A few days ago, I wrote a piece to readers on How to Attend a Twitter Party.  But there are two sides to a Twitter party.  Those who attend and those who are the companies and brands that are sponsoring the party.  I field questions all the time from companies on Twitter Parties so I thought I would answer some to help everyone understand better the other side of a Twitter party.

What is a Twitter Party?

A Twitter party is – generally – a one hour discussion on Twitter about a product or brand.  The conversation is kept going with relevant questions that aim at the products benefits, what it does, who is affects and so on.  The best parties have creative questions that go from the most general at first “Where do you buy your groceries?” to more specific at the end, “Have you seen Lori’s Pasta on your supermarket shelves?”. Prizes are generally awarded to attendees as a Thank You for attending and joining in.  The larger the prizes (generally gift cards) the more interest in the party.

How Can a Twitter Party Help My Brand or Product?

Basically, think of a Twitter party as an online Infomercial.  Twitter parties are a fast and easy way to get your name or products in front of – potentially – millions of people.  It is a centralized location where people come solely to discuss your brand or product or a topic that will remind them of your brand.  Now, an hour may not seem like a long time but I have hosted and co- hosted parties where the impressions (the possible reach of the Tweet stream) has been delivered to 15M people or more.  That means that that many people could have possibly viewed the hashtag and discussion that is associated with the party and thus your brand.

I Still Don’t Understand, How Can a Twitter Party Help My Brand Again?

A Twitter Party can help your brand in a few ways.  First, if run and promoted right, it can get the discussion about your brand going before the party even starts.  Most hosts will post a blurb about who and what they are focusing on with the party on their blog and then use their social media reach to promote the party for a week or more ahead of time.  Most hosts are aiming to get the information in front of the most people possible so that they can get a good number of RSVP’s and thus show the people who hired them how well they can promote.  Hosts are motivated by the fees they charge to run a party so their incentive to help you is directly related to what they will earn!

Secondly, Twitter parties are aimed at informing people about all of the benefits of what you are offering.  It is a great place to answer questions and concerns about your brand or product, defuse misinformation about your brand and even educate people about what and how your brand can help them in a way they never though of before. As with any marketing vehicle, the goal of the party is to generate sales – either right then or for a while after. The only way to generate sales is to let people know what you offer. Twitter parties can do that quickly.

How Do I Track a Twitter Party?

If you are putting money up and banking on some serious social media presence through your Twitter Party then you are going to want to know how well it did.  There are several barometers that you can ask a host or co-host to measure before the party and during the hour.  RSVP’s to the host’s post about the party is a good way to determine the pre-party hype.  Most of the RSVP responses also generate Retweets about the upcoming party thus exposing the information to more people.  The number of RSVP’s is directly related to how many people know and are interested in what you have to offer.  Attendees know they have to be on the list and participating in the party to win the prizes.  So the more RSVP’s, the better chance you may have a successful party.  Generally, 100 or more people who RSVP is a great number.

During the party the Host can track and report the Reach (the number of unique Twitter users that your search term – or hashtag – is delivered to) and Impressions. Impressions are the number of times tweets are actually delivered to Twitter streams.  Programs like TweetReach can measure these stats and provide you with a good idea of how many people could have potentially been affected by the party.

After the party,  brands and companies can also benefit from qualitative research by reviewing all of the Twitter party conversation with the Tweetreach download of all tweets.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is an easy way for attendees to track a party and participate.  It is also the search term that Host’s will use to track your Twitter party statistics.  The point of the hashtag is to provide one place for both attendees and the brand representatives to go to help spread the message.  Think of it as a meeting room in an office building.  In addition, hashtags draw attention from tweeters and can draw new people in during the party!

How Do I Pick a Host?

Obviously if you need a host for a Twitter party you can Contact Me :).   That aside, you want a host that has a passion to get your information out to their social media followers.  Look for hosts that have a number of Twitter followers (a general rule is 10,000 or more) because the more followers, the more chance your message will reach the most people.  Look for a host with a good knowledge of Twitter.  Have the hosted other parties?  Can you find Twitter party RSVP posts on their blogs?  Did you find through a tracking tool that their last parties were considered successful?

Twitter parties are a lot of work for a host so be prepared to pay for the ones who know what they are doing.  A Host can make or break a Twitter party.  Aggressive, passionate people that you can see are on Twitter talking to their followers all the time are generally pretty good choices.

How Can I Help the Twitter Party be a Success?

Simple.  Participate!  I have found that when the company or brand participates and interacts during the twitter party, they do better!  RSVP’s go up, impressions increase and the word of mouth spreads  faster!  Participants like to know that the brand cares about what they have to say!  Help by promoting the party on your Facebook and Twitter pages in the days leading up to the party.  An extra boost and a unique energy can be added just by tweeting from your company account!

I Still Have Questions.  Can I Ask You?

YES!  I am always here and try to stay as up to date as I can with my emails.  And I love to help brands and products grow their social reach.  So feel free to contact me via Facebook, Twitter @ lomargie or via my Contact Me form on top of my blog.  If I do not know the answer I can try to guide you to the right place to find out.

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