How to Use Social Media to Help Power Your Next Event

| June 12, 2013

Social media and events are a great pairing, whether that event be a conference, trade show, fundraiser, concert, group event or wedding. In fact, with the right strategy and tools, event organizers and promoters can harness the power of social media to attract attendees, increase engagement and extend the reach and long-term value of their events.

Social media should play an essential role before, during and after the event. Here are some tips on how to use the power of social media to help power and propel your next event:

 

#1 Integrate Social Media with Your Online Registration

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 9.48.00 AMThere has been lots of research done on how social media can effect purchasing decisions. According to Hubspot, users are 71% more likely to buy a product if someone referred it them via social media. This means that encouraging attendees to share an event after they have registered can be a great source of free promotion and increase your overall attendance.

In this vein, you can also reach out to influencers in your industry before an event and offer discounted rates or encourage their attendance in hopes they’ll share their involvement with their followers via social media channels.

 

#2 Create a Hashtag for Your Event and Promote it Everywhere

Creating an event hashtag provides everyone with an easy way to find relevant social shares and take part in the discussion about the event.

In “The Twitter Hashtag is the New Neon Sign” by Blue Focus Marketing, author Mark Burgess writes that “hashtags function like a lighthouse to attract Twitter users to content that may be of interest.”

According to Media Bistro, tweets containing hashtags receive twice as much engagement as those that don’t, which means ensuring hashtags are used in as many of the social updates as possible will greatly increase impressions and engagement surrounding the event.

This is especially true at events. Event attendees can use the hashtag before the event to promote it, during to communicate with each other and their own followers about the event, as well as after the event is over to share recaps, slide decks and more.

As I wrote in “A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing on Instagram,” using event hashtags on Instagram photos can also be a great way to increase your exposure and engagement on that channel.

Getting your hashtag out there BEFORE your event is crucial to getting maximum mileage. When putting together materials for your event, everything should include the event hashatg. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make hashtag should visible on your event website (you can also aggregate and display content with your event hashtag on your website).
  • Any posters, slides, brochures, directories etc. should show the hashtag so attendees can immediately identify how to tweet or Instagram about the event and connect with others through social media.

 

#3 Don’t Forget to Engage with Attendees During and After The Event

Your social media updates about the event shouldn’t stop when your event starts (or ends for that matter). In fact, reaching out to people with questions and comments about the event while it’s happening and social engagement is at a high can be the perfect opportunity to connect with attendees (and maybe encourage them to come back next year).

There should probably be someone monitoring the conversation (hopefully which is centered around your hashtag) and responding and engaging with attendees regularly. Doing this will reflect positively on the event and can augment attendees’ overall experience. Furthermore, encouraging engagement on Twitter could end up causing your hashtag to trend, or at the very least, expand the impressions of your event.

 

#4 Display Social Media Updates at the Event

dell_event Events, trade shows and product launches can be the perfect opportunity to display user-generated photos from Instagram based on specific hashtags. Events are about learning and meeting new people, but more than anything else, they are about experiences that trigger action. Whether it’s an amazing keynote speaker, new friend, or a great meal, a shared experience can go a long way to sparking action at your event (like snapping a photo and uploading it to Instagram).

 By aggregating and displaying these photos at your event, you can immediately increase engagement and encourage participation, expanding the reach of your promoted hashtag and upping the chances that more people in more social networks will see the content from your event.

 

#5 Don’t Forget Linkedin

While many people think of LinkedIn as the place where your online resume lives, it is also a highly engaging and much used social network that can be perfect for promoting events. As the most “professional” of the top social networks, it can also be the ideal place to promote business focused events and conferences.

If you are promoting any type of professional event (training seminars, networking gatherings, or industry conferences) LinkedIn is the prime location or users to find details about you event.

LinkedIn Groups allow you to connect with like-minded individuals, grow your network, share information, and find support. Groups will be a valuable resource throughout all stages of your event process—from planning and promotion to post-event follow-up.

 

Do you have any social media tips for promoting your event or taking it to the next level?

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Social media and events are a great pairing, whether that event be a conference, trade show, fundraiser, concert, group event or wedding. In fact, with the right strategy and tools, event organizers and promoters can harness the power of social media to attract attendees, increase engagement and extend the reach and long-term value of their events.

Social media should play an essential role before, during and after the event. Here are some tips on how to use the power of social media to help power and propel your next event:

 

#1 Integrate Social Media with Your Online Registration

Screen Shot 2013-05-17 at 9.48.00 AMThere has been lots of research done on how social media can effect purchasing decisions. According to Hubspot, users are 71% more likely to buy a product if someone referred it them via social media. This means that encouraging attendees to share an event after they have registered can be a great source of free promotion and increase your overall attendance.

In this vein, you can also reach out to influencers in your industry before an event and offer discounted rates or encourage their attendance in hopes they’ll share their involvement with their followers via social media channels.

 

#2 Create a Hashtag for Your Event and Promote it Everywhere

Creating an event hashtag provides everyone with an easy way to find relevant social shares and take part in the discussion about the event.

In “The Twitter Hashtag is the New Neon Sign” by Blue Focus Marketing, author Mark Burgess writes that “hashtags function like a lighthouse to attract Twitter users to content that may be of interest.”

According to Media Bistro, tweets containing hashtags receive twice as much engagement as those that don’t, which means ensuring hashtags are used in as many of the social updates as possible will greatly increase impressions and engagement surrounding the event.

This is especially true at events. Event attendees can use the hashtag before the event to promote it, during to communicate with each other and their own followers about the event, as well as after the event is over to share recaps, slide decks and more.

As I wrote in “A Beginner’s Guide to Marketing on Instagram,” using event hashtags on Instagram photos can also be a great way to increase your exposure and engagement on that channel.

Getting your hashtag out there BEFORE your event is crucial to getting maximum mileage. When putting together materials for your event, everything should include the event hashatg. Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Make hashtag should visible on your event website (you can also aggregate and display content with your event hashtag on your website).
  • Any posters, slides, brochures, directories etc. should show the hashtag so attendees can immediately identify how to tweet or Instagram about the event and connect with others through social media.

 

#3 Don’t Forget to Engage with Attendees During and After The Event

Your social media updates about the event shouldn’t stop when your event starts (or ends for that matter). In fact, reaching out to people with questions and comments about the event while it’s happening and social engagement is at a high can be the perfect opportunity to connect with attendees (and maybe encourage them to come back next year).

There should probably be someone monitoring the conversation (hopefully which is centered around your hashtag) and responding and engaging with attendees regularly. Doing this will reflect positively on the event and can augment attendees’ overall experience. Furthermore, encouraging engagement on Twitter could end up causing your hashtag to trend, or at the very least, expand the impressions of your event.

 

#4 Display Social Media Updates at the Event

dell_event Events, trade shows and product launches can be the perfect opportunity to display user-generated photos from Instagram based on specific hashtags. Events are about learning and meeting new people, but more than anything else, they are about experiences that trigger action. Whether it’s an amazing keynote speaker, new friend, or a great meal, a shared experience can go a long way to sparking action at your event (like snapping a photo and uploading it to Instagram).

 By aggregating and displaying these photos at your event, you can immediately increase engagement and encourage participation, expanding the reach of your promoted hashtag and upping the chances that more people in more social networks will see the content from your event.

 

#5 Don’t Forget Linkedin

While many people think of LinkedIn as the place where your online resume lives, it is also a highly engaging and much used social network that can be perfect for promoting events. As the most “professional” of the top social networks, it can also be the ideal place to promote business focused events and conferences.

If you are promoting any type of professional event (training seminars, networking gatherings, or industry conferences) LinkedIn is the prime location or users to find details about you event.

LinkedIn Groups allow you to connect with like-minded individuals, grow your network, share information, and find support. Groups will be a valuable resource throughout all stages of your event process—from planning and promotion to post-event follow-up.

 

Do you have any social media tips for promoting your event or taking it to the next level?