Have you hosted a party recently? You probably took to Facebook to get the word out.
It’s rare these days for an event – from informal gatherings of friends to industry-leading conferences – not to incorporate social media in some way. Event planners turn to Facebook and Twitter for promotion, participants use these networks to connect to one another, and even those who couldn’t attend expect to be able to keep up with the highlights via social media.
Here are four ways that you can get more traction at your next event using social media:
- Use social insights to attract the right audience
An event is only as good as the people who attend. You can have a great lineup, lots of free-flowing beer and cocktails or a spectacular keynote speaker, but if the audience doesn’t connect, the event will fall flat.
When promoting your next event on social media, consider doing some research beforehand. Tap into social insights to determine the audience that would be most interested in the event, and target your message to them. Get to know their online habits so that you can send your message at the right time and on the right networks. Or, go one step further and segment your audience into groups that you can target with even more tailored messaging that speaks to each group’s unique attributes.
- Encourage engaging hashtag conversations
Whether you are organizing an intimate, professional networking event for 60 attendees or a huge 3-day music festival for thousands, your event will benefit from a hashtag.
Creating a unique, event-specific hashtag will keep all online conversations contained so that participants can speak to one another and share photos and videos easily. An event hashtag will also enable those who couldn’t make it to the event to follow along.
Some tips for a great event hashtag:
- Keep it short so participants have room to express themselves on channels that have character restrictions like Twitter
- Make it unique to your event
- It should be easy to spell and easy to remember
- Leverage content marketing for great pre-and post-event discussions
Successful events are no longer just about the day itself. Thanks to social media, you can hype up your event before it happens and keep the buzz going long after it’s over.
Creating content specifically to promote the event – like guest blog posts from speakers, branded images or newsletters that contain promo codes – will keep participants excited leading up to the big day.
Following the event, don’t forget to share all of the multimedia you gathered with participants (using the event’s hashtag, of course). Videos of the main attraction, links to SlideShare presentations, follow-ups from workshops, photos of after-hours networking… these can all be teased out in the days and weeks after an event to perpetuate the social media afterglow.
- Incorporate a creative social wall to engage participants during the event
Since you’re putting so much time into incorporating social media into your event, you deserve to show off your efforts! A social wall is a great way to showcase the online conversations happening about the event.
A social wall can be as simple as a projector displaying tweets that include the event’s hashtag, or they can be more creative like these 10 examples of social walls that include tweets alongside live voting, interactive activities and more.
Typically, they are placed in a central area or areas, where participants can check in to see what others are talking about. And social walls have the added benefit of possible branding with your logo or showcasing your sponsors.
Today, events are blurring the line between real-world and digital. When something exciting happens at an event, it can be shared around the world in a matter of seconds on social media. By focusing your event strategy equally on social as on the event itself, you will ensure that your next event is a smashing success.Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community