Danielle Startin
Danielle Startin
Junior Planner

Social Media for Events: Promoting Rapha Tempest on Twitter

Rapha Tempest was a festival hosted on the fringe of Le Tour Yorkshire. Our social media campaign promoting the event gained a high quality and well-engaged audience of 1,500 in less than six months. On top of this, 20% of all site traffic was socially referred, and 3% of all bookings came from social.

This was without any paid social advertising, and using only Twitter.


Building an audience of quality and quantity

Rapha Tempest’s Twitter following growth graph is below.1-twitter-follower-growth-Graph Rapha Tempest
This audience growth resulted from a three-pronged strategy.

  1. Follow and favourite
    Want someone to follow your event? Follow them first – and hope they follow back. Don’t be indiscriminate; in the case here sponsors, cycling clubs, shops and journalists, and Yorkshire focussed accounts were targeted. Tools such as JustUnfollow are useful at this stage, but should not be relied upon, lest you fall into the trap of becoming a spammer. A good rule of thumb here is to ensure you have more followers than following.
    Favouriting tweets mentioning your event is another way to highlight your social media presence.
  2. Incentivise
    The period of accelerated growth highlighted on the graph above marks a ‘Retweet to Win’ competition. This garnered 1,500 entries, propelled social to be the number one website traffic referrer (a position that was maintained for the whole of the competition period), and doubled the account’s follower number. Crucially, the bio word cloud from FollowerWonk taken directly after the competition demonstrated the newly grown audience to have interests relevant to the event.
    A pertinent prize (forget iPads, think cycling accessories) and targeting a close-knit Twitter community (cyclists) were key factors in the circumvention of attracting a low-value audience of competition hunters.
  3. Content
    Rapha Tempest’s audience growth remained strong for the life of the account, rather than tailing off as is often seen in social media marketing. This is attributable to one thing – content.

Content is King

Content is king in the world of digital – and when it comes to social this means informing, entertaining and engaging with your audience. Always follow the 80/20 rule*.

*8/10 of your seeded posts should serve the needs of your audience.

Over the six months that the Rapha Tempest Twitter account was active, approximately 350 branded tweets were seeded. Of these tweets, 21 garnered at least 15 retweets/favourites.

Examples of the varied content shared are here:


There are no limits beyond knowing your audience and bearing them in mind.

Links matter too

Following the 80/20 rule means that one fifth of your content should be directly pushing your brand. And, when ticket sales matter, links to your site matter.

Creative copy and aesthetically pleasing photography partially disguise the self-promotional nature of links.


Notice the slightly subtler tweet on the right garnered twice the engagement of the one on the left, meaning more impressions and more potential click throughs.

Snappy copy and strong call to actions were clear contributors to the high levels of socially referred traffic. In total, 20% of all site visits came via social referral.

Using your connections

As always, it’s not what you know, but who you know. If you have affiliations with higher profile accounts than your own, take advantage of this.

We did, and Team Sky tweeted about the festival to 320,000 followers.


If a sponsor rubs your back, rub theirs in return. Promote them back, and never fail to @mention. These tweets @mentioned high profile accounts, high levels of engagement followed.

For events, local promotional accounts such as #YorkshireHour are your friend – especially when tweets to them are accompanied with shareable content and a clear call to action.13-tweet

It’s obvious, but hashtags

Deployed correctly, hashtags will be the glue that holds the conversation around your event together. Define yours early on and stick with it.

A simple hashtag, embedded in users’ minds through months of build-up, will be used by event attendees, allowing you to sit back and retweet.

A similar, but higher profile event than #RaphaTempest, lacked an established hashtag, implementing one shortly before the event. The Topsy data speaks for itself regarding uptake of the two hashtags.


To get the most out of your event’s social media campaign please contact us on 01943 854 174 or email info@ponderosagroup.co.uk.

SHARETweet about this on TwitterGoogle+Share on FacebookShare on LinkedIn
< Back to Culture