revenue streams.

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