Social media marketing is a necessary tool for building great events, and it can also be fantastic for driving engagement during your event too. Here are a some surefire ways you can drive engagement before, during, and after your event using social media marketing.
Before the event:
- Create a content plan: Your event content plan should feature content that educates followers about the event topic, industry, speakers (etc.). Your content plan should also drive traffic to the event website, and include sales messaging.
- Designate that hashtag: Every event should have its own naming system and hashtag to encourage and drive organic online engagement.
- Email marketing: Use email marketing to keep prospects and ticket holders up to date with speaker content, agenda updates, discounts, accompanying event materials etc.
- Get speakers/sponsors involved! Equip everyone involved with messaging and images to share with their networks. Create content about individuals speakers and make sure to tag them and any sponsors in social media messages.
During the event:
- Live updates via your social media networks. Use Twitter to live tweet and interact with attendees sharing with the event hashtags. Tweet quotes from speakers and share photos. You can also share photos on Instagram. On other social networks where you can’t post as frequently choose your updates more carefully.
- Live Feeds and Twitter walls. Digital Twitter feeds are usually a big hit. It visiaull helps an event’s design and look & feel. Attendees love seeing their own content displayed. And there are tons of tools to help you build the best feed affordably. A favorite of mine is Tint, and others I’ve used are TweetBeam, Twitterfall, and HootFeed from Hootsuite.
- Live stream or record parts of your event. You can live stream using Periscope or Meerkat, Facebook, and you can also share snippets of the event via Snapchat or Vine. And be sure to save videos so you can use them for post-event content.
- Social media kiosks. If you’re not sure how social savvy your event attendees are, teach them. You can set up a branded social media stations. Make the station fun with photo ops and giveaways complete with the event hashtag. Take time to engage with visitors letting them know the social campaigns happening around the event or sign them up for Twitter and help them send their 1st tweet. A favorite vendor of mine is Fonteco.
After the event:
- Thank event attendees via social media channels. A personal thank you goes a long way and helps sustain authenticity.
- Compile shared moments and share them with your audience. You can use Storify to pull all messages using your event hashtag onto one landing page. I love Storify because it lets the people included know they are part of your Storify via Twitter – driving instant traffic.
And post post event? Use all the content (quotes, pictures, etc.) that you’ve collected during the event to create even more wonderful recap content and build awareness for the next event.