I find myself explaining to clients over and over again that social media alone means nothing; that effective social media marketing is really about giving your audience something to talk about. Events are just that – something for your audience to talk about. Not only do events give participants direct value with information from displays, speakers, panelists, etc., but they also showcase your brand as one worth following on social media.
But it’s more than just getting up to the podium and announcing “hey, we’re on social media.” With the proper incorporation of social media activity before, during, and after your event, you’re sure to grow your target audience more quickly. This blog post will tell you how to optimize your next event with social media, and in turn, grow your online audience.
Before the event, be sure to do your research. Find the social media usernames for all speakers, panelists, and sponsors involved. Promote the event by featuring those involved. During the event, you’ll also be able to access these usernames more easily if you’ve created a Twitter list. Registration can be made more social by including a call to action for registrants to share the event with their networks. If you really want to get jazzy, offer a giveaway or contest submission for those who share the event details with their networks via social media.
There’s so much that can be planned before the actual event: optimizing an area for photo opportunities, incentivizing participants to tweet panelists/speakers, developing contests, etc. These are all things to keep in mind as you plan for your event.
During the event, you’ll want to encourage and moderate social media engagement from event participants. Have a team of employees or volunteers ready to take photos, write content, and moderate user generated content using the event hashtag. By highlighting speakers and participants, you’re sure to maximize the reach of your brand. Have screens set up to stream Twitter feed utilizing the event hashtag. You may even want to livestream the event to audiences watching from their computer or mobile devices.
After the event, be sure to leverage all of the content you’ve collected. Create a Facebook album of photos and include the album link in a recap email that goes out to everyone who registered for the event. Tell users to follow your social media accounts; and after your successful event, they will be more aware of the value and content your brand can provide via its social media profiles. Don’t forget to measure your social media effectiveness by gathering stats on the hashtag, engagement, and new followers gained.
You’re now ready to optimize your next event! Be sure to click below to download our Ultimate Checklist for Optimizing your Next Event Using Social Media. Happy planning!