If you’re like most organizers, you spend a lot of time making sure your event goes off flawlessly. Ensuring your attendees have a great experience is always your top priority. But in today’s social media-driven world, the actual attendee experience is only half of the equation. For anyone with a Facebook, Twitter or Instagram account, if it’s worth experiencing, it’s worth sharing with friends and colleagues.
While plenty of time and money goes into the event itself, most events severely underinvest in the online and social components of the event. But the good news is a little bit goes a long way in these areas. As long as you put some effort into the digital marketing components of your event, you will find the benefits can be exponential.
Here are 5 simple tips to start you on the right path to creating a social media-powered event:
Content is king
Content is the foundation of social media and creating quality content is vital for success. But “content” can be much more (and simpler) than writing articles or even blog entries. Pictures, handouts, Q&As, interviews, speaker bios, venue info and pretty much everything else can and should be distributed via social media. Equally important is to create a content calendar and schedule everything. It will help you post regularly and be more strategic about what you’re posting.
Wait a minute Mr. Postman
Unlike direct mail or even email, social media is built for posting and posting often. So don’t be afraid to post as much content as you’ve got. Recent stats show that social posts only reach (on average) 10-15% of fans and followers. So it’s important to cast a wide net when it comes to posting. This is another reason a content calendar is vital to your social marketing efforts.
Be a good listener (just like your mom taught you)
There’s something you need to realize. Your attendees are talking about your event on social media whether you have a social media strategy or not. You should have someone on your staff frequently monitoring hashtags and keywords and responding to issues promptly. This one is twice as important as it relates to both event attendee engagement and customer service.
Learn the tools of the trade
If you are thinking about your social strategy and you’ve never tweeted a hashtag or taken a picture with Instagram, guess what? You probably aren’t going to fully understand how to make these things work for your event. Download all of the tools and play around with them a bit. And if you aren’t very tech savvy, find someone in your organization that is and work with them on how best to leverage the tools.
Tell them about it
If you want to create buzz around your event, it’s up to you to jump-start the attendee engagement strategy. You should be using every touch point available to promote and encourage hashtags, tweets, photos, check-ins, etc. Promote them anywhere and everywhere and mention them often in general announcements – event programs, keynotes, signage, emails, badges, logos, and more – should be used to get attendees to join the social media conversation.