So you’ve committed to sponsoring a key industry event.
Attending and sponsoring an event is a big investment, but it is also a great opportunity to increase your visibility within your industry and gain new customers. Whether you’re hosting a booth or sponsoring an after party, you want to get the most out of your time, money, and manpower. So how can you ensure your company gets great exposure at an event?
You need a solid social media plan.
If you’re feeling a little unsure of where to start, check out these 10 easy tips.
Before the event.
Just like when you build a house, planning a successful social media strategy for an event starts with a solid foundation. A little foresight will make your life so much easier.
1. Find the official event social media profiles. You need to piggyback on the event’s official social media profiles. Like, and follow the social media profiles for quick access to event updates and information. This will also serve as a great time saver since you can share and retweet the posts about the event directly from the official social profiles.
2. Identify the event hashtag. Do a little research on Twitter to find the official event hashtag. Make sure to include the hashtag in all of your posts so you’re part of the conversation. You should also be monitoring the event hashtag in case anyone posts questions that are relevant to you.
3. Find or create event imagery. Photo posts on social media get 39% more interaction than links, videos, or text-based updates. Ask the event organizers if they have imagery you can share. Otherwise, turn to your designer to create simple imagery promoting the event, panels/keynotes your team is participating in, as well as giveaways or parties you are sponsoring.
During the event.
After doing everything in your power to promote the event beforehand, the next step is to continue engagement with attendees in real-time (or close to it) during the event.
4. Make it easy for attendees to find the hashtag. Attendees who are active on social media are going to post about the event, so make sure they can easily find it no matter where they are at the event. There’s nothing worse than monitoring a hashtag with no activity. Include the hashtag on your event signage with copy that encourages attendees to share their experience on social media. Also ask panelists and speakers to mention the hashtag at the beginning and/or end of their presentations.
5. Create a social media contest. It helps to give a little extra incentive to get people to share their event experience on social media. At Dreamforce in 2014, Invoca put together a Hulk Selfie Contest in which attendees tweeted their photo with the Invoca Hulk for a chance to win an iPhone. Entries had to include both our Invoca hashtag #MakeTheCall as well as the #DF14 hashtag in their tweet. It was a simple and effective way to join the very crowded Dreamforce conversation on Twitter.
6. Monitor the conversation. If you’re encouraging people to share on social media during the event, make sure you have proper coverage to track conversations on social media. I’m a big fan of Tweetdeck because it allows me to create lists that track the tweets using the event hashtag. Make sure to respond to questions and concerns in a timely manner, and like/retweet interesting posts from attendees.
7. Share updates and interesting moments. Attendees are going to have their phones on them at all times during the event, so make it easy for them to find their next destination via Twitter. Simply share the times and locations of upcoming keynotes, panels, and more — you can even schedule this ahead of time if you know the event agenda (hint: it’s usually on the event website!). It’s also helpful to share interesting moments throughout the event so the people who could not attend can get a sneak peek of what they are missing. And as always, remember to include the event hashtag!
After the event.
8. Thank the event organizers, fellow sponsors, and attendees. After what may feel like years, the event has finally come to a close. And now you have a great opportunity to thank organizers and sponsors. It’s also a good time to engage with attendees who were active on social media during the event. Make sure to include their Twitter handle when giving your thanks and — not to sound like a broken record — use the event hashtag.
9. Share blogs, videos, and other content from the event. It is likely there will be content created after the event like recap blogs, videos, and photos. There might even be keynote presentations on SlideShare. Take advantage of all of it on social media. Continue the event conversation on social media by sharing blogs, videos, etc. using the event hashtag. Mention event organizers, sponsors, and event attendees when it makes sense.
10. Measure the performance of your social media efforts. Once the last piece of random event swag has been pawned off on your company’s resident hoarder, it’s time to look back and see what worked (and what didn’t). Measure engagement across all of your social media posts to see what types of posts were successful. Did people prefer to engage with image posts or panel announcement posts? How many people engaged with your social media contest? Was it more effort than it was worth? Did you need to coordinate better with your team? Use this information to optimize your social media plan for your next event.
Do you have any tips for getting the most out of your event promotion on social media? Share them in the comments below.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community