If you’re new to emagine’s blog, you may not be familiar with our Corporate Evangelist, Jessie Gadless. Coming in at a slender 6 pounds, full white coat, and originating from Chihuahua, Mexico, Jessie now resides in South Florida with the emagine south office. Jessie made her debut appearance on our blog last year, where she gained a better understanding of what a high-performance website should consist of. Because Jessie likes to stick to her Mexican roots, we helped her grasp the concept by comparing website elements to the ingredients needed to make a margarita… fitting, right?

Well, with each year comes new goals and this year, Jessie is determined to master the world of Twitter. As her official “launch” party, she figured a Cinco de Mayo fiesta would be the perfect way to grow her followers, build new relationships, and gain insights from similar evangelists like herself. I explained to Jessie that the real name for her fiesta is actually called a Twitter Chat, which is basically a party on Twitter where like-minded industry professionals chat together for an hour or so. Since she is new to Social Media, I decided to give her a few more tips to make #JessiesFiesta a hit.

#1. Do your research

As the host of #JessiesFiesta, it’s important that she is well-skilled and up to date on the information she is going to be talking about. Because this chat is a simple Cinco de Mayo fiesta celebrating her heritage in hopes to increase her brand visibility and build new relationships, I made sure Jessie did her due diligence on the meaning of Cinco de Mayo. What she found may surprise you, too…

In the United States, Cinco de Mayo is sometimes mistaken to be Mexico’s Independence Day, which is celebrated on September 16. May 5 is actually observed to commemorate the Mexican army’s unlikely victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla. Since the battle, no country in the Americas has subsequently been invaded by any other European military force.

I also had her do some research on the individuals she wanted to invite to #JessiesFiesta, because we wanted to make sure she was inviting the right audience that would provide value to her as well. More on this in the coming steps.

#2. Come up with a branded hashtag

A hashtag (#hashtag) is a word or phrase used to identify a specific topic, subject or brand. When choosing the hashtag, you want associated with your fiesta/chat, it’s best to keep it short and simple so that users can easily remember to use it in their tweets. It should also be relevant to the topic of your chat. There is a flip side to this however, because you don’t want your hashtag to come up in unrelated conversation, it should have an element of your brand or a unique differentiator to help those attending keep up with the flow of information.

Originally, Jessie threw out the hashtag idea of #fiesta, but I had to remind her that this was too generic and could easily be mixed up in tweets that she doesn’t associate her brand with. I recommended she use a branded version, #JessiesFiesta. This tells others that her Twitter Chat is a fun and engaging event based around Cinco de Mayo. Even more, if #JessiesFiesta gains enough traction to become a weekly chat, she can easily make unique fiestas for the unique topics she wants to discuss.

#3. Spread the word

You can have every influencer following you on Twitter but that doesn’t mean they will all show up to #JessiesFiesta. Some may not be in the mood to fiesta, but others – that Jessie doesn’t follow or vise versa – may be! This is all the reason to do a little extra research when it comes to inviting guests to come chat on Twitter. If you’re like our Corporate Evangelist and promoting your chat through your corporate blog or email blast, I told Jessie not to forget including her hashtag, #JessiesFiesta, on all marketing materials. You can also ‘pin’ a tweet to the top of your Twitter timeline with all the information on the fiesta so whenever someone lands on her page, it’s the first thing they see.

Jessie also mentioned that she wanted to look for other Chihuahuas to invite to the fiesta. Well, you can search for them on Twitter using the search bar. Here are some great search tips directly from Twitter to help you. If you find some furry friends that you would like to attend, sent them a message with the e-vite! Don’t be scared to reach out to others who you would like to attend (Cookiedabooboo, we’re looking at you!), just make sure to always include your hashtag!

#4. Provide value

Like any host of any party, you have to provide your guests with a value for coming. I told Jessie as the host of #JessiesFiesta, she had to find and create unique and valuable content that would entertain her guests and encourage them to continue to discussion. Also, before the fiesta, things might come up such time, topic, and other questions. We can keep your guests informed about these things on Twitter using #JessieFiesta on every post. For example, “Reminder: Sombreros are encouraged at #JessieFiesta!” Keep in mind that tweets can’t go over 140 characters so be sure to keep your tweets brief. Thanks to Buffer, you can even schedule these tweets ahead of time to make sure you don’t forget!

#5. Utilize images

Images are a powerful to increase engagements on your tweets. Because web users scan, instead of read, they are able to understand a concept much quicker when it is depicted by an image or place within one. When making special announcements (or asking questions for your Twitter Chat), you can use a free tool such as Canva, or Pablo by Buffer to make attractive and informative images that will help your guests retain the information quicker and easier.

Post-event etiquette…

Don’t forget to thank your guests for attending and always let them know of any upcoming fiestas, or recaps that will be uploaded to your website and blog. After the fiesta, track your hashtag and see what others have said that you may missed and retweet some of your favorites to return the love. Good luck at #JessiesFiesta!