Social media isn’t exactly new – in fact, Facebook is over a decade old and Twitter is just under – but that doesn’t stop experts from every industry constantly reassessing how the sites can be leveraged to create more business or engagement amongst clients and customers. And this is true for the events industry as well; as the Event Industry News website reports, event planners were invited to a hosted event from the #EventProfs Network to discuss best practice for the use of social media at events – both before, during and after.
Randy Nyssen, the head of digital marketing for i2i Events Group, noted that “social media is about getting people to meet other people” – precisely the aim of events, too. So it’s no surprise that many professionals in the industry see it as a key part of events; but there are, of course, various dos and don’ts to keep in mind before entering into a social media campaign for an event.
The #EventProfs network has helpfully broken down a few of the key things events planners and professionals need to remember when looking to social media to create a well-rounded event:
1. Don’t engage with social media, and then forget to engage with the audience on the other side. The point of using social media is to create a conversation with attendees and potential customers – as Will Watts an events and marketing manager present at the event said: “social media […] is about conversations,” so do not neglect this fact.
2. Don’t recycle the same content over and over. Just as events speakers and exhibitors will try to use new – or at least tweak – speeches or content for each new meeting, those in charge of social media should do the same. Ensure every post or tweet is as unique and engaging as the event it relates to.
3. Do mix up channel usage. Do not feel like there is only one channel to use; each platform offers its own unique selling points. Learn which channel is the most relevant or will be the most effective and by all means concentrate on that, but also be sure to provide information on every site being used by audience members.
A key point they don’t mention, which we think is really important, is to be creative – and combining social media and events gives you lots of opportunities to do this. We installed a photobooth for a veterinary supplier at a recent exhibition, and they used a bunch of comedy super-power props for visitors to create amusing pictures of themselves and post on twitter. It was a really simple but very effective way to blend social media and the live environment, and really worked to help engage their audience.
How do you use social media to promote your presence at events, or the event itself?