It’s 2019, and the event industry (like social media) is constantly changing and shifting. And one of the biggest shifts has been the increasing use of social media to amplify event attendance, activities, speaking opportunities and more. Whether you’re an avid social user yourself or not, there’s no denying that it has become an intrinsic part of how people experience almost every event, especially in the technology space. And if you’re a marketer like us, using social media before, during and after events gives you new opportunities to get more out of your marketing strategy than ever before.
We often get the return on investment (ROI) question from clients and prospects wondering: is it really worth the investment? When you use social media wisely, the size of your event doesn’t dictate the level of success you can achieve, and no matter the industry, utilizing your social media accounts can be a critical tool to both connect with your audience and strengthen your impact.
As event marketing specialists, we’ve gotten great experience at understanding how you can maximize the benefits of social media every step of the way pre, during and post event. Dive into the 6 tips that can help you maximize your event presence:
- Determine your objective. This may be obvious, but everything you do at an event should always aligned to this. No matter if it’s brand awareness or leads, your messaging and content via social media should support your objective(s), which helps ensure you are doing everything you can to help your organization succeed as a whole.
- It’s time to build a social strategy. Next, lay out exactly what your strategy is from a social standpoint before ever stepping foot on the show floor. From pre-planning ahead of the show to on-site and remote engagement, keeping a strategy front and center will help you stay on track with what you need to do before, during and after the show. Figure out what social platforms you want to post on, research the event hashtag, create your own hashtag, strategize timing of posts and more. (Speaking of event hashtags, yours should be relevant, unique and short. Be careful that it cannot be interpreted in unintended ways and be sure to brainstorm ways you will be able to use it again in the future.)
- Create unique and memorable posts. Start early by beginning your promotion at least a few months before the event to gain momentum and increase your likelihood for success. Continue to share content related to the event and initiate conversation with speakers, attendees and potential attendees. You want to create short but memorable posts that connect to your original objective.
- Before you know it, it’s time for the event! Highlight guests of honor, create live coverage of speaking sessions, take and share pictures for those who are not in attendance, share videos, amplify others sharing helpful content and much more! During all the live event coverage, be sure you are engaging, too. Check your notifications and direct messages, follow the event hashtag, and retweet, reply or share with your own unique take on event content being shared by others.
- Use your Employee Advocacy Program, if you have one. Make sure to help create posts for other employees to share about the event and your company’s involvement. As mentioned in a previous blog post, employees can be your best and biggest asset, helping you achieve your brand goals and KPIs.
- Be the thought leader, even post event. Become your audiences’ reliable resource on the event, even after it’s over. Be sure to engage with those still talking about the event and continue to share your thoughts and unique knowledge.
It’s important to understand that an intensive event promotion campaign on social media can build buzz about the event, attract attendees, help you engage with your followers and position you as a thought leader in the industry. Social media marketing has become a must-have method to promote events, and we hope these tips enable you to get a head start on your strategy moving forward.
Author: Victoria Walden, Account Manager, Outlook Marketing Services
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