Building your event on Social Media

Social Media and Events

I read an article earlier this week stating that the World Cup 2014 was the biggest ever social media event. That got me thinking – with a platform like the World Cup, it’s easy to generate interest (although with so much activity around the World Cup, it is still difficult to get your voice to stand out), but what if your event is much more low key? How can you get your event noticed on social media? Here are five tips which should help you out:

Identify: You should create a unique identity for your event. This could be as simple as using the same hashtag throughout the build-up to the event with a landing page on your website, or it may be more complex than that – a unique website (or domain), the events own Facebook page, its own LinkedIn group, etc. But remember, the larger the presence, the larger your commitment needs to be to maintain the presence – the decision will depend on how big your event is, and how many people you are expecting attend.

Multiply: One of the most important questions in social media is ‘where is the audience that in an ideal world I would engage with?’ And pretty soon after asking that question, you will realise that the same person uses different social media accounts! So, you need to work out when they would be most receptive to your event – e.g. I have social media accounts on a variety of networks, but the network where I would most likely be receptive to a professional event would be LinkedIn, maybe Twitter but definitely not Facebook. Ask these questions of your audience.

Participate: Anyone who has run any size of event will know just how difficult it can be. It is the co-ordination of logistics, people, suppliers, caterers, and everyone else – a real art form! However, from a social media perspective, this is good news! You should encourage all of these different stakeholders to participate in the social media build-up of the event – it will help with exposure of the other parties, but also build some credibility and networking around your event.

Entice: In an increasingly sophisticated social media world, a 10 day countdown to your event is just not exciting enough. So, you should think of reasons to encourage engagement (you should be doing this anyway!) – a competition only open to people who have tweeted using the hashtag; sharing interesting content from social media regarding the event; slowly reveal exciting details about the event; all of these will help you to encourage people to engage socially with the event.

Update: Once the day of the event arrives, this is not the end of the social media journey – it is the start of the most exciting part! On the day, you should be live posting about the event. As someone working in digital marketing, I follow events in the USA or Europe to stay connected to an event that I cannot attend in person. If you are quoting a speaker, mention them (ideally tag them in the post) and remember at the end of the event to thank the suppliers for their amazing food / stage / AV equipment / car park facilities!

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