I have mixed feelings about Twitter parties. As a user (and lover) of Twitter, I hate the way they clutter up my feed. When there is just one Twitter party taking place, I can kind of tune it out, but there have been nights where there were six separate parties taking place in my feed. SIX! (And before you comment to tell me that there are tools I can use to tune out certain hashtags, yes, I am aware of this, but I am too lazy to do this. I would rather complain.)
It would be easy for me to bash on Twitter parties, as the cons are numerous. However, I have a confession to make. As a marketer, I use Twitter parties. I have recommended and sold them into clients. I have benefited from the beast that is the Twitter party. Here’s why:
Quite simply, there is no better tool out there today for cheap impressions. A one hour Twitter party can yield up to 10 million impressions, and at an average of $5,000 per party (some are actually less), this yields a CPM of $0.5. Even if a party generates only two million impressions, you are talking about a CPM of $2.50. Still not bad, especially if the content is relevant.
At a good Twitter party, the benefits are numerous:
- Lots of cheap impressions with your brand name attached via hashtag
- A big bang in a short period of time
- Great metrics that you can hand to your client tied up in a pretty bow (or fancy PDF, whichever you prefer)
- Interesting comments and input from your target demographic (provided the questions asked are smart and relevant)
- Did I mention cheap?
In order to take advantage of these benefits and get what you want, however, it is smart to go into a Twitter party with your eyes wide open. Here are some tips to make sure your Twitter parties get you the biggest (and most engaging/relevant) bang for your buck:
- Make sure that chatter on Twitter is going to accomplish your client’s goals. If your client wants Facebook “likes”, a Twitter party won’t cut it.
- Get very involved in the selection of panelists for your party. I’d actually suggest paying some relevant bloggers a small fee to participate in the party as paid panelists. This insures relevant content, and guarantees that the tweets will go out to those who matter.
- Work REALLY hard on the questions. Figure out how YOU would answer the questions that are being asked in the Twitter party, and consider whether those answers are interesting or useful. The better the chatter at the party, the more people are going to get involved.
- Talk to your Twitter party organizer ahead of time about unrelated chatter. I once had a client who was disturbed (and rightly so) by the fact that totally unrelated tweets were getting tagged with her hashtag and counted as impressions (Hey girl! So great to see you!! Wassup??! #clientname). There will always be a small amount of unrelated chitchat, but you want your Twitter party organizer to do whatever she can to minimize that.
What do you guys think? Are Twitter parties amazing or horrific? (or as my buddy Howie, would ask, “bums or stokes you?“)
Did I miss any tips?