5 Social Media Tips to spice up your Event
So your big event is approaching; be it annual, bi-annual or the first one (of hopefully many). You may already have some buzz surrounding your event and there may also be a few tongues-wagging across various social media platforms as the date approaches, but it never hurts to have more exposure when it comes to organising events. Plus, if it is the first event then what better way to get the ball rolling than a social media campaign to inspire a shiny new band of loyal followers to spread the word of your event year upon year.
1) Engage your audience
- A great way to build a loyal following is by involving them in your plans for the event. Surveys are an excellent way to engage your audience whilst receiving vital feedback that could make the difference on the day. Using a survey tool such as twtpoll.com is a great way of getting a general consensus from visitors and exhibitors alike on what they like or dislike at events (or at the previous year’s event if it is annual). Along with other survey sites such as Survey Monkey and Poll Daddy you can ask the people that you want to target specific questions to pinpoint what they want to get out of the event, to ultimately get what you want out of the event; more exhibitors and more foot flow.
- Other ways of getting your target audience involved before the event is by starting a discussion across your social media channels. This discussion could be directly linked to the event or non-directly to gather ideas or just to have a bit of fun. On the other hand it could be completely out of left-field; a popular trend that many brands use now to create buzz is ‘News jacking’*, where brands such as Charmin take to Twitter in the midst of a breaking news story or topical talking point, and tweet about it with a ‘subtle’ nudge towards their product. (*beware, Newsjacking whilst effective, can sometimes go wrong)
Whichever approach you go for, always remember to #hashtag…
2) Hashtag the hell out of it
A hashtag for an event is pretty much rule 101 when it comes to social media, it is the main way to start a conversation and maintain it before, during and even more importantly after the event.
- Put your event hashtag on everything you send out to your exhibitors; emails, surveys, questionnaires and other promotional material. Encourage them to use it as it well help them raise awareness of their brand in the long run.
- Your hashtag for the event needs to be short, preferably an abbreviation and also one that can be used year upon year. Making a hashtag ‘evergreen’ can build up a fan base and more importantly keep it the next year to build upon; so instead of ‘#LBE14’ you could just put ‘#LBE’ for example.
- The good thing about using hashtags is that they are no longer Twitter-specific, so you can plaster it all over Google+, Instagram and Facebook as well.
3) Be Creative
Your creativity in the build-up to an event doesn’t have to stop at the hashtag conversations, organising competitions and giveaways can really create a buzz. With their hugely successful #CreateNow tag, Adobe generated 3,800 Twitter conversations that generated more than 30m website impressions. As well as this, their ‘scavenger hunt’ competition with a $10,000 giveaway at the end to raise awareness of their upcoming live event was a triumph.
4) During the Event:
Social media efforts should be at their peak during the actual event. With a couple of enthusiastic and tireless workers in charge of social media efforts during the event there are plenty of ways you can keep the buzz going:
Events such as Mobile World Congress have previously been big advocates of a Tweetwall at the event, a concept that exhibitors and visitors alike embrace as it gives them the opportunity to appreciate the stands and build up excitement. It’s a fantastic way to keep the conversation going outside the event for those who are unable to attend as everyone will be using the trusty event #hashtag.
Other great ways of utilising your social media presence during the event is organising a live stream from the event that people can access from your website. This can be expensive to execute, so alternatively with Google+ ‘Hangouts’ you can stream live to a selection of your target audience who were unable to attend.
Mini-videos similar to Vines, between five or ten seconds in length, with quick cut images, could be an extremely effective way of displaying the stands on show and re-capture the buzz.
5) Keep the conversation going:
The buzz shouldn’t end with the event, with your evergreen hashtag the conversation can carry on.
A post event Survey sent to exhibitors/visitors that attended could gather information on what went right or wrong at the event. Individual Exhibitor thank you messages on LinkedIn, Google+ or a traditional email can be time consuming but beneficial in the long run.
That’s not to mention the amount of content you can post from the show such as Blogs, Videos, Pictures and Podcasts, the possibilities are genuinely endless.
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