Utilizing Social Media at Your Next Event
Social media can work wonders for an event, but it can also wreak havoc on it, so when you’re planning your next big event or conference, you need to have an effective social media strategy that is outlined for you and your staff.
It is vitally important to have a full social media rollout campaign ready to go well before the date of your event. You should start by promoting social media involvement to both your staff and the conference attendees. This can happen a couple of different ways. For instance, at the next all staff meeting, encourage staff members who are active on social media to post on the account during the conference and to interact with other attendees. Do the same for registered attendees.
When you send your registration emails to your confirmed attendees, be sure to include a social element to them. Ask them to follow you on Facebook and Twitter for up-to-date conference information. You can also encourage them to use the official conference hashtag. Or if you want to be extra generous, you can offer retweets for anyone who mentions the conference on his or her Twitter. People love getting retweets because it exposes them to a larger audience.
Another avenue you can pursue to generate buzz around your event is to ask your followers what they are expecting to see when they attend. This goes hand in had with our headlines post that focuses on asking interactive questions rather than just making statements. Asking your audience questions ahead of time can head to create a stir before your event.
Selecting a Hashtag
Hashtags are popular ways to group similarly themed topics on the Internet. They are most common on Twitter, but Google + has them and Facebook recently introduced them as well. The key to picking out a good hashtag is to pick something short, catchy, and easy to remember that is somehow related to your event. Acronyms and other initialisms make for great hashtags.
If it were my 40th birthday, a good hashtag to use might be #Adler40. You get the idea.
Respond to Attendees
Remember when we said you could offer retweets for anyone mentioning the conference? Well, don’t just retweet them, engage them! Thank them for coming, ask them what their favorite part of the show was, say that you hope they stop by the main booth. No matter what you say, show social engagement and interaction. That is what people love to see and that is what makes successful events.
Be Quick to Respond to Attacks
A lot of times the Internet brings out the worst in people, so every now and then, you will see “Internet haters” attack you and your conference. Now, it is important to accurate gauge the level of negative mentions you are getting in social media, so you will want to be tracking this real-time. The reason being is that the narrative behind your conference can quickly be pulled out from under you if there is a small group of loud people causing a commotion. The best thing to do is respond to their attack (if it merits a response) quickly and be done. Get back to the conference and show people how great of a time it is.
Be sure to take lots of pictures and post them too, so those people who weren’t able to make it can still feel like they are there live in the action!