Twitter Tip TuesdayTwitter Tip Tuesday is a weekly blog series from Sprout Social Insights.

Every Tuesday we’ll focus on just one (1) Twitter Tip and show you how to integrate it into your social media strategy.

Today’s Twitter Tuesday Tip: Host A Tweetup

Last Tuesday, we talked about how following local people is a great way to build a social media community – exposing your brand to wider and wider audiences by leveraging the networks of local, social media influencers.

This week, we take the idea of community building one step further with the concept of the Tweetup and how it can draw a group of potential customers and enthusiastic advocates right to your place of business.

What’s a Tweetup?

tweetupA Tweetup is an offline, ‘real world’ social gathering made up of people who previously only knew each other online. The word itself, comes from a ‘twitterized’ version of the word ‘meetup’.

Indeed, the whole idea of a Tweetup is for people to get to know each other better by coming together and meeting face to face.

Isn’t a Tweetup Just Another Networking Event?


What makes a Tweetup unique is that the people who attend are, by definition, very active on social media. Each person who attends a Tweetup has their own network of connections, communities and influencers who they actively spend time communicating with.

What his means is that unlike your typical chamber of commerce social or even an open house, the people who attend your Tweetup are eager to spread your message to their communities (that’s how social media works, remember!).

All you need to do is give them the memorable experience worth sharing and your brand message will expand beyond its own borders in no time.

Hosting a Tweetup in 3 Easy Steps

Step 1 – Pick a Venue

This step is easy – host the Tweetup at your place of business.

Don’t be deterred if your business space is small…

Almost any physical place of business can be configured to accommodate between 20-50 people (a good estimate for your first Tweetup). In fact, it’s well known in professional hosting circles that a physically crowded event is usually always perceived as a successful event, even if the crowding is simply due to a physical limitation of space.

Skip the music. Social media people want to talk!

And of course, you’ll need some room for food and beverages.

And that brings us to:

Step 2 – Line up Food and Drink

If you are a food service business, again, this should be a no brainer. Use your own food or food suppliers.

food and drinkIf you are not a food service business, use your local connections to reach out to local businesses who may be willing to act as food sponsors for your event. Be creative! Look to your favorite restaurants to provide appetizers but don’t stop there. Local sweets shops may be willing to provide some treats, or perhaps your local coffee shop would like to get on board by providing some complimentary coffee and donuts.

This is not as far fetched as it might first seem.

Many businesses are willing to provide some free product in exchange for targeted advertising. Remember to position your event as a local promotion featuring guests who take it as a matter of pride to tell the world about the things they’re doing, the food they’re eating, etc.

Consider this: Let’s say 30 people attend your event and each of those people has just 100 followers (active social media folks will actually tend to have much higher followers than that). If each of your attendees Tweets about your sponsors just once, that’s at least 3000 impressions for their brand.

Any business (including your food sponsors) should be happy with these numbers – particularly if they rival what the local newspaper or radio station can offer for a similar number of impressions…

And that brings us to:

Step 3 – Promote Your Tweetup

The first thing you’ll need to do is create your event on Tweetvite.

Tweetvite is a free online RSVP application, specifically designed to set up, invite and publicize your Tweetup.

The benefits of using Tweetvite to organize and promote your event are:

  • Messages, replies, comments and RSVPs can be sent directly to Twitter
  • Event host and other attendees can see exactly who is coming
  • Track how many people have viewed your invitation
  • Highlight special information, like sponsors
  • Provides a time, contact info and map to your location
  • Attendees can easily interact and follow each other

See an actual Tweetvite for upcoming Tweetup here: 4th Nanaimo Tweetup*
(*Tweetvite has been marked up to highlight benefits mentioned above).

Next, use Tweetvite’s sharing buttons to share your invitation on Twitter. Copy the resulting tweet and Retweet it as many times as you are comfortable with.

Send the Tweet to other attendees and ask them to tweet it out to their followers as well.

Finally, use your imagination to promote your event. For example, Tweetups are by nature a community building event. If this is the first Tweetup in your area, give the local media a call – they just might be interested in sending a reporter or a camera to capture the event!

HINT: People tend to appreciate free stuff at any kind of get together.

Increase your attendance exponentially by getting other local businesses to sponsor prizes for your event. Use the same positioning to these businesses as you did with the food sponsors – ie: a small donation of product or services in return for targeted, free local advertising.

Business Benefits of Hosting a Tweetup

Here are just some of the tangible business benefits of hosting a Tweetup:

  • An opportunity to showcase your business to your local community
  • 30-50 potential new customers IN YOUR STORE
  • Attendees will talk about and promote your business to their networks
  • Exposure to new potential customers
  • Free (or next to free) publicity for your business

BONUS: Look for next week’s Twitter Tip Tuesday post where we’ll discuss how to run a Twitter contest to promote your Tweetup and keep people talking about and visiting patronizing your business long after the Tweetup is over!

Have you hosted a successful Tweetup? Got another Twitter Tip you’d like to see in this series? Want to vie for a Guest Post in this space? Let us know by leaving a comment below. Thanks!