I’m not a social media consultant, nor someone who’s ever run social media for an event such as an award ceremony. However I’m a heavy Twitter user and I’ve seen a ton of award ceremonies – new or old, big or small, hardly known or well-established – making what I’d consider to be major mistakes when tweeting about their award ceremony during the event itself.
Trying to run social media while running an event can be tricky, I get that (I know from my own experiences)… Unless of course you have someone else in the role doing it, or you make sure to dedicate some time during the night to doing the necessary tasks yourself. Whatever the case, here’s my tips on how award ceremony events can make a huge (yet simple) difference on the tweeting front…
1) Make the Twitter handle & hashtag (really) obvious on the night
This is the head-slappingly simple one which makes me want to cry when award ceremonies don’t get it right. Either they won’t actively promote their hashtag (missed opportunity!) or there’ll be confusion as to what the hashtag actually is, resulting in either a mix of hashtags being used (some of which will be incorrect) or potential tweeters abstaining from using a hashtag – or tweeting altogether.
Put your Twitter handle and hashtag everywhere. And I mean everywhere. Put it on the website; put it in Twitter profile bio; put it on the promotional literature that goes on the tables such as the ceremony booklet/list of nominees; put it on the banners and signage; put it on the big screens; put it everywhere. And if you put it on the screens, don’t just show it briefly – make sure that it’s visible at all times, whether it’s a slide deck, a series of videos or a mix of media. It’s bound to result in a higher take-up of hashtag/handle usage when people tweet their experience, whether it’s about the people they’re with, the food & drink, or who the winners are.
Speaking of tweeting about the winners…
2) Make sure you tweet the winners (i.e. don’t rely on others to do it)
I’ve seen this happen more than once, and it’s weird: when the official Twitter handle of the award ceremony only RTs other people tweeting about the event (such as the attendees) but doesn’t actually tweet anything itself. It’s bizarre. It also means that they don’t tweet the winners as they’re announced. Perhaps they’re too busy, and/or perhaps they’re simply relying on the attendees doing it for them – after all, there’s usually at least one person who’ll go to the effort of tweeting the names of the winners of every category. But what if that doesn’t happen? I was at an award ceremony a while back where people – neither the attendees nor the organisers themselves – were tweeting the winners, resulting in people tweeting saying “…So who won the [x] category?” – especially those who couldn’t attend, like myself. It was a complete mess.
So take the time and effort to tweet each winner as-and-when they’re announced, complete with their Twitter handle, maybe a photo of them grabbing the award, and – of course – the hashtag. Be the official spokesperson for yourself, as it is meant to be.