Event social media basics

Anywhere you turn, it’s difficult to escape the inevitable conversation about social media perspectives. Family members and a weekly political rant, another strategy meeting on how to engage millennials, Hollywood’s latest Twitter drama… the assuredly thought-provoking social media conversations seem inescapable. You may reminisce on simpler times, when sharing a photo meant giving a friend duplicates after the roll was developed.

Yet event-based social media should inspire excitement, not a high level of angst. This platform permits another channel to promote your product, and potentially improve attendee engagement.

Not using social media, or using social media on a very limited basis for events?

A couple of things to think about:

1. Have a plan
In and of itself, assembling a social media plan probably won’t generate enthusiasm for social media communications. However, a plan is critical to your event’s social media success, and this must complement your existing marketing strategy. The plan ensures that you stay on the right track once you’ve mapped out what to post, and when to post the material. This way, social media posts don’t fall to the wayside among all of the other pre-event planning activities. Not sure what a social media template looks like? Check out examples:

Hootsuite

HubSpot

2. What social media platforms should I be using?

Today, there are seemingly endless social media platforms that engage attendees. This begs the question of the most relevant platform. Overwhelmingly, Facebook is the most popular platform with 79% of all adult internet users. Regardless of what else your social media plan contains, create Facebook events and schedule regular posts. These are vital. Another social media morsel: more channels with your presence means more chances someone will stumble across your event on search engines.

3. Social Walls

How do you inject an impactful social media component during your event? Is there value in sustaining social media presence as an event progresses?

Social Walls have become a popular element in the past five years. A social wall is nothing more than a software platform that goes through social media and looks for specific cues and pulls attendee posts. Once approved by event staff, the post are put on a screen for everyone to see.

As technology has improved, more platforms have been developed to make it easier than ever to find the software element that best fits your budget and need. The real value of having a social wall is to give the attendee a visual cue to post about the event. Having your attendees post to social media is excellent, free-of-charge marketing, and extends your reach to attendees’ friends and followers. Added bonus? Social walls provide another place for sponsor information to be displayed as an added benefit to them.

4. Talk social with the local CVB

The majority of convention and visitor bureaus should be able to promote your event on social media. Many bureaus have a sizeable local following, which is helpful if your event is open to the public or if many of the attendees reside in the area.

If you have any questions about any of these ideas I encourage you to reach out to me or check out one of the additional resources below. Written by Luke Wiggins, Meetings & Conventions Sales Manager, Visit Rogers. 479-619-3191 Luke@RogersLowell.com 

7 social media wall platforms for your next event

What a social wall can do for your event

Event Marketing 2.0: How to boost attendance through social media