Social media has changed the eventing landscape, in a big way. Events are now in the public eye – whether you’d like yours to be or not. Without some guidelines or a social media policy in place, you run the risk of undoing all of your hard work. Using social media for events is essentially like a marketing campaign: your event is the product or brand, and your goal is to increase brand awareness via carefully orchestrated posts. There are two aspects of social media for events: your pre-event awareness campaign, and your social media management during and post-event.
You social media campaign prior to an event will be dictated by the type of event you’re planning.
Just like any other social media marketing strategy, which is tailored around the brand in question, your use of social media for an event is entirely dependent on the type of event you’re planning.
If you’re organising an internal event, social media wouldn’t be a consideration. Any external event, however, can benefit greatly from a smart, timeous and cleverly executed social media campaign. If you’re launching a product, one of your primary marketing goals would be to get the maximum amount of exposure for the product and brand in question. So too, if you’re orchestrating a conference or symposium.
Your guest list demographics will indicate which social media channels to use.
If your event is in the B2B (business to business) sphere, LinkedIn, and to a lesser extent, Twitter, are bound to garner the best response. If you’re organising an event for a brand that’s falls under the B2C (business to consumer) sector, most social media platforms will are suitable.
Once you’ve tailored your social media campaign to the specifics of an event, make sure your content is relevant too.
It’s pointless running a campaign if you’re (figuratively) speaking a different language to that of your audience. Remember that social media presents users with a seemingly endless stream of content; if yours doesn’t stand out, it’ll be ignored. Your copy needs to be engaging – after all, a tweet or post will be a guest’s very first interaction with your event.
Make sure you’re using a professional copywriter or social media manager, to avoid making any social media faux pas that could end up doing damage to your brand.
If you don’t have a budget for a social media manager, plan a social media marketing campaign that’s easy to implement.
While the use of a social media manager is optimal, your budget may not stretch that far. If you’re planning to run a social campaign in-house, make sure your social media strategy is simple to run. If you need to grow awareness of the event, for example, reward re-tweeters and sharers with a prize, or run a user-generated competition.
Many successful digital campaigns have resulted in brand awareness and advocacy, due to the fact that their content was shared via the public. If you can get your market to share your social media content, you’re halfway there; consumers are far more trusting of content that’s been shared by peers, instead of being spammed by a brand that inundates followers with irrelevant, ‘salesy’ content.
Monitor your social media feeds 24/7 (or as close to this as possible).
If you’re not outsourcing your social media management, dedicate a team to this task. Make sure that these staff members know the brand inside and out. There’s nothing worse than having one person reply to a tweet, only to have someone else reply to it again the next day. Even direr, is to have someone ask a question that goes unanswered.
Make the process as streamlined as possible by using a scheduling tool like Hootsuite or Buffer. You’ll be able to schedule posts ahead of time, which means that when you’re attending to the myriad of other event-related tasks, you’ll know that your social media presence isn’t being neglected.
Never open up a post-event debate on social media.
This is one rule that should never be broken. No matter how successful your event was, there will always be naysayers. Avoid any negative and potentially damaging feedback being aired in public by running a post-event survey immediately after, or just as the event finishes, via an SMS campaign.
Our RSVP event management software enables you to do just this. This way, feedback will remain out of the public eye, and even better, is stored for future use along with your guest list information.
Just like an event that’s orchestrated by professionals – when done correctly and by the right people, social media for events can turn into fully-fledged marketing campaigns, resulting in ROI and increased brand advocacy.
Image Credit: Forbes