AND WE’RE LIVE …
GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO SHARE AND TALK ABOUT
During the event, real-time conversation helps maximize the engagement for both physical and virtual attendees. But the benefits don’t stop there. Sharing the experience and content online builds brand awareness and creates more value to your community, and that is ultimately what keeps them coming back for more. In this series, we’re covering smart ways to leverage social media before, during and after your event, to not only extend interest, but to also build a year-round community for your event.
GET OUT THAT HASHTAG
In our last post, we covered the importance of finding the right hashtag for your event. Now that you’ve put forth that effort, it’s important to maximize its use. To encourage attendees to use the hashtag during your event make sure it’s visibly present. Nearly any printed or branded items and swag should have your carefully chosen hashtag: event signage, badges and lanyards, mirrors and walls, presentations and projection screens are all candidates. Think about any and all opportunities to remind your attendees that there’s a conversation happening—and they should be a part of it or risk missing out!
To further incentivize its use, surprise and delight your audience with recognition of their social participation. Retweeting their posts and offering giveaways (everybody loves Starbucks) are a great way to prove that you’re listening and extend the conversation. You want to show your audience that you hear them and value their thoughts.
Remember that your hashtag isn’t just for sharing information between attendees. It’s a great and inexpensive (read “free”) way for those who can’t attend your event to follow and participate in the conversation. Ideally, it will ultimately spark more curiosity, boosting attendance for your future events.
IF YOU BUILD IT, THEY WILL SHARE IT.
The age-old statement, “content is king,” rings true with event marketing. Creating shareable and meaningful content for your audience that is accessible makes it easier for the community to keep the conversation going. And content is everywhere at an event. Here are five no-fail sources for content.
Every presenter has them. Share them! Sharing key insights, takeaways, quotes and “aha” moments gives your audience the content they need to bring back to their network and share with their followers. This gets more eyes on your event and continues the conversation. It can be as simple as a tweet or social post, or as dynamic as an infographic that summarizes valuable information from presentations. Whichever approach you take, doing so shows that you understand your audience came to learn and provides them with the tools they need to help to build a more lasting connection.
Nostalgia Is Back
As brands work harder to capture the attention of their audience, nostalgia marketing is the new buzzword and event producers are taking notice. Leading brands are busy creating experiences that take people to a happier place. The use of throwback games to bond attendees during events is also gaining momentum. Think Jenga, Pinball, Twister, Pop-A-Shots, giant Rubix cubes, Atari. Nostalgic moments provide great shareable content.
A big opportunity to increase awareness of your event is to leverage the location and create fun and engaging content to share with your audience. Regional tidbits like historic landmarks, recommended restaurants, even sports teams present storytelling opportunities that not only engage your audience but also the community your event in which your event is happening. Supporting the neighborhood and participating in a bigger conversation ultimately gets more eyes and ears on your event, filling more seats in the future.
Share The Love
If your audience is excited and happy with their experience, they’re likely to share it. Make sure that you are actively listening for their feedback, responding to their questions and comments, and sharing testimonials from attendees.
If There’s No Pic, It Didn’t Happen
It’s true. The same can be said for video. Pictures and video are both great media that will keep your audience fully engaged. Whether presentation snippets, behind-the-scenes photos or interviews, video and pictures are great ways to share stories that add value to your community. Capturing these moments draws attention to your audience and allows them to follow the entire event, not just the informational presentations they attend.
FEED THEIR HUNGER
Aggregating social conversation into one central location or stream allows attendees to see the buzz firsthand. It also encourages them to participate in the conversation knowing one is happening. Social feeds are a great way to keep your audience informed and engaged throughout the event experience.
A highly engaging event, both off and online, not only builds your brand but also facilitates a more authentic connection with your attendees. Social conversation also gives those community members who were not able to attend a close-up look at the experience and the ability to participate in the action. The goals of leveraging social media during an event should be to amplify the experience beyond the event walls, spark more curiosity and conversation, and to add value that builds a stronger brand with a higher overall return on your event-marketing plan.
If you have questions on how to take your event to the next level by leveraging the power of social media, we would love to chat with you!Chat with us